Food Is Bae and Family Is Everything…A Short story

I grew up in the midst of brothers, some who knew how to cook and some who did not. Even my father was an awesome cook, but for some reason they relied on me to cook for them. Funny thing is, I found cooking annoying. Funny how I’m a food blogger now. Below is a story written by Zainab Bonomi and I’m proudly her friend.

“My entire body was on fire, I was aching. My feet were numb; my back felt like it was going to break in two. Yet, I had to keep going, because they were hungry…

I had been away from the house for a few days. I had travelled for work and there was no one in my section of the house. You know what that meant…. There was going to be a lot of cleaning; dusting, sweeping, mopping and more cleaning to be done. The living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom all needed cleaning. Did I mention I travelled for work? Okay so you get the jist, yeah? I had been busy throughout.

One of my younger brothers had driven me to and fro, thankfully. Even though driving for me is a stress reliever and mind refresher. I did not sleep a wink during the trip, a five hour journey. On getting home, I changed into “housework friendly” clothes and began with the cleaning. I did not even bother about food. Who could eat in that chaotic environment? It was dusty all over; a sort of indoor Sahara. I was done in just under two hours, but mehn I was aching all over. I could barely talk. I still didn’t bother about food. I just lay down on the couch, too tired for sleep or anything for that matter. That was when it started…

My two younger brothers came in, extremely hungry. The one that had driven me, well I think he went out to meet a client when we returned; he is an architect you see. I don’t remember if he cleaned out his room that evening, or he left it for the next day. His older brother leaves home quite early and returns late. That was the nature of his job, he is a site engineer for some company and his work was demanding. At first they were complaining between themselves. I heard them, I ignored them. They began complaining to me, I still ignored, I was too exhausted to even talk. They couldn’t stand it any longer, so they called me by name; a pet name they coined for me and by which those close to me call me by. The older one called that name and said: “we are hungry, please do something”. I could understand his situation, his younger brother’s too. How couldn’t I? They are my flesh and blood afterall… and they were hungry!

To be honest I still can’t tell where I got the strength, but I sprang to my feet immediately, forgetting my own predicament and rushed to the kitchen. I had no idea what I was going to prepare, there wasn’t much in the house. I had to do something, my babies were hungry. It’s not that they don’t know how to cook, they both possess culinary skills, but I suppose they forgot it all, probably due to the hunger and exhaustion dealing with them, or perhaps because there weren’t any vegetables in the house. All we had were raw foodstuff and perhaps vegetable oil.

Well I’m a woman, one who has inherited culinary creativity from the best, my mother. I put those skills to use that day, to save us all from starving to further exhaustion.

I pre-boiled some rice, got little oil in the pan and then remembered I had dry fish stashed somewhere, hidden far from sight so Alvin the cat couldn’t get to it. We never run out of spices in the house…. well our mum is a mistress in the art of spice mix. A little cardamom, a little cinnamon and mummy’s specially made curry powder spiced up our meal of rice stir fry… I’ll call it that, because I’m not sure if it qualifies for fried rice. I still don’t know how I managed to come up with that recipe, I wonder how I wasn’t too tired to think. Looking back however, I’m glad of what I did because of love. Love for my family. Those are little sacrifices we make to put smiles on the faces of our loved ones.

I believe it is extremely important for a woman to be able to cook. There is a huge difference between a man who can cook and a woman who can cook. Often, men forget how to use the kitchen when they are totally stressed out, or short on supplies. They would rather eat out. A woman on the contrary, can will the strength and imagination to whip up something out of very little, almost nothing.”

Food is bae, family rocks…

2 comments

  1. Nik says:

    While I understand this story, and I am moved by it, my response to my brothers asking me to cook for them after we all had a hard day would have been a cool, “Abi, you no know where the kitchen dey? ” they would have to come into the kitchen with me to help. I am tired. They are tired. We are hungry enough to cook together.

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