Growing up, my older sister and brother had always been the ones who loved the kitchen. That’s right, while my sister was likely to be in the kitchen by choice, I was likely to be there because/e I was given no choice. Hence, I was always more than happy to let her be that ‘forward’ student who was always eager to take over from our teacher (mommy). Yes, she was always the one eager to help mom do the moin-moin wrapping or prepare jollof rice for Sunday lunch, treat the family to a nice homemade cake, etc. So, yes, cooking has never been something I loved to do. It was just something I had to do and that is why I never could quite understand how women could actually cook and sing. That’s right, I once had a house mate who was always so excited to cook for us. With her, it never quite stopped with preparing the meal. She would then wait around to see our reaction to the food.

Anyway, fast forward to years later – I am now a wife and mother of 2 who behaves exactly (if not worse) than my sister and house mate combined. Yes, I can no longer afford to be, should I say ‘indifferent’ or ‘lazy’ when it comes to food. Now, I have an ‘audience’ I cannot afford to disappoint. Hence, I am trying not to be boring in the kitchen. I now go out of my way to look up new ‘exotic’ recipes and then I wait around to weigh in our reactions. I also bombard my 5-year year old with direct questions about my ‘performance’ and I can always count on her to be very blunt with me.

I also have grand plans to become like my mom. You know, she had an oven that she actually used. Hence, I want to follow suit by crossing the borders of ‘chicken’ grilling. Yes, I now want to bake cakes, pies and what have you and whenever I take a moment to weigh in on the new ‘me’, I’m always pretty much amazed. Who would have thought that my new set of responsibilities will turn me into ‘this’? Really, who would have guessed? In the past, I was always so quick to get done with my cooking but now, I spend a huge amount of time I never would have spared in my earlier years.

Okay, at this junction, let me be honest and add that marriage and motherhood did not immediately transform me from ‘old’ to ‘new’. It actually took a bit of time. However, the moment I realized how big a role ‘food’ played in parenting, I began to make the effort for the little ‘bundles’ who call me ‘mommy’.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at