The art of culinary delight is an absolute mystery to me! What i don't get is, why people enjoy cooking...i don't get it, never have and clearly, never will.
I believe my hang-up over cooking has pyschological ground, ie i blame my mother, lol. Like all African mothers raising girls, my mother was very quick to tell me when i was growing up that i need to learn to cook to feed my husband!
Little did she know that she was up against something fierce - an 11 year old female who had feminist-ish leanings. I grew to intensely resent my imaginary future husband to the point that i wrote a 4-page letter to my mother detailing that i should not be made to do something for someone who does not exist and that we all have our talents and clearly cooking isn't mine so we shouldn't force such matters! Yes, i was a cheeky bugger :-)
Now, you don't go around telling (even in flowery letters) African mother's that you won't do something they're asking you to do. Usually such conversations would result with me being knocked into the middle of next week and meekly giving-in while rubbing my smarting backside. However, that did not happen...my mother actually said she wouldn't force me to cook**, but put a disclaimer that this would all inevitably come back to bite me in the ass eventually.
Fast forward a decade and a bit later and let's just say, my ass has been
Don't get me wrong, i'm not a total loser...i can boil water without burning it, know the basics...can chop ish like a pro...but i just have no idea what spices go with what most of the time and i only a few basic dishes to my name, that i have perfected. I find the whole waiting for things to saute, simmer, roast, grill sooooooooooooooooooooooooo tedious. I've tried to make it fun, cross my heart i have...but eish, it's a danger!
I know that something needs to be done, so i have called up reenforcements...ie very good friends who take pity on my plight and offered their culinary expertise to ensure i never again use marmalade in a chicken dish (don't ask, that's a story for another day).
Ironically, i can bake like a pro and don't find it boring at all...hehehe, "Give them cake!"
*Roora/Lobola: For anyone reading this who doesn't know what those two terms mean, Roora/Lobola in English would be called a "bride price". In most, if not all, African cultures the prospective groom must present the bride's family with some pretty pennies/livestock/merchandise for the bride's hand in marriage.
Historically, this was meant as a gesture, or token of respect to the bride's family for raising her well and is not meant to be equate to the monetary equivalent of what the bride is "meant" to cost. Although, in this materiday and age, i have heard some horror stories of grooms having to pay with as much as USD$20,000...eeek! (i bet he's was probably thinking, "She better $%#@ing cook like a pro!" when he parted with them dollar bills)
** Honestly speaking, i think my mother was thinking along the lines that at least two of her three daughters knew how to cook and a dishewasher was always needed (a role that i grew to excel at and love, lol).
Raisin in the Sugar Bowl: So there i was in a departmental meeting with all my peers blissfully chowing on my danish custard (you gotta love breakfast meetings) and trying to concentrate on what the Big Boss is saying when i my colleague on my left leans over and is like, "Psssst, do you notice anything strange in this meeting?" I am about to reply something like, "Ummmm, they're serving lemon-poppy seed muffins today instead of their usual bran muffins" when he continues, "Do you realise we're the only two black people in this meeting and you are one of three females in this meeting? Something's not right."
Note, this was a meeting of at least 50 people!
I know that in South Africa they've got a whole bunch of equal opportunity initiatives in the form of EE/AA and BEE...but dudes, seriously, that meeting was not a clear reflection of the demographic of the a) The country and b) The continent!
Something is Rotten in the State of
As one of my good friend's Facebook status's recently read, "I am tired of being the only darkie representative in company meetings, something needs to change!"