Something significant happened in my life when i was about 11 years old. I cooked a full pot of Jollof rice all by myself for the first time. This week, precisely the 22nd of August was celebrated as #WorldJollofDay and all the images i saw made me reflect back to my first attempt at making Jollof Rice.
Looking back now, I think that happened pretty much late. Then again if I had not done what i did it would have happened even much later. Was the rice anything to write home about? You will keep on reading to find out.
As the first child my mum, a time came when my mum delegated certain tasks to me and i had to do them under her supervision and so over time i was sure to do them right with little to no supervision, even if she was home or not. The thing is cooking Jollof wasn’t one of them by this time.
That very day, she had to attend an evening meeting and it was and still is a tradition in my parents house to eat Jollof (ocassionally other variants of rice) on Wednesday nights. My task here was to parboil the rice, blend out the tomatoes and pepper, open and scoop out the tinned tomatoes puree, slice out onions and other choppable veggies.
When It was time for her to be home, she was no were to be seen, my little ones started to feel sleepy and that would be the worse thing to happen. My dad was out of town. There was also no means of getting to her because there was no means at the time. I figured that I had to do something to save the situation and so after much hesitation I jumped right into action.
What Actually Happened?
I was not ready. I never thought that was going to be the day. I had always felt too young to prepare the family meals. Besides i had never attempted making a full meal under my mum’s supervision so how was I even going to go ahead with this in her absence?
I felt that my level of experience was still limited so it did not prepare me for the challenge I was facing. I had to start somewhere. I started with what I knew from watching mummy make it
I heat the oil, put in the onions to fry, then I fried the fish in it and, then I took it out afterwards.
I put the blended tomato and then the puree into the oil but by now my onions was practically burnt and I did not realize.
I fried the tomato for a while then added water enough to cook the parboiled rice.
I added two royco cubes, then some salt, and yet another salt. I tasted the sauce and added some more salt….jezzz! I struggled with this part ooo…
I waited for the sauce to boil then poured the half cooked rice. I later added the chopped veggies and much later the fried fish just before the rice was completely cooked.
My mum came back just after I had brought the food down and was pleasantly surprised.
At this point lemme mention that I had an older distant relative at home with us but he clearly stated that he was not going to be a party to whatever I was conjuring. Obviously he was not even helpful when it came to tasting for salt…in short he was blanK.
Was my Jollof palatable?
I don’t know. Was it presentable ? No. But was it edible ? Hell yes!
In a Nutshell, We cleared out our plates except for the blackly badly burnt onions we had to pick out of the food the whole time😂😂
If I was to take a picture of the very first Jollof rice I made, it would not have looked anything like this. At what age did you make your first pot of Jollof rice?
What I learnt
- When it comes to taking chances, you don’t have to be ready, you just need to be willing.
- Moving to the next level in life is a thing of the mind not ability. Your mind will make you do the seemingly impossible. Your mind will make the amateur in you execute like a professional because you take on a professional mindset.
- People will only give you regular tasks, but those life transforming opportunities have to be taken with guts.
- Not everyone will believe in your judgements, so just be willing to take the blames and the glory that will follow afterwards.
- There is no perfect time. The right time is now so recognise opportunities and take them regardless.
- Lastly, trust no man in the kitchen! They will deny you if it goes wrong
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