Days are long but nights are longer. Everything goes seamlesslessly during the day. It is around midnight when they usually strike.
I turn restlessly in bed. I close my eyes but the images are just too real for me to sleep. I get up and start walking around the house. I eventually make my way to the kitchen. There is some sound of creaking and clanking. And finally I face my fear staring tauntingly and proudly at me. It knows what kind of affect it has on me. I am totally hypnotized.
The chocolate ice cream stared at me in all it’s glory, tempting me, seducing me. I hurriedly helped myself two scoops and then some more to avoid going again for seconds. I headed dejectedly towards the TV.
After indulging in a bowl full of ice cream, I promised myself once again “I will not give in to my cravings tomorrow”.
COVID -19 has turned the kitchen in many households into a very busy station . With time in your hands and inability to eat outside, it seems lot of people have taken cooking enthusiastically. And looking at all the food pictures on my fb feed, It seems I am perpetually hungry . For the sake of my physical and mental well being, I Need. To. Social. Distance from these upcoming chefs.
So far, I have defined three categories of chefs and each category has a different motive;
1) You cook because you have to. You need a home cooked meal for yourself and family. One pot dishes and shortcuts are always appreciated.
2) You cook because you love cooking. And it gives you inner joy to feed people around you. You are always on a hunt for new recipes and like to challenge your self creatively.
3) You are a Foodie. You cook because your cravings have reached a level that you just cannot control . You either make it or die craving . It is something that you cannot access it easily.
I belong to category 1 and 3. Being an expat in Nigeria and not having access to most of my favorite dishes even before COVID 19 , I reluctantly started making them . For eg; after not having a decent nan (flat bread) for 7-8 months , you do what is necessary and take the batter in your hand. As much as I love the comfort and health aspect of home cooked food, I miss popping into a bakery and grabbing some of my favorite things. I simply miss the ease of having what ever I want , when ever I want. 😦
I don’t think kitchen will ever be my Zen place but the foodie in me and inaccessibility to my favorite food will make me reluctantly learn everything .
Cravings and expat life goes hand in hand. We all have grown up with a certain style of food and flavors that we like and associate our memories with . Wherever we go , we try to find places that hits closest to home. So please don’t hate me if my taste buds don’t agree to your version of it.
We visited a desi restaurant this weekend and was quite happy to see samosa on the menu. Indian samosas have peas in it which I don’t like but being greedy, I had even made peace with that. After all beggars cannot be choosers!
So the samosa finally comes. It is hot and crispy from the outside and accompanied with a coriander chutney. Sigh, It is so instragram worthy!! So I am officially salivating inspite of the green peas which I am expecting inside.
So the big moment comes, I dip my crunchy samosa in the green chutney and take a bite. I taste potato and something else …. It is sweet… it is mushy…it is a RAISIN! I dropped the samosa like a hot potato. (Pun intended). Taking another bite was unimaginable. Almost like a betrayal to all the samosas I have ever eaten.
What I experienced then, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. So next time you are causally snacking on a samosa or just grabbing it from a random bakery , please don’t take them for granted. It is a blessing denied to many.