My cooking skills were tested in the village.

What do you cook for roughly 30 people of all ages? That is the question my cousin and I were asking ourselves when we came from a walk and my aunts announced that they are taking a break and we are in charge. Let me give you a brief introduction; I usually visit my paternal grandparents during the December break and we all go back so it usually like a reunion. Who is we? My grandparents have 14 children, one man with one wife ( most people assume there was more than one but no just one). At roughly any point during the visit there are at least six families so the number can range from 25-35 approximately.

It is a typical Luhya household, chicken is included in every meals and there is always tea. Honestly I am not a tea person but the rate at which people take tea is unbelievable. You can have breakfast at 9 am and at 10:30 am someone is asking for tea again. My grandfather usually says you can deny him a meal at any point in the day but not  tea that is a necessity. I have no idea how many chicken die when we are there because like I said every meal includes chicken.In addition to that spaghetti is not a meal in that household.

So on that particular day the kitchen was empty and we had to prep dinner. First of all working in a kitchen where you have no idea where things are is the hardest thing because half the time is spent looking for utensils. We rarely use gas so three stones it is, I had never inhaled so much smoke in my life. The three stones were set up, firewood lit and ready for use. Back to my question, what do you cook for all those people? It was a coincidence that for the first time there was very little left over and let us be honest who was going to make an ugali for all those people plus my aunts did not trust us to make one. Along, the way we were told to cook for the kids only…yaass. The easiest meal would be rice, chicken, cabbage and there were some chapatis left.

We entered the kitchen at around  6 pm and food was being served at 10 pm. What took so long? We were just telling stories the whole time while peeling potatoes and other ingredients. The fire went out at some point, we left it idle for a while until we realized that there was no more firewood and you know the way you start putting leaves in to allow flame to continue burning that was us. The house manager Emily was just laughing. I am sure at some point she was just thinking what those girls are doing. Either way she came to the rescue and I learnt how to start a fire. When all this was happening my aunts would pass by the kitchen asking what we decided to cook trying not to make their suggestions because the decided to take the day off. (You could tell how hard it was for them to keep away)

At the end of the day all the children were fed. It was a nice bonding experience with my cousins and I know I mentioned my female cousin but my male cousins were in the kitchen with us it’s only that we were the head chefs. Half the time my cousin would peel a carrot and eat it (haha). I think he ate three but their help did not go unnoticed. Some guys are good cooks BTW.

I hope your week has been good.

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Till my next post, ” Life is tough my darling but so are you.” – Stephanie Bennett Henry.

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