• Dami Afam Ade-Odiachi

The Roam Cooks: Mysterious Macaroni Yum Yum

Mysterious macaroni yum yum. March 2020

I have never understood the great cultural debate about cooking. In Nigeria, it seems that everytime the subject is discussed, it devolves into some sort of argument.

Who should do the cooking?

“It must be the women.” Men say.

And women?

“Why should the art of food preparation be tied to one’s gender? Is cooking not a necessary requirement for survival?”

Cooking, the magic of making even the most unlikely of ingredients worthy of human consumption, has become the frontline of the battle between chauvinism and feminism. Cooking is now more about hegemony, dominance and power, than it is about steaming, stewing, or sautéing.

There are two questions at the centre of this war.

The first: Do you want to eat?

The second: Do you want your wife or girlfriend to cook?

If all you want is food on the table, then the politics behind who provides the food is irrelevant. You’ll do everything in your power to get yourself fed. Without food, there is only death. It’s essential for human survival.

If your answer to the second question is yes I do, then you must ask yourself why this is so important to you. More important perhaps than your very human need to live.

I find the ideological cultural battle exhausting and irrelevant to the reality of my current circumstances. 30 years old, singularly single, living at home with my parents, who quite frankly, would like nothing better than for me to leave them to the peace of retirement. Often at loggerheads, they stand united in their efforts to launch me out of their very comfortable home. Their housekeeper no longer makes me meals on demand (as frequently as before), and their steward has been taught to expect a token for even the smallest services rendered like polishing my shoes. As a result of this, I’ve been forced to return to the kitchen to fend for myself - a thing I haven’t done out of necessity since I was at University, first in Manchester, and then in London.

My problem with cooking is that I believe it should be embarked on with enthusiasm, flair and wild abandon; that it is possible to produce dishes worthy of a Michelin star restaurant without any recipes, training, or practice. The result of this is that nobody eats what I cook without asking what I put in it lest they be fed omelettes laced with strawberry ice-cream, or chicken soup with coca-cola seasoning. I maintain without any proof whatsoever that I’m a genius.

Just the other day (month), I created a recipe for a dish I call, Mysterious Pasta Yum Yum. It is my greatest joy to be able to share this with you today.

Mysterious Pasta Yum Yum

2 spoons of melted butter.

A confusion of ketchup.

4 pounded pork sausages (minced sausage)

1 pounded frankfurter.

A volcanic dusting of yaji.

An uncertain amount of adobo all purpose seasoning (aka adobo sexy sexy)

Pasta - (Preferably golden penny)

A reasonable amount of water.

Boil for 15 minutes. And voila - mysterious pasta yum yum!

5 stars.

Happy Days,

Dami Afam.

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