Tribute Tuesday


One of the fondest memories I have of my mom is her in the kitchen cooking. She always wanted me to be a part of it and asked that I stay in the kitchen to watch while she cooked. I hated it!

I was going to grow up and become a lawyer, never marry, and just try and win cases, why did I need to learn about cooking?

She made good foods and one of her many specialties was Obe ilá Alasepo (Okra stew), it is native to her state of origin, Ondo in Nigeria.

Obe ilá Alasepo (Okra stew),

Obe ilá Alasepo (Okra stew),

When she made this stew, she would put all sorts in it and say “òkèlè kan, ọmọ ìgbín kan, aye n be l’Ondo egin” loosely translated “every dip of your morsel into the stew you pick a bit of baby snails” We loved eating the stew…ask anyone who knows, it is a delight…and even when things got rough and they did from ‘94-01 and especially between ‘99-01, she still made them although adding meats became expensive. She still cooked them with ponmo (cow skin) just because she knew we loved eating it. We had a funny name for the stew then and it made her laugh out loud. Still all I wanted to do was eat it and not make it…

Back pedal further to 2001 a few days after she passed away, I had to follow one of my aunts to the market to get food items, sigh… I hated it!

We got home and I went into the kitchen to drop off the items and for whatever reason, I cooked Yam and fried eggs with chunks of Titus fish…I made that meal almost every night for that period, and after the funeral and visits were all concluded, I found myself in the kitchen making turkey stew for one of my brothers to take back to university.

Turkey stew became my specialty, and every chance I got I would cook it…I also started making coleslaw and remember making it with my sister for a friend’s 21st birthday.

I moved to the US and found myself cooking ever so often. Dodo& gizzard was now my specialty and every chance I got I would bring a tray to parties for free, then it was fried rice, now it’s all sorts…I always looked for opportunities to bring food to parties…I found that I thoroughly enjoyed cooking.

These days, I wish I had stayed in the kitchen with her…I wish I had learned to cook from her…still I try to look back on our time together and picture a few things she did here and there…my dad and siblings give input as they are able.

Today I am cooking Obe ilá alasepo, as a tribute to her as I make up my mind to pursue this joyful passion fearlessly. I will put every kind of meat I have in the stew…and I have a lot, thank God. I will sit back and dip my morsel into it…smile in memory of mommy and wish if only for one second she was here to share this meal with me.


Obe ilá Alasepo (Okra stew), pẹlu iyan (pounded  yam)

Obe ilá Alasepo (Okra stew), pẹlu iyan (pounded yam)

(To say I didn’t cry while writing this would be a lie, but that’s OK for I find my honest moments in words are when the tears flow free).


20 responses »

  1. Bunmi I am so moved by ur write up n I cried,u jst made me call my mum for d second time…I thank God for d woman uve become n I knw ur mum will be proud of you…I married a man frm ibadan but I ave made him fall in lov wit ‘obe ila alasepo. It’s always reserved in my freezer, People frm ondo can relate well with ur beautiful story. May God bless ur efforts in Jesus name. Amen

  2. Can imagine you being a mixed bag of emotions while you put your article together. I lost my dad in 2012 and I still carry on like it was just yesterday. Wounds like that never heal, we just learn ways to forge ahead and pull through if and when we have to take trips down uncharted memory lanes. *hugs*
    Back to your Ila Alasepo, looks delish, I’m due a pot this weekend…..:)

  3. Your mother has left a beautiful legacy named Boomie 🙂
    She must be very proud of her contribution in making you the woman you are today!
    That looks yummy btw 😉 yummiest fish I tasted was at your party 🙂
    So when did you say was a open house at your place 😉

  4. Bunmi i remember those times we would smell the soup from next door and go over to your house “just to say hi”…lol. Mummy was a great woman indeed and will truly be missed. Meanwhile my husband doesn’t eat any soup that draws but i make sure I and the kids eat it a lot!!

    • Haha Moji! And I used to come over to your for Pancake and tapioca. I am working on a post for that. Really!!! I have to confess I don’t eat morsel food too but I will eat the okra by itself. Yea the kids eat it too with pounded yam. Thank you ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  5. Bless you Bommie. In Ghana we eat the okro or okra stew too and yes with all kinds of fish and meat. We usually add crabs, snails (for those tribes that eat snails) and wele, ( cow hide or skin). The morsel food we eat it with is banku ( prepared with a mixture of corn and cassava dough) though it can be eaten with rice, gari or yam.

    :Your mother must have been a wonderful woman. 🙂

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