I don’t cook. For the same reasons why I don’t wear a lab coat with a stethoscope around my neck and write out prescriptions for sick people. Why? Cooking is a profession! A full time chore! One that cannot be mixed, confused or combined with any other.
Last weekend, I whipped out my dusty apron and hit the kitchen. Operation Jollof the Rice. Now before I stepped out into the kitchen it took me all of 30minutes to outline the steps. It didn’t make it any easier that the stew had already been prepared. The last time I cooked was over a year ago.
I know a couple of you might be tossing your noses in the year out of disgust. But I couldn’t care more even if a cheetah were rushing in my direction. I spend close to 10hours a day at work. Another 2.5 hours in traffic in and out of home. That makes 12.5hrs. add another hour for showering and dressing up. we are up to 13.5hours. ironing takes about 30mins take or leave (I like linen fabric and those can be hellish to iron). That’s 14 hours already. Let’s add another 3 hours for recreation and time with God and the family. That makes 17 hours. Take that out of 24 and we are left with 7hours. That’s bedtime for my very sore body. Now tell me, out of these hours spelt out, which of these can I replace with cooking? The answer is simply, none of the above. Perhaps over the weekend, you say. In between family engagements, funerals and church activities. Where will be the time for rest? Trust me, I'll never be like those women in the Gino/Royco/A1 etc ads who cook a banquet for dinner and still look good afterwards. It's a lie!
My argument is very simple. Just as we go to the doctor for treatment when we are unwell, let’s go to the cook and not the cooker, when we’re hungry. Let’s stop being primitive minded, (yes I said primitive minded) and let’s give cooking a professional stand. What’s the point in pretending you can cook when you can simply pay someone to do it for you for a stipend. It saves you the time, effort, burnt finger, cut finger and it most of all, it creates employment opportunities! Cooking should by no means be belittled or trivialized. Suffice to say, when I grow up and get married, the most important bride price/dowry needed from the husbands family will be a chef. Plain and simple. I don't need all those bails of cloth and boxes of jewellery. That is another matter for another blog post.
If we enjoy going to the restaurant ever so often, what stops us from bringing the restaurant home - in the shape of a Chef?
And for those who were thinking my jollof didn't turn out well, think again! I’ve had that jollof three times already after I cooked it and it tastes better and better each time. Almost everyone in my family had some. I think I even kept the “kanzo” for the weekend. And no one’s invited!