I absolutely detest being in the kitchen. The only time I want to be in a kitchen is to get food, not cook it. The only time I appreciate being an adult is when I remember I don’t have to deal with chores. Those make me shudder in horror when I remember them and I’m pretty sure that is partly why I do not enjoy cooking or being in the kitchen.
Which awful memory shall I begin with? Is it my first pot of lumpy amala, or when my hands were on fire from slicing scotch bonnets for the first time?
Yeah, let’s not. But here is a definitive list of the worst tasks (ever) in a Nigerian kitchen- featuring childhood trauma.
7. Slicing Onions
This might seem minor, but slicing onions is a pet peeve of mine. Seriously, I do not enjoy involuntary tears, nor the persistent smell of onions lingering on my hand, hours after the meal it was used for has been digested. It’s annoying.
6. Picking Ewedu
This is a mind-numbing task that requires listening to music or having a stimulating conversation just so my brain doesn’t go comatose or something. Thankfully, it is a rare task at my house as we don’t eat ewedu that often.
5. Picking beans
Another mind-numbing task that is unfortunately necessary if you want to enjoy your plate of beans. You can skip it though if you don’t mind stones and other foreign objects in your food. I mean, eating rocks isn’t the worst thing ever.
4. Washing Pots
I think every Nigerian can relate to this. Washing pots is the bane of my existence. Especially the ones that were used to cook jollof rice, semo or amala. It’s quite annoying trying to scrape burnt food out of the bottom of a pot.
Thank goodness for non-stick pots, pans and hot-water right?
PS: You can use hot water and soap to soften the burnt, hard-to-remove parts after leaving the pot to soak. You’re welcome.
3. Peeling Beans
You thought picking beans was bad? Peeling it is much worse and the road to akara is paved with the arduous task of peeling beans. It’s hard, hard work and if you think I’m exaggerating, then you haven’t had the misfortune of peeling beans before. There’s this bean powder thing that is sold in stores now, that you just mix into a paste for akara or moi-moi but believe me, it doesn’t taste the same. Peeling beans is a necessary evil, especially if you cannot live without akara, like me.
2. Sieving Garri
Top five worst tasks ever. Like ever. It’s not done in the kitchen but technically for the kitchen. I don’t think there’s anything worse, well, except for number 1 below.
1. Slicing Peppers
One of the most traumatic experiences in my life was when I used my bare hands to slice scotch bonnets.
Nobody warned me.
Nobody told me to wash my hands with soap and water, not just rinse it off.
Needless to say, I spent hours in agony, hands on fire. Red oil, engine oil, I tried it all. Nothing worked. It scarred me for life, and till now, there’s a little fear every time I’m handling peppers.. Never going through that again.
What are the worst tasks in the kitchen for you? Share with us!