I was ill for a day or two
I was ill for a day or two
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.
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.
(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).
It is the simplicity therein
Dolly had to find a way to leave. She had been with Craig for two weeks after the reconciliation, and she could now see that there was no use. He was never going to be the man she met in college six years prior. Something had happened to Craig, something that had changed him into a monster.
Craig and Dolly, first met in their junior year in college, Dolly had just transferred in from the local community college, and Craig had the pleasure of doing new students orientation that morning. It was love at first glance…at least for Craig…Dolly, not so much. She didn’t even notice him past the fact that he was conducting the orientation. Nothing about Craig appealed to Dolly, until later that night.
There was a party in town hosted by Dolly’s good friend, Ben. Ben happened to be buddies with Craig who was also invited to the party. Craig never left Dolly’s side the entire night, and one month later, they were a couple.
Dolly and Craig were practically inseparable, and rightly so. There love was made for the storybook covers, they were a perfect couple, beautiful, strong together, and they very well complimented each other. Craig was a psychology major, and Dolly was pre-medical student. They were two peas in a pod, a beautiful on campus couple that everyone aspired to be like. Craig showered Dolly every chance he got, and it seemed like it was every day, many thanks to his wealthy parents inherited fortune. Dolly dotted over her charming man like a mother would on her new born child…they loved each other and it showed.
Dolly, didn’t understand why it all went wrong…two years into their marriage and Craig turned cold…he wouldn’t look at her, let alone touch her…he wouldn’t even talk to her in the house. Things came to a screeching halt however, when he slapped her for asking him a question…Dolly fell to the ground as the impact of Craig slap thundered across her soft cheeks…hot tears streamed down and seared her face.
She moved out 3 days later…
Family pleaded on Craig’s behalf and when Dolly found she was pregnant, a result of his drunken sexual encounter one late night in December, after the Christmas holidays at their in-laws on the coast. Dolly had to go back to her husband. She hoped for the baby’s sake that it all would work out for the best, but to her surprise, Craig played nice for three days and then he turned cold again. Without any chance to figure out what was going on, Dolly spent most of her time at work…taking every schedule and work load that was thrown at her.
It didn’t matter anymore, she will work her pain and sorrows away or so she thought…until that late spring dusk at work, when she saw the news…work could no longer be her refuge…her life was about to change forever…
Her unborn baby kicked in agreement…
Tuesdays are no different from Monday…They are in fact Monday holding on in disguise
Then there’s Wednesday, mid-week….She makes you feel good like you are almost there
Except there’s still Thursday…dragging like a whore’s cigarette smoke…
But Friday makes it all better…if you are lucky…its pay day play day
But somehow Saturday is always only a few hours…five at the most….
For Sunday fun day soon comes and goes like lightning speed…
And in no time, Monday is back on the horizon…Holding on for too long
Two days in a row…Disguising its second attempt as Tuesday.
That smell of you on its cold rainy day
feels like my bed, king size and warm
pulling me in as heated blankets overwhelm
winter’s night chills