I can cook. Now, I won’t say that I’m incredible and I can throw down in the kitchen but I definitely know my way around. Although it’s not my favourite thing to do, I cook with love. With a view to becoming a wife and mother in the near future, and taking into account the fact that I have- for as long as I can remember- always been surrounded by very good food, I believe it is my turn to surround the people I love with very good food.
Growing up, I’ve always imagined myself entertaining people, I’ve always imagined that the kitchen would be the heart of, or at least be a massive part of my home. One of my goals/ my desire is that people would genuinely love and enjoy my food. I’m pretty sure this stems from my Nigerian culture. I love my culture. More so now than ever, I appreciate and understand the importance of being able to provide as a woman, taking responsibility of this responsibility. At the end of the day, I am a Nigerian woman, therefore, looking after my home, looking after my kitchen will always be my duty, no matter the century, no matter how annoying it may be. I’m not saying that it’s compulsory for women (Nigerian) to cook all the time and spend every last moment in the kitchen with no help, but I am saying cooking and serving is a big part of this culture. What you choose to do with that fact is up to you. But I digress.
Anyone who knows me will know that I don’t like change but I’ve been (surprisingly) welcoming it. This year has been great so far as I’ve impressed myself in more ways than one, doing things I never saw myself doing and doing the things I always wanted to do. This includes cooking- striving to master various dishes, working towards being able to say (with much proof) that I can throw down in the kitchen.
With a view to mastering how to cook different types of food, I have made a list of the food/ meals I can make well and a list of the food/ meals I haven’t made before that I’d like to be able to cook well. This keeps the goal in sight and makes achieving this goal seem more realistic as I can alter the lists as I go along. Ultimately, I should be left with one very long list and one short one.
Having said all this, I’m actively making an effort to make more meals and to try new things. Come on, they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and I want bae (and my family) to live in my kitchen. Truly enjoying the meals that await him (them).
On Tuesday, I thought I’d make some Nigerian fried rice. Although I’ve made this many times before with great results, I decided to make it again as it was an easy dinner. Or so I thought. We didn’t have any long grain/ easy cook rice left at home so I begrudgingly used basmati rice -_-. At this point, I was already aware of the many setbacks, but I approached with caution and proceeded to use the basmati anyway, hoping that it would be a first time success. Despite the fact that it seemed to be going well at first, it (all of a sudden) took a turn for the worst with the final product being… hmm… let’s say… less than desirable? As disappointing as it was, the experience allowed me to consider the bright side and bask in the positives. Because of the mushy rice, I learnt/ was reminded that:
- It can be disappointing when things don’t always go the way that we planned but it’s not the end of the world. We can learn from every experience.
- Practice makes perfect.
- Stepping out of your comfort zone is not so bad.
- Most people will appreciate your efforts.
- Mushy rice is part of the process.
- Never again will I ever make fried or jollof rice with basmati rice. (Well not until I seek wise counsel anyway).
But ultimately, as frustrating as it was, I am determined to reach the goal and continue experimenting. You never know unless you try, right? In light of looking at the positives and working on the negatives, I took the time to reflect on Wednesday’s dinner that went a lot better than Tuesday’s. Yes, I cheated by doing something that I knew would work but I still found there were things I could have done better. We are our harshest critiques, but who knows, I might share some things with you as I progress on this journey.
While striving to reach this goal, (making sure that Rebekah’s kitchen is the place to be), there are some other things that I’m going to be working on:
- Timings- I can take too long to prepare food (I don’t want my children to starve!).
- Sticking to cleaning up as I go along. It works up until a certain point and then I just stop :s.
- Mastering when to cook certain things so that everything is ready at the same time and being able to avoid possible disasters that may come with cooking multiple things at the same time.
- Cooking under pressure (keeping calm and carrying on).
- Enjoying each process, continuing to cook with love.
I hope this inspires you to go after the smaller goals that still have an impact on your life, as you work towards the bigger ones. Don’t be afraid to work on you and to work on improving your future. Bask in who you are and embrace where you are from. Reaching a goal is reaching a goal, right? Regardless of how big or small it is. Do you, always.
Ps sorry I didn’t post last week, it was a bit of a hectic one. I hope you’re all good though and you’re all shining your incredibly bright lights.
Happy aiming and achieving!