Food has always been a part of my life, family and soul. Ever since I was a little girl there hasn’t been a single occasion that didn’t include a feast of dishes. Food brings people together, makes people happy and whether we like it or not, it always magically becomes that central topic that we talk about. Although I believe all food has such great power, there are a few dishes that raise special memories. Every time I cook these dishes for my family and friends it only takes one smell for me to go back to Nigeria, to my childhood.
As a big pot of stock was boiling on the stove I’d jump up and down to see what was being chopped on the kitchen counter. Festive music was playing on the background, so I knew that visitors were coming and that we were preparing for a feast. When I finally managed to get a glimpse of the kitchen counter products the colors were overwhelming. You’d think that this knowledge would calm me down, but no, in fact I was even happier and more energetic. Those were the ingredient colors for Nigerian Fried Rice and that could only mean one thing: it was time for a celebration!
As a travelling enthusiast I’ve learned that in so many cultures a celebration is always bound to a special occasion. A birthday, a graduation, an engagement or a job promotion would lead to inviting friends and family to celebrate. I always wondered why this was necessary, to only come together and celebrate (with food) when something special happens in our lives. You see, the food that was being prepared that night wasn’t for any specific occasion. In fact, countless dishes were being prepared, while we were only expecting a few people to come over. Being just a young girl I was of course eager to know what was happening that night and so I asked what occasion there was, to cook so much food. That’s when I received a reply that embraces my love for food until this very moment: “We are cooking and eating for no specific occasion dear Ebere, just to celebrate life.”
|Recipe: Nigerian Fried Rice|
|§ You may need to adjust the water content depending on the type of rice you prefer to use
§ Make sure that the water is completely absorbed before frying the rice (to avoid sogginess)
|Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes