There are so many things in life we may ever be able to understand until we are at that stage in our life, it is then and right there that the puzzle becomes solved. Why Mums can’t help but nag and insist that you must correct your bad habit? She picks on your obvious bad habits when everyone else has accepted, that’s who you are. Why when there’s sibling rivalry between you and your brother and your father insist that you-the younger one- should say sorry? For crying out loud, you were not the one in the wrong. Why your parent insist that you call that woman next door ‘mummy’ when clearly you know who mummy is. There are a few more, but I’ll stop here.
Honestly, the truth is, you can never understand until you find yourself in the same situation. I imagine Isaac asking his father why he denied Sarah as his wife in Egypt. And Abraham must have grunted ‘Son when you become a man with a wife, you’ll understand.’
NOW I UNDERSTAND…
My housemate brought in a bowl of jellof rice last night when he got back from a graduation party. It was stuffed in an ice box and in a separate smaller bowl, was fried tilapia fish seasoned with jalapeno peppers. I was glad at the sight of this stuffed iced box because of one thing- I know what you are thinking, it’s not because I love food, and I don’t really like rice anyway- I was happy because It meant I won’t have to cook. You’ll understand why when you are the only girl living with four boys; you cook like you were born to do it.
So while we were sat in the lounge and this guy poured the jellof rice out of the icebox into a fridge bowl, he smelt the odour from this box and he remarked that, the food might have gone off. In the house, I’m the one with the strongest nostril; but unfortunately since I didn’t smell what he smelt, there was one conclusion, there was no bad smell. Simple!
Early this morning when I went down into the kitchen, to grab my wake-up coffee, I opened the fridge and Bam; the smell hit me I almost fell.
‘OMG, What I’m I going to do? This could jeopardise my sense of judgement especially when I have to give a verdict by using my nostrils. I had to do a quick fix before they all wake up.’ I told myself
I scrabbled through the kitchen cupboards, drawers, drainer, fridge, freezer; then I stopped.
‘Do I know what I’m looking for?’
Next thing I searched through my memory of what I could do, and I remember how grandma used to rescue food that’s almost gone off. She was the one who would breathe life into a bowl of lifeless fowl -smelling food, and you won’t even smell or taste it. It was like magic. I caught her few times and I had questioned why she wouldn’t bin the food and cook a fresh one, but she never explained why.
So today I conducted a miracle.
I poured oil into the pan and let it sizzle. I added dry pepper, no onions, because I guess that’s what triggered the bad smell. Added some Knorr chicken flavour and some bay leaves, I left it for few minutes and added the rice to it while holding my nostrils with my right finger, and covered it to simmer. I left it to boil a little for 10 minutes and I mixed gently making sure I didn’t mash it. After about twenty minutes, I put it down and tasted it and gosh it was an OMG, moment only that it was a good reason to utter it.
Putting that aside, I grated carrots and purple cabbage with onions and made a lovely coleslaw to go with it.
Almost immediately, one of them stood behind me stretching and asked,
‘Did you just cook Jellof rice?’
‘Of course not, I just had to heat up the one you brought in last night.’
‘Did you smell it?
‘Smell? This pot of food has the aroma that wets one’s appetite; and it looks as good as it tastes.’
I was out of the kitchen in no minute. Phew!