Food has played a huge part in my adult life. I simply love to eat.
In my first marriage I cooked. Curries I did well. Other dishes were often inedible and I was as thin as a stick. I really didn’t care for food at this stage in my life, surviving on huge amounts of ice cream.
Then some time after my marriage ended I met my English husband. He had emmigrated as a ten pound migrant at the age of twenty to Australia. The plan was to return after the two years was up but luckily he decided to stay. His mother must have thought we were heathens down under and sent him with a full set of saucepans. He had never cooked in his life before and eventually ended up in a flat with a handful of men and one girl as a flatmate. The girl cooked for the lot of them for about six months when one day she threw up her hands and said “no more.” My man put his saucepans to good use and learnt to cook. In fact he loved to cook. When we were courting I took him home for a meal and gave him curried tinned sardines which turned out to be a cement like slurry. I won’t say what he said but I have not cooked a meal for him since and only cooked for myself on rare occasions and boy am I spoilt.
After Vanuatu where our cook taught him the skills of cooking for the masses we opened a restaurant. Individual beef wellingtons, Morrocan lamb, rack of lamb, to name but a few dishes were on the menu. Whilst we were on our island the local food was largely suitable to palattes different to ours. The raw ingredients were yummy. Potatoes as you have never tasted, melt in your mouth steaks, mango and lobster. The process of cooking changed many of these items into meals that we did not like to eat. I ate – I didn’t want to seem rude. My husband’s reaction was similar (but more tempered) to when I had given him curried sardines.
Handed to us on a banana leaf to eat with our hands was an unpalatable greyish barely lukewarm mass . The dish, made from the flour obtained by pulverising the starchy tuberous root of the manioc tree, then mixed with coconut milk until it formed a soft paste, was baked wrapped in banana leaves in an earth oven. Unfortunately it had the consistency and taste of congealed gelatine. It was a feast. From politeness it had to be eaten.
“No I won’t eat it.” My companion pushed it away, his nose turned up.
The drumming started. Instead, we ate him.
This was written in response to Charli’s prompt. Join in, its great fun.
September 3, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) include food in your story. Is it the focus or part of the setting? Does it speak (à la Larry Laforge style), smell or feel slimy? Is it sensual or practical, basic fare or feast worthy? Food is a part of every day life. It connects us, is a part of cultures and regions, and can be emotive. As Michael W. Twitty writes, “Food is also extremely culturally connected and inherently economic and political. “
Respond by noon (PST) Tuesday, September 9 to be included in the compilation