Friday, September 17, 2010

What's Cooking??

So I decided to update my blog and after typing the title I figured, what better way to seek inspiration than go down and get some food. So as I type this my good fellows, I'm a well fed legal practitioner... back at her desk and wishing the day would end ALREADY! ** sigh** Oh well, lemme quickly tell you guys something that's been bugging me for a while now. It's cooking.

I'm a very unique individual ( yes me and 10 billion other people in the world you might say?) well I am a very unique girl 'cos I was raised by various people. At different times, but one common thread ran through these different stages... "you must be a good cook, home maker and mother" I learned from my grandma, my mum and Mrs Yusuf. I grew up being taught that as a woman I had to know how to cook (WELL.. no be any how food oh), clean, take care of EVERY need of your children and husband. So, I learned to cook everything we eat in my house. I went to Uni and learnt some more.

Recently, I decided to be more adventurous and learn how to cook meals from other tribes/ cultures in Nigeria. So i decided to start with Ibo food cos I'm partially from the north anyway so i got a pretty decent handle on some soups from the Northern part of Nigeria. You can imagine my excitement when my ibo friends tasted my 'catering practicals' and gave me a nod of accession. I was told I was a natural. The excitement was short lived tho. I wanna tell you two things that doused the flames of my excitement.

1. The realization that knowing how to cook is not as ESSENTIAL I'd been raised to believe, and; 2. The fact that you can make all this 'local' food doesn't necessarily earn you points as a 'good' wife and home maker.

Recently a friend of mine started a relationship of some sort with a guy who lives in Asia. My friend is in her 30's and as such she was excited about this new relationship, with marriage in view. The dude asked her to come over to Singapore for a visit and you can imagine our corporate excitement about the fact that the relationship was 'progressing' towards a proposal and a huge rock :D. I asked her, "What would you be cooking for him when you get there?"

Lemme give you a quick background of my friend and what gave rise to this enquiry of mine. My friend is a very 'hawt', 'fly' chic who is in no way 'domesticated'. She lives in a house with a cook and says that she's had help all her life and as such can not be bothered to get her hands dirty. This is a long way from where I am coming from so you can imagine why I like her, she's a perfect insight to how the other side of the divide is.

She answered me, "cook ke? I am thinking of how to get a wax and how to keep my body bathing suit compliant you are asking me what I'll cook" I was in shock.. In all fairness to her, when she got to Singapore and she asked the guy what he wanted her to make for him, he responded "babes, you are on holiday, please let me treat you" There, in the garbage, she tossed the egusi and dry fish her mama asked her to take along with her after a crash course in cooking egusi the week before her trip.

So I found, there are men who aren't bothered about food. I mean, the fact that you can or cannot cook will not take you a step closer to getting the title "MRS" .

**sigh** Did my mothers lie to me?

The second thing that rocked my firmly rooted beliefs was that the fact that I can make awesome ogbono, fried rice, efo riro, grilled chicken.....( awesome is a very humble way of describing my cooking actually :P) I digress.... :D Anyway, so i found that the fact that I can make 'local' food doesn't neccesarily mean the man is going to be impressed. I'm terribly hurt as I type this.
This is me, a girl who's been brought up in a certain way, I mean we didn't have carbonara, squid in sweet and sour sauce, lamb in garlic sauce in the house. Those were things we had in restaurants when we went for someone's birthday. I'm a yoruba girl for chrissakes, I was born in Lagos and i've lived in Lagos all my life. Mac and Cheese was not served in my house as a regular. yam, Egg, Beans, Rice, Eba, amala, Pounded Yam, Spaghetti and meat balls ( if we wanted to get stylish) These were the things that were served in my house. I was shocked when I read on Twitter that a girl needed to know how to make some of these ' fancy restaurant' stuff as well.

You can imagine my state of mind. I mean, I'm growing up and finding out that being an innate homemaker doesn't guarantee you that a man would choose you over the beautifully clad bikini wearing chic who has absolutely no interest in cooking or home affairs. I'm growing up and finding out that all my 'awesome' catering skills will amount to nothing if I can't whip up squid in sweet and sour sauce.

So guys, what's the deal? what do you guys really want in a wife? I used to believe a guy needed a woman who loved him, supported him, took care of his children, gave him fantastic mind blowing sex, fed him ( belly and ego), wasn't an embarrassment to be seen with and made him feel like the alpha male at all times.


Why was I taught to be all this and I find out that it's still not enough?

What do men really want? Guys, what's really cooking? I need feed back!