authoritative mother – David Agyei–Yeboah

i get my saucepan ready
chop the washed onions & pepper
such clean tomatoes!
i see my reflection in their gleaming skins
i chop them too
set the blender to 3
and make a fleshly river.
i place my saucepan atop mild flame
pour coconut oil
then my mixture
it sizzles in the golden light
no spices now.
i want it thick and compact.
now i add in some puree
traditional spices & salt
leave to simmer.
no protein will be added
rather eggs scrambled separately
to eat with boiled rice.
then mum walks into the kitchen without greeting
dips a finger into the saucepan and says
there is no maggi1
what have I told you about adding maggi early?
i frown.
mum, please leave me alone
what have I told you about figuring out cooking on my own
exploring cooking as an art of self-discovery?
i know you want to pass on the family cooking traditions
but mum, please, let me explore.

i smell the stew sticking onto the saucepan
it burns.
see what you did, mother?
you ruined my meal!
i was just about to add the maggi before you stormed in.

1Maggi – food seasoning

David Agyei–Yeboah is an artist and storyteller from Accra, Ghana.

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