Saturday, 17 March 2012

Wanted: A man that can cook!

Last Sunday, I spent a couple of hours cooking. I cooked two dishes to last the whole week cos I can't be dealing with cooking when I get back from work; I'm way too tired. Anyway, as I was slaving away, I thought of what it would be like if I ended up with a guy that couldn't cook. When I was younger, some of my friends and I always said we wouldn't want to marry a man that could cook. The reasoning was that food was one way a woman could exercise some sort of authority over a man, seeing as in a traditional African family, the man is the one that brings in most of the income, and pretty much has the final say in everything; the woman does all the cooking. So, if you happen to marry a man that can cook as well, then he has the upper hand in pretty much everything, plus he might be more critical of your cooking. And woe betide you if the kids prefer his cooking! But if you marry a guy that can't cook, if you guys have a fight, you can refuse to cook and therefore let him go to bed on an empty stomach, or go elsewhere and find some food. We were so wise in those days; why would anyone refuse their husband food?

Anyway, I think it's fair to say I no longer think the way I used to when I was a teenager. I come from a somewhat traditional African family and having watched my mum and some other women too, slave away for their husbands in the kitchen, I've decided that please, abeg, ejoo, biko, I want someone that can cook. At least a little. Is it just me or do guys that can't cook have very high expectations when it comes to food?  My dad is one of them (I love you daddy- just in case he reads this!) He usually knows when there's too much salt, or too little pepper, or the egusi isn't quite cooked, or the rice tastes a bit burnt. I mean, come on! He doesn't even know where to find the salt in the kitchen! So, I've watched my mum, week after week, cooking assorted dishes (because African men can't eat the same dish more than once or twice in the same week); she spends literally almost half a day cooking sometimes, and afterwards, she needs a proper lie-down to get her strength back- you know what some African dishes are like.

Now, my mum doesn't complain about this mind, she takes pleasure in fattening her beloved husband. So much so that when my dad is trying to be healthy and lose some weight, she still feeds him eba and all his favourite foods so that people won't think she's not feeding her husband properly.

After seeing all this palaver, I really can't see why any woman would want a man that can't cook. Apart from giving me a helping hand once in a while, a guy that can cook would be able to take care of himself when I'm not around. Back to my parents; if my mum goes away for even a couple of days, my dad has to eat out, or starve. He traveled without her once for a few weeks and when he came back, my mum almost wept at the sight of him; you would think he was suffering from some wasting disease! Whilst some might see this as some sort of compliment to my mum's cooking, I just think 'men, seriously, for your own good, please learn how to cook!'

Anyways, here's what I made on Sunday afternoon...You like?



  1. Now that looks absolutely delicious :D I just came across this post and I couldn't believe it. Why? Cos a few days ago a friend was asking if I could prepare some Ghanaian soup (I don even like and take that soup), when I said no, she said I better go learn how before I get married ooo... I told her point blank that I don't think we live in the dark ages any more plus my future husband better know how to cook. Matter of fact, that'll be part of my selection criteria lol. She couldn't believe I said that and since then, she calls everyday offering to give me some cooking lessons (she on the other hand has made it a point to learn just about every Ghanaian dish) There are some real old school youth around smh.
    I think Ghanaian women are same. You should see how my mum and grandma try to feed and over feed me especially when I say I'm on a diet (so much for that Tyra Banks look for me).

    1. lol @Tyra Banks look! You know what, I guess it's an African thing. I started learning how to cook when I was still in primary school, probably before I could even clothe myself properly...and my mum would always say 'When you get married, if you can't cook, your husband will send you back to me and that ain't happening!' or words to that effect. So I learnt, and I do think women should know how to cook at least some dishes, but I just don't agree with the idea some people have- that cooking is purely a woman's role...You better learn before you get married ooo (you know what they say about the way to man's heart!) ;) thanks for stopping by!

  2. I like! :). I've been craving dodo soooo much, I went to a naija restaurant this weekend and the disappointment when I was informed of the 'lack of dodo'... oh well..

    I got married!! since the last time I read/commented on your posts. On to the point(s)... One thing that's for sure, your way of thinking changes over time, just as it did from your teenage years to now, it will change after you're married.

    There are very few things that please a woman more than the pleasure they see on their mans' face after eating a meal they prepared out of 'their sweat'... like really, you might think it backward/dark-ages-thing-to-do... but it just seems to be the way it is, I've seen it in too many families (black, white, asian ones for that matter)

    I cook, I cooked very well before getting married, my mother made damn sure well I could make a pot of vegetable stew for the whole family by the time I was 12- part of my training. (For a male child!!). I used to have to make amala, prepare a chicken from 'live' state to 'well done'... It's all sorta fading away now though, I've seen myself spending less and less time in the kitchen for lots of reasons.
    1. I enjoy my wifes' cooking
    2. She takes pleasure in doing it all as long as I sit with her while she's doing it (When time permits)
    3. Staying off helps me in being less 'critical' and forces me to advise rather than 'take over'.
    4. I get time to do other things
    ... and many more...

    If you don't enjoy cooking though, don't pretend to do so at all, so the man/husband knows from the onset that you won't be a kitchen-hobbyist.

  3. The box is back!!! I honestly, genuinely missed you! (huge blogger hugs) And you got married! Congratulations!!! LOL @ preparing chicken from a 'live' state to 'well done'...the things our parents make us do...well I guess you never know when that skill might come in handy again. I like your no.2 point- that's kinda always been my principle- if I'm going to be doing the cooking, you better be helping out or keeping me company, not watching football or sth...
    And yes, I agree that women do enjoy 'the pleasure on their man's face after eating what they prepared out of their sweat'. I guess that's why we do it.

    Thanks for stopping by again, don't leave it too long next time! :)

  4. Am not a cooking fan. Not that I can't or don't cook,I do(as an only child my mother made good sure of that). The whole food preparation thingy sometimes tires me easily. So yes I worry what my state will be when I get married knowing I have to think about what someone else would eat 3times a day!!.
    So I want me a man that can cook. Yeah,the traditional african woman want to exercise her kitchen dominance,but me I am more than willing to share.

  5. urenma! very interesting topic, i'm all for the guy helping out & keeping me company... great read, & the food looks awesome (really). love you!