So while on some few beers over the weekend, my friends and I started a conversation. I was the proponent of most of the theories, therefore I was on fire (a bit too much fire), as I was laying out my point bam! Bam! Bam! If you ever hang out with me, you’ll know I will not rest till I have started one theory or another. Sis thrives on theoretical perspectives. Sis is me.
Nims agreed with a lot of it. Her husband, A.J, nodded in agreement. It was too much agreeing and too much intensity. Being buzzed brings a lot of intensity in whatever you do. So I will bring this to my fellow readers on this blog here, in the hopes that you all will be clear headed while reading, and provide me clarity.
Nims and I were yarning about how we feel it’s great to have leftovers in the fridge after cooking. It’s not every time we get hungry that we want to start cooking. I always felt blessed that there’s a plate of something just sitting and waiting for me, it’s like a gift from me, to me. It started when we were kids, we learnt this neat trick from our mothers. They always left us something in the fridge and now we do it for ourselves. Pat on the back all around. But, not everyone agrees. Her husband doesn’t enjoy second or third day meals. He grew up in a house where everything was cooked fresh daily, and there was never left overs. My husband has never said it but I sometimes see his unwillingness to eat third day meals. A.J thinks it’s just a bad habit that leads to eventual wastage so we should always do portion cooking. He posits that, after few days, if we somehow never go back to that food, or something happens with electricity, we end up throwing it out, and that’s bad. I actually don’t disagree. I have had to force myself to eat some old food in the fridge because I felt guilty to throw it out, so while I make a fresh batch of food for my husband, I usually eat the old one and envy him enviously, while I shove down something quite bland. However, my mum also taught me to revamp food so sometimes I fry fresh pepper, throw in that stale food, and bam, good as new. So it’s not a 50/50 argument right??
A.J said we should learn to cook for just that moment and that’s it. He asked us why we find it hard to do portion cooking? He said, he finds it really easy. From pancakes to Chinese sauce, there’s nothing left in the pot when he cooks and serves everyone. Please, you reading, help me to enter this matter?!
For me, I grew up in a large family and I learnt many recipes that involved cooking for 6 people at least. More, if we’re having guests over. It was always 4 cups of rice, sebi my mum will call my name to make sure I’m paying attention as she uses her palms to measure the salt, the ginger, the garlic, etc. There was no “2 teaspoon” or “2 milligram” of anything. Like that joke on twitter, we sprinkle seasoning until our ancestors say stop. My great great great grandmother passed it down to my grandmother, to my mother and finally to me. It wasn’t a measured recipe. It was a feeling. Oh and I don’t taste my food till I serve it in a dish and eat. That’s how fool proof my ancestors made my cooking.
So tell me, how am I supposed to cook for just, exactly 2 people when all I have by way of measurement is my palm? I mean I’ve tried, but every time the number has to increase or decrease sporadically, I end up altering the taste. I’ve started cooking as a business, so now I’m learning portion control for this one too. I’ve turned to online recipes to learn this portion thing. I have gotten some measuring cups in the house too, so well, God shall help us eventually.
At some point in the conversation, I also started speaking for all women out there who cook, by saying, cooking for just one person is also why we don’t do a lot of cooking when we’re spinsters. It’s just boring, time consuming and tasking. You don’t want to keep many left overs too! Leftovers don’t always bring pleasure, they’re a matter of necessity! The same time I use to cook one round of stew, i will cook everything for next week! Trust me once you get into a serious relationship or marriage, you somehow automatically cook more than you used to. I mean, there’s two of you in the house, you’re the one who spent her childhood collecting recipes from her foremothers, who do you think will keep everyone from starving? The only answer to those who say, cooking “comes naturally” for women is because we spent a large part of our childhood with our mothers, who spent a large part of their marriages in the kitchen.
So that’s another important reason. The chopping, the dicing, the boiling, the cleaning up after? Asides gender based violence, cooking is singlehandedly the most dangerous thing to happen to a woman inside her home. Open fire and flames? All the electric gadgets? Knives and other weapons? I have grated my hands while grating okro! Fish fin has stabbed my fingers and drew blood. The hands constantly in water making your skin and nails fall off? Thank God for manicure and pedicure (Now gone thanks to Corona). So how am I supposed to cook fresh meals everyday, while trying to have a life, and still “bring something to the table” as in, have a job. Women don’t have cake not to talk of eating it too in this life? Abeg o! The good news with left overs is, nobody is starving in the house, that alone should be praise worthy. I remember that Mr and Mrs movie where the dude used to slap his wife for not cooking a fresh meal per day. My sisters, may we not encounter such in Jesus name! Because really, it’s usually men who have issues with “next day” food.
So what’s your take? There’s multiple prongs to this. As someone who cooks, can you say you’re versatile enough to cook for one person and also a small crowd, while still maintaining taste integrity? As a woman do you agree with why you cook less when you’re a spinster? As men, is this why you always beef up after marriage? Because when you were single you had high standards of cooking you couldn’t live up to?
Please comment below so we can have a conversation. Messaging me personally is great, but let your comment and someone else’s comment be friends so we can all have comment friends.
Kwaheri! Happy Holidays!