Good week everybody. It’s a hot day today, the compressor of my air conditioning system in my bedroom blew like a bomb and the past few nights have been like an unpleasant sauna. I’ve had so many frustrations in the past few weeks but even more blessings. It’s as if every time a door shuts in my face, a barn door opens a few metres away. The funny thing is, those barn doors grow smaller and smaller before finally shutting only for another one to open somewhere else. I guess that’s God’s way of saying “keep truckin’ My son, I know what I’m doing”. Little blessings eh? Maybe that’s why I can’t seem to keep still, like a frog on a hot plate. The difference in my case is that my antsy (ness?) is born of excitement and anticipation - I can’t wait! Now don’t get me wrong. Margaret, a friend of mine, once asked me why I always seemed to be happy and relaxed. I looked at her and smiled. When I have dark days and have feelings of not being accomplished, it is bad. Ask Frieda who has to cope with my moods. I simply focus on what I’m bent on achieving and trudge on emboldened by the many victories in my life against most odds. Besides I have so much to look forward to in this little life of mine which I aim to end well. I suppose one of my latest little victories, which I am so proud of, is my recent mastery of the cooking of my dreaded adversary – beans. It might seem very inconsequential to everyone but I know where my elation comes from.
In a quest to become more independent, and with a view to controlling the quality of what I eat, I recently decided to cut down on eating out most times and do some cooking on my own. I also decided to eat more of plant protein; legumes, fish, veg and fruit like my mother brought us up on. Maybe that’s why I, nor any of my siblings, have not fallen ill (save for colds) in the past twenty years. Hindsight is always 20/20 vision. The way our mum stuffed us with those ‘horrible’ foods; beans, fish and unripe plantain, made me hate those foods with a passion. Eating out was banned – she didn’t trust the hygienic conditions under which restaurants cooked nor did she trust their nutrition. I couldn’t wait to be eighteen and escape to university. It’s only now that I have begun to appreciate her wisdom. No pain, no gain. Ah, my children will suffer! But, I digress. I decided to go back to my first hate.
My first attempt at cooking beans ended in disaster. I valiantly fought to stop it from getting burnt to no avail. What didn’t I do? I turned the heat down, stirred and stirred, poured more palm oil but nothing could stop the onslaught of the acrid stink that permeated my nostrils. The worst part of it was that when I stubbornly insisted on reaping the fruit of my labour, I was betrayed even further; half the beans was soft and the other still hard! How could that be? Was not it the same fire that cooked them all? The same pot, the same ingredients? Or where some more ready to cook than others? If so then why was mine different from others’ I’d eaten? It was after I’d complained bitterly some female friends of mine that I was advised to put onions in the beans to soften them. I was also given some really good tips which I put to better use. The result was glorious! I’d come in from whence I went, open the fridge, pop it in the microwave, go downstairs, chat with the neighbours a while, come upstairs and deliriously drink in the wonderful aroma of the steaming food and mistily wonder who could have cooked such a sumptuous meal! If no one will praise the agama lizard for jumping down from the tall Iroko tree without injury then he will praise himself on his conquest! Have a great week everybody!