That kind of selfless promotion.

So it is really early in the morning and I was having a conversation with a friend about her facebook page. She was bent on trying to use her privacy settings to the core and I told her how to, but then I said…why go so private? If you don’t like this or that person to see your page remove them from your list…Our conversation made me start thinking about the people in our lives and why we really deal with the ones we really don’t want to deal with. There are people who have chosen their path to build us up and some who do not give a rat’s behind about what goes on in our lives. My mom says “be nice to them anyway.”

I spoke to another friend of mine about having people around you that build you and promote you and the conclusion of the whole matter here is you have to be ready to build yourself then surround yourself with those who will promote the effort you are already making.

I have been in situations where I have been discouraged to do something for myself and once I tried I found that out all I had to do was try anyway. I found out that I do not need the permission of anyone to live my life to it’s fullest. I talk about my ajebutters…My kids…They see a change in my attitude, they see a change in my smile and my daughter even mentioned it “Mommy you look happier” Now if a child can notice this then wow it was needed…You cannot go around afraid to try, you cannot go around not being able to live and waiting for people to build you up. It is said charity begins at home and it surely does…

I love to cook but I used to get discouraged especially by some of my African people…when you cook for them and ask them how the food was they say “Nice.” I took this personal until someone said “it means they love it.” I don’t know why it discouraged me at the time but it did. But now instead of looking for the approval of others I promote who I am and hope for the best.

I have this sister who never lets up and she wrote me this beautiful poem on behalf of my father…

By Ijeoma Ogbulie Eugene…Hey sis…I found this interesting letter from pops to you, enjoy:

Darling Daughter,

I’m so sorry I left sooner than I would have loved to. Please don’t blame people or the world for this. A lot of life is simply, God and luck and mine simply ran out.

I wish I had the words to make you feel better. I wish I could see my grand kids. I wish I could take them out for a walk. I wish I could teach little prof to knot a tie. I wish so many things were different but they are not.

Most dads and daughters have decades to chat around the dinning as the dad dishes out advice and their girls no doubt roll their eyes. We didn’t have that much time.

Here are some advises I would have loved to give you: You’ll have men-friends bug you! – and I won’t be there to grill them about their intentions. So here’s some advice from your old man. It’s very hard to describe how it feels to really be in love. You might remember seeing me and your mum laughing together and cuddling on the sofa, and once the love hearts and flowers fade that’s what real love looks like. Have fun finding it. Always choose men with gen­tlemanly values, manners and respect. Imag­ine them having tea and a chat with our family around our table and if you think they’ll fit in, you have found a decent young man. Sadly, you will have your heart broken one day. It hurts like hell and will feel like the end of the world. But you will get over it. And even if a romance doesn’t work out, try to be kind. Boys have feelings too. Lastly, if you have a special boy pal who is always there for you when boyfriends come and go, don’t take him for granted. Don’t overlook him. He might really care for you. I often dreamt about your wedding day and imagined filling up with tears as I walked you down the aisle before giving you away. I cant do that now. Sorry sweetheart. But I will be looking over your shoulder on that day, proud and happy you have found a special someone to love you and care for you. You and your mum will argue at times. Please remember she adores you and wants the best for you. Give Mummy a hug when she is feeling sad and help each other get through any horrible times as I am gone. You might think your friends are right and your mum is wrong. But she has to make hard decisions for you and, more than any friend you’ll ever have, has your interests at heart. Treat her well. Nothing is more important than family and the values they give us. Nothing. Treat people as they treat you. Be nice to anyone who helps you. I’d love if you and Mummy, your siblings my grand kids to light a candle and remember me for a few minutes on Christmas Day. As regards your career; so many things ARE possible for you, darling. Do what makes you happy and that you enjoy. If you do so, life suddenly becomes much, much easier. You may need to start a few different careers to find the one you enjoy, but so be it. One life, one chance. Always remember your please and thank-yous. The reason Mummy and I drum manners into you is because they will help you throughout your life. Always be courteous, especially to elders. Never put a knife in your mouth. Remember to write thank-you letters for gifts of kindness as it is always nice to act with grace and gratitude. Always be happy! You never laugh at 50%: you always laugh at 100%. Your laugh takes over your whole body and is highly infectious. I hope you never lose that. There is no point in asking you not to be sad since I am no more with you in flesh. I know you will be, princess. And I wish I could be there to wrap my arms around you and snuggle you until you smile again. Always keep trying. You might remember that I taught you to say “giving up is for losers”. I failed a number of times in my life but never gave up. Never give up. Always Believe in yourself!! In life, many people will say you cannot do things. You make up your mind. Can you? Do you want to? Big challenges involve risks so make smart choices. Those who told me I couldn’t do certain things didn’t want me to do them. If you want something, it is nearly always possible, so do your best. I’m sure there’s a hell of a lot you can achieve! I know you will make me proud and do something great in my memory. I know you can do it – so let’s start now. And finally… Thank you for being you, Child. Thank you for paying me the biggest compliment of all time by calling me Daddy. Having you as my daughter is the greatest honour of my life. Thank you for teaching me more about love and happiness than any other person. Enjoy your life. Don’t rush through it. I will be waiting. All my love, always, to you princess, your siblings and to Mummy,

Daddy.
I hope you enjoyed every bit of it. I cry each time I read it.

I couldn’t conclude this piece without giving a shout out to my friend Aysha…She works for tsoule…They have lovely pieces…and do event management and decorations.

instagram…TSOULE_EVENTS.
Facebook…www.fb.com/eventsbytsoule
refer a friend or check them out for yourself. They do work in Nigeria and USA.
here is a snippet of their work…Image
 

A short tribute to my dad…Engr Rufus.

It was a sunny afternoon when my mom walked into the house and her words were “Your father is dead.” She said it in our dialect…ibo… I immediately went into the bathroom, showered and began walking. I must have walked a couple of miles when I remembered my mother so I ran home to console my mom. The only man she ever knew was gone…died in her arms… I did not cry but inside of me I was hurting emotionally. The last thing he told me was “go to your class good bye”…I was scared…he never said good bye. he would say come home early or when I say I am off to class he would nod.

I always thought my dad was immortal.

I saw him lie in state and I did not know how to think. I carried on until I got older with two ajebutters. The memories of my father is something I share with my ajebutters. I tell them how kind and sweet he was…Nobody can tell me about my dad I always say.

He believed in the education of women. I still remember how he used to whistle and dust his feet and knock the door and my siblings and I would scramble to keep the house neat.

My dad pushed himself to do better. I remember his graduation day and the party we had…I remember the fried meat and jollof rice my mom made…I remember how my dad was beaming with smiles while he had on his graduation outfit…I thought he looked weird…give me a break I was little.

My dad taught me how to cook egusi soup and gosh did I dislike cooking. Now his recipe is my everything…Funny how you hold on to people once they pass on. That is why I say always show love to everyone so they see your love while they are alive.

My dad meant a lot to me…emotionally I am not all the way mended from his death.

But one thing I could not do is forget you daddy.

I believe you loved us all.

Rest in peace.

Your baby girl.

 

One thing is for sure…I could never forget you.

Depression runneth over with food. My passion.

IMG_307705589481559

According to the Oxford dictionary of English depression means a typical prolonged feelings of despondency (low spirits) and dejection.

It is sometimes hard to relate to one who suffers from depression except you have been there. To some people it causes them to eat and to some it causes them to loose every appetite.

“well snap out of it!” that is the last thing to tell one who feels low and cannot see anything good in themselves.

Tell me about it, I have been there. some will say you better “grow up! and stop acting like a kid.”

In a continent such as Africa, depression is swept under the rug. It’s like a taboo to talk of depression not to even speak of a person going to see a psychiatrist.

At such a time in my life I found a passion in food. I promise the most I had cooked before then was jollof “supergetti” spaghetti with dry fish and over fried tomatoes…my brothers thought it was the biz…I guess they had no choice but to sit and enjoy their little sister’s food. I did not even know what cloves, coriander or what a calabash nutmeg was.You would think I grew up with a flare for food seeing as my mother was a restaurateur, a trained chef, and a caterer and my dad the owner of a bakery after his retirement from his job.

Now I can roll a morsel of food in my mouth and tell you at least 3 ingredients used in the making of the food.

I was not going to talk about any personal experience but how else would you be able to relate to my blogging.

In the midst of it all, I found food…a passion for food.

food I tell you has a lot of healing properties. There is something about a well cooked wholesome meal. food is not really the enemy, it’s our method of consumption that is the issue.

food helped to heal me, it became therapy. Not so mush as the eating but the mere making of it did something awesome for me.

I could be making noodles for my ajebutters and be absolutely joyful. Funny enough, while they eat I sit by them and ask how is it…good chef they would reply.

I did not know how I found this passion, but I know I had to search within me for something that would heal my body, soul, and mind as I used to write and did not feel like writing anymore…Now I can make curry…ask me what curry was a couple of years ago and I’ld have given you the “are you crazy?”  look.

Though I am not saying my post has a solution to depression as it is a broad subject on it’s own…I feel one solution to depression is finding the thing that drives you positively. I had to find mine and I found a culinary beast as some of my friends would put it.Inside everyone of us GOD has made deposits of things called talents…find yours…find what drives you…  To end this piece, I want to share a recipe for yam which I discovered just a few weeks ago.

basil and tomato yam porridge. I will give the method exactly as I made it.

ingredients:

one red bell pepper, three tomatoes

one habanero pepper.

half of an onion.

a tablespoon of crayfish.

a pinch of salt if needed.

meat stock.

beef or goat meat…chopped…

a cooking spoon of palm oil. You may use whatever oil you please.

half a tuber of yam or you may use potatoes, peeled and cut in little pieces.

A healthy handful of basil.

 

Method:

Blend your bell pepper, tomatoes, and half of the onion

peel and cube your yam or potatoes and chop your basil

In a cooking pot heat up your oil on medium heat, chop in the rest of your onion and sauté with the crayfish until the onion is translucent. The frying of the crayfish is really pleasing to the taste buds trust me on this one.

 Stir in your chopped raw meat. I would suggest beef because it cooks through faster. Sautee with the onion; then pour in your blended peppers, stir and slightly cover and wait for the pepper to cook…

when the pepper mixture is cooked through you would know because the oil would float to the top of the mixture…

then stir in the cubed yam or potatoes with your meat stock and cover…

you should not feel the need to season if your meat stock is rich. If not, you may season with some salt or half of a Knorr cube.

cover the pot and keep stirring occasionally to for the sauce to thicken. The food should be done when the yam is soft and has broken down a bit. the breaking down of the yam also helps thicken the sauce. Once it has cooked, add your basil and stir. Attached is a picture for your satisfaction…

*Sweetlovejewel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ajebutters of my everything.

“Beans!” those were the words she screamed.

That was my ajebutter 1.I love to cook and she with ajebutter 2 enjoy my cooking. They call me chef and it is such an honor.

I wanna talk about the joys of motherhood.

I remember talking to someone about childbirth. They say you forget the pain, hahaha I never really do. I guilt my kids with it just like most Nigerian mothers would do and I would say “I carried you in my womb for 9 months with 6hours of labor.” Now my daughter just looks at me and smiles but her brother always cries and says “Im soyi mommy.” It was the same situation with the beans…After telling them why they should eat because of how much labor pain I suffered, they came into the kitchen bearing empty plates and the beans was not in the trash this time…it was in their little stomachs. I could hear angels singing the kitchen rendition of hallelujah…if you are a cook like me you would know the kitchen rendition of that song when something with your kitchen goes well!

Being a mom has taught me a lot of things. When my ajebutters do certain things which I see as naughty I always ask…what were you thinking…It is so easy for us as adults to forget the kind of brains that kids have. My daughter always asks me mommy you seem to know when I do something that is not so nice…how do you always know…I go “I am mom…mommies know almost everything if not everything.”

I have a close relationship with my kids and I call them the ajebutter of my everything. I remember them being in my tummy, for the first one I always read and sang and talked to her. She seemed to always be asleep and get this…when I was pregnant she would move as in a giggle each time I laughed. With her pregnancy I had to laugh a lot as I was in a weird place with my emotions. I literally went to the library and had them loan to me the entire seasons of Seinfeld. So I laughed a lot…and she giggled a lot as if she understood my reason for laughing. With my son he was always up at night…and slept through the day. At night time he would kick and squirm and move…I always knew where his feet was and I would rub my fingers against his foot and he would seem calm. I never knew all these things I did while pregnant with them would make us have the closeness we have with each other. I have made a decision to live and enjoy my ajebutters. They give me a reason to live, love, and laugh. They have a way of seeing through my moods and making me feel worth every good thing. I have had days where I would sometimes sit and wonder and all I would hear were mommy I love you and a silava filled kiss on my cheeks would make my whole day…I ask how do these kids know I needed that kiss, that hug, those words “I love you”…The joy!

Children are a privilege…the Bible says that children are like weapons in the hands of a warrior…guess what, for cooks like me they make good taste testers too.

So it’s not going to be beans day for another month. Until then I have to look for child friendly recipes…I think the stew did it for me this time…because they both love stew.

*Sweetlovejewel.

Welcome to my life.

It is a good day here…I am doing an introduction to my new blog.

I met someone…we have the love of our fathers in common…Talking to her did something to my spirit…

You see I have had a lot happen in my life…I am still learning but I am a good work in progress.

Please start this journey of life, food and love with me.

Nmasweetlove.