Sat Oct 22 00:01:53 CAT 2016

Art of cooking and African cuisine are lost on today's takeaway generation

By unknown | Apr 17, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

We were going along nicely in the taxi trying to outdo each other talking about our Easter breaks.

We were going along nicely in the taxi trying to outdo each other talking about our Easter breaks.

Everyone was busy describing the succulent meaty stews, desserts and other sweeties they had prepared or eaten over the long weekend.

A young thing looked at us as though we were mad. She wanted to know why we had spent hours sweating over the hot stove for a meal that would be gobbled up in 10 minutes.

We didn't know what to say. It sounded too old-fashioned to say we enjoyed the cooking part as much as our families enjoyed eating the food.

The beautiful young thing, with a fashionable French manicure, asked us what we thought pizza dens were for.

I have nothing against fast food, but the thought of eating takeaway food five days a week kills me. Imagine eating seafood pizza on Monday, Mexicana (chilli mince) on Tuesday, vegetarian on Wednesday, a detour to McDonald's on Thursday, and fried chicken for the rest of the week.

Apart from being prohibitively expensive, my body would cry out for vegetables and fruit. A well-prepared meal keeps the family together.

I am not sure fish and chips serve the same purpose.

Poppy, our other young thing, said she had gone hungry on Saturday because it was her mother's turn to cook.

Poppy had to work at the weekend and came home to a "funny smelling" kitchen. It transpired her mother had prepared the man of the house's favourite meal, mogodu (stomach and tripe).

Poppy refused to eat it and had to watch the rest of her family tucking into the greasy, grey stuff. Unfortunately, it was her turn to wash the dishes.

She complained she had spent hours scouring the solid, fatty mess off the plates.

It is surprising that while the older generation regards tripe and other African foods as delicacies, our model Cs will not touch them.

I know, because I have to make sure the house is empty before I can tuck into the Crocket and Jones and Ayers (chicken feet and heads).

The jongspan think that there is something shameful if you serve up liver as food.

I have experimented countless times trying to reproduce the delicious recipes that my grandmothers turned out without much effort every day. I still salivate when I remember my granny's dumpling stew cooked over a slow fire for an entire afternoon.

I was too busy with other things - learning how to use make-up and writing mushy poetry (that makes me blush today) - to learn how to cook when my grannies were still with us.

Aunty Emma, who knows about these things, says we can easily cure the McDonald's fad by cutting our children's pocket money. I am not sure she's right. Perhaps if we promote our African cuisine our youngsters will learn to appreciate it.

But it seems that all those cooking skills are going to disappear into the maws of the fast-food joints.


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