Not A Second Experiment With Me! (Woman Daily™)

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Following a friend’s advice, I settled for what she considered a light but nutritious meal of moin-moin (locally-made steamed bean cake) with stewed snail for a visitor I was expecting.

It was already less than half an hour to the arrival of my guest and the moin-moin was yet to be ready. “Itunu, I guess something is wrong with the recipe,” I said, with a tone that expressed my true feelings.

“Nothing is wrong with the recipe, after all, I have been trying my hands on varieties of ingredients added to the regular moin-moin we have been used to,” she replied.

Within me, I got sceptical when Itunu decided to add grated carrots to the moin-moin paste. I saw how the paste got thinner and I wanted to discard the idea, but trust my dear friend who knows so much. “You have to experiment with your cooking to get the ever-craved-for variety,” she said, stirring in more of the grated carrots, with her eyes widening to express some kind of surprise why I needed to learn from smart people like her.

Not to worry, we wrapped the moin-moin paste in the ewe (green broad leaves), though it had gotten watery by that time!

We struggled to clean the snails and got them cooked in coconut juice, spiced with all kinds of seasonings. While the moin-moin was cooking, I decided that Itunu should do the stewing of the snails as I quickly made the eating area visitor-friendly.

Done with the arrangement, I noticed that from the time on my wrist-watch, we needed to have been done with the cooking.

I called out to Itunu, but she did not respond, not even on a second time. I pushed the kitchen door open and found ‘dear friend’ battling with what looked like burnt circle objects, which were actually the snails.

Just then, my phone rang and the Noble visitor said, “Becky please we have to reschedule our date. I need to go see my mum. It is urgent!”

Caught between tears, a feeling of pity for myself and some kind of relief, I simply dumped the badly-burnt snails into the equally-burnt moin-moin, which had dripped out of the leaves into the cooking pot, and headed straight for the dustbin.

Itunu tried to make some explanation, but I didn’t think it was necessary. “Your explanation is not necessary,” I told her. “After all, the Noble guest whom I wanted to please has cancelled the visit.”

Looking surprised, she walked closer to me, held my head towards herself and planted kisses on my forehead. I was pleased, but not with the following words from her, “We shall experiment with something better next time,” she said. “Not a second experiment with me,” I told her point-blank!