Archive - April 2015

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I came, I ate and I conquered…a food fear.
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Mcts: Monday came too soon
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A cry for help
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Sai Buhari: Memories of Collating Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential Polls Results

I came, I ate and I conquered…a food fear.

              For crying out loud, I learned to bake from the Food network Channel. Thank you, Ina Garten! So much so that my girlfriend Muimui gave me serious and lengthy advice on beginning a baking business. I felt no fear when I started trying out some of Avartsy.com’s recipes which have since increased my recipe repertoire. In fact, by the time I came across another fabulous cook, Dunni Obata (dooneyskitchen.com), I had grown in confidence and adeptness in following cooking instructions on the internet! So why, why did the mere thought of cooking my very own traditional Owo soup and starch leave me frozen? For one, it is no mean feat to cook this soup. The intense arm cardio it requires calls for stamina and proper preparation. This soup is not for the fainthearted. Then there’s the ‘entering your hand’ syndrome. A phrase I have heard my mum and several relatives refer to when talking about this soup. In other words, if you didn’t have it in you to make the soup a success in terms of taste, consistency, look and smoothness, it didn’t enter your hand. Naturally, I was afraid to attempt this soup because of my fear of failing at it. What if it didn’t ‘enter my hand’? It didn’t taste right? Didn’t look right? Came out as one big blob of yellow, sticky mess? I didn’t want that to happen because I knew if I failed at it, I would feel utterly miserable. I would have let myself, my mother and, indeed, my people down. I believe I am supposed to be skilled at making the delicacies of my tribe, not just in eating or craving for them. I believe a good and true cook begins and perfects (even tweaks them to her/his own signature style) her/his very own traditional delicacies before mastering others. It seemed the other way around for me. The fact that my beau and T absolutely love this food combination should have been an incentive to make it. The fact that I have watched my sister –”more

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Mcts: Monday came too soon

Where did my weekend go? What happened during the weekend? Oh yes, elections. No vehicular movement. Ghost town. After that. Church. Chores. Chilling. And poof, like a flash, that’s where my weekend went. With boring bits flying out. No sooner did I lay me down to sleep than I’m here at 6.15am, tapping away at my laptop. The quiet of the morning, and indeed the house, a soothing companion to my early engagement. My head is uncluttered. My mind is free. My fingers fly of their own volition. I can hear myself think. I plan my day, my week. Collect my thoughts. Enjoy my company. Reminisce. This is one time I’m at my best. Before the dawn. Before the noise of another day. And definitely before my children awake. It’s always a ‘me time’ I look forward to. So even if I’m complaining about a short and uneventful weekend, I’m glad for the start of another work day, work week. Hello Monday, it’s good to see you. I have quite a list of things to do. So let’s get cracking!

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A cry for help

            I was halfway through making breakfast when the sound pierced the quiet of that Sunday morning. It was forlorn. Sad. Like the owner knew his/her fate was approaching fast and hoping to avert it with a desperate, last – minute appeal for mercy. At first, I ignored it and went about my food  task at hand. Breakfast was an untried recipe and I needed to get it right in order to add it to my repertoire of meals. There were also several hungry mouths waiting for it after expending energy in church earlier on. I couldn’t afford a burnt or under cooked meal or one that didn’t turn out well with the right blend of sweet and savoury tastes the recipe required. All eyes were on me and my (improving) cooking skills. So there was little or no time for distractions of any kind. I had just lowered the heat to allow the various components slow – cook to delicious goodness when the sound came again. This time  sustained for a longer period than the first. After that, coming at frequent intervals and for longer. As I put used kitchen items into the sink for washing later on, it accompanied my actions. When I set out plates to receive portions of the food once cooked, it provided a solemn soundtrack to the clink of crockery.  And as I tasted the meal for a balance of spices, there it was. It dogged my every move; an unhappy, background music. As though meant only for me, an SOS message in unrefined tones. Each succeeding one more heart – wrenching than the last, making it absolutely difficult to ignore now. Unless I was made of stone. By this time, I knew where the sound came from and why. Two weeks ago, my next door neighbour invited my beau and I to a party she’d be hosting in her home. The day of the event was here and some  hapless animal just realized it was going to play a star role in the party’s meal courses. Its constant”more

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Sai Buhari: Memories of Collating Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential Polls Results

            If you didn’t know this already, we have a new president – elect. All hail Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. Yaaaaaaay! His fourth attempt and subsequent triumph at the polls over the weekend imply a number of things in Nigeria:   1. That Nigerians are beginning to make their voices heard and their votes count. 2. That an opposition party can trump the ruling one. 3. That Nigerians will and can vote out an administration they are unsatisfied  with and disappointed in. 4. That Nigerians want and demand change in the status quo of their daily lives.   Today, we are a happy people, a happy nation because of the results of the elections as well as the electoral process that produced them. However, on Monday March 30  at the start of collating the results from various states, the tension in the country was thicker than a highway divider. Channels TV, a popular news television station, had almost the entire nation(and their friends) glued to their screens watching the proceedings broadcast live from Abuja with Prof. Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), presiding over them. It didn’t help that the process lasted two days. Not all results were ready at the same time nor were they all ready on the same day. Each collation officer (usually from the academia who was also a professor and most likely the vice chancellor/deputy vice chancellor of a university) presented state results once they were ready. By the end of the first day, the tension was still as thick  if not more; fingers nails had been bitten to childish, painful levels; and blood pressures had increased significantly. Some didn’t sleep well that night while others didn’t sleep at all. That’s what a keenly contested election does to the electorate. The second day began with the same tension and trepidation in front of the TV screen and all the other additional screens in our viewing lives – cell phone, ipad, laptop, etc. Papers, loads of sheets, appeared too in front of almost everyone. Suddenly there were more collation”more

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