Just A Taste
NADIA continues: I never imagined I would have interest in the kitchen. You know I had always seen cooking as a burden. Like it sucks! Women are trying. You men need to appreciate them, it’s not easy to cook at all. That’s for the men. Ladies out there, do you know you can enjoy cooking? Like enjoy doing it. That you just sit and different ideas begin to flood your mind. And you begin to think of new ways to prepare a dish?
You know that mysterious old woman who had still refused to tell me her name taught me something else.
“The difference between a cook and a house wife, is their mind. An house wife cooks her food the same way everyday. A cook, thinks of new ways to prepare that same food. An extra ordinary cook, invents his own dish”
She gave me a sample. She prepared a bowl of fruit salad.
Hahahahahaha come on now, even if I don’t remember any other dish. I can never forget the fruit salad I tried to boil with water.
“It’s fruit salad nah”
She laughed. And then, she added a tin of peak milk to it.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Tin peak milk inside a fruit salad?.
And viola! It tasted so good.
“Thats how you become a cook. Think of something crazy. And don’t just think. Try it out”
Ok, ok. Let’s digress from all these sweet private lessons. Back to the mysterious battle at hand.
The competition has arrived. And if you don’t know the meaning of fear, then I am here to explain.
Fear is when you begin to sweat inside your anus the moment you see the size of the competition you imagined would just be a small group competition.
To my greatest surprise. The president of the Academy was seated.
Oh my God. My legs were shaking.
DANIEL: Nadia would not stop threatening my life with the photos she took. Akin wouldn’t stop laughing either. At some point I actually laughed too. Like it was indeed funny. I had to even cat-walk o. So it wud look very convincing.
But then, what Joyce said was still a thought I couldn’t shake off.
I decided to investigate a little. But first, I need to watch Nadia disgrace our Ass. Or so I thought. Until she wowed us all.
The competition started exactly by 3pm when the president was seated.
Nadia and her crew were to prepare the Egyptian Hawawshi. God, although I didn’t really like her guts. I still prayed a little that she shouldn’t set the Hall on fire.
But then, I saw a different Nadia. One I was now picking genuine interest in.
NADIA: Ok put yourself together. You can do this. Brenda was seated in one of the seats provided for supervisors. Our seniors were seated too, according to their grades.
The uniform on grade 6 was spectacular. I just wondered though, the way they carried their eyes to heaven with pride… Twas like they can cook for Africa.😒
“Participants pick your ticket and prepare the dish you see on it. You have 30minutes. Make your group proud. Good luck”
The announcement came and we went to work.
“Jenny, the chopping board.”
I turned to Sharon
“Chop the carrots, green pepper. Just chop all the vegetables”
“Joyce cook the meat. I’ll mix the dough”
We were all secluded from the crowd. Each in a kitchen, with cameras filming to show the Audience live on a large teleprompter, just what we were preparing.
I began to hum my song. Tapping my finger on the table with a spoon. Laughing too.
“Is not like you are going crazy right?”
Sharon fired. Forgetting there was a sensitive mic in the room transmitting our conversations. The laughter we heard from the crowd gave us the hint.
“Sharon. They can hear us. Abeg sew up your mouth”
“You can’t blame me nah. It’s not like we are allowed to dance of something”
Sharon continued. Laughter again.
“Sharon oh. Abeg hide our identity biko”
Jenny suggested. It was not helping matters. More laughter.
I thought of something. I removed the song I was listening too on my earphone. So they could all hear it.
Joyce was the first to start responding as she mixed the meat with the vegetables, she realised and quickly fell back to form.
“Wait o. Are we allowed to dance?”
Sharon was dancing already, while putting on the oven.
“My dear dance small eee..na only one life we get”
I said and listened as the crowd’s laughter roared and lingered for a long time.
“Enjoy what you do girls. Enjoy cooking. Enjoy this”
And by the time we were done. Even the judges were more eager to taste our dish. We served with warm coffee. I noticed they’ve been laughing with the Audience.
And we got an A!
Ahn ahn, what were you expecting before nah?.
Later that evening, Daniel stole out to meet me up.
“Remember I still have those photos…”
I said thinking he wanted to try something trickery.
But then, he decide the shock my liver.
“Joyce is not who she says she is. She is the president’s Daughter
Just A Taste continues..
©onyeneke Abel .August all rights reserved
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