Friday, October 23, 2020

Your Shallow and incomplete guide to cooking food for people who live alone or with cats and are tired of eating ugali with eggs every night.



How to cook a liver with vegetables.

In the book Julie and Julia, Julie describes the buying, preparation , cooking and the eating of liver as requiring special mental preparation.
I agree.
I only cook liver maybe once a year or not at all.
Perhaps when I go to the butchery and see it on display and remember, oh liver is a food item.
I didn't grow up eating liver.
We had access to chicken liver which would get mixed up in the rest of the meat.
I liked to eat the heart though.

I didn't know how to cook liver until my housemate from the Botswana upperclass gave me step by step instructions.

For pig liver.
She also taught me how to bake a ginger flavoured fish.

Then she conned me out of my house deposit  when she graduated and was off to her country setting our other housemate on me claiming I had, her deposit. 

The other roommate was Rwandese.
Thinner than a praying mantis and the daughter of a high profile official in her country.

So she didn't attend her classes but spent her days with a crowd of other moneyed college kids driving fast cars, drinking alcohol by the gallons and breaking into the house each time she misplaced her key.

On silent nights she smoked weed on the balcony with the Nigerian middle aged man down stairs.
The Nigerian man tried to give me a ride to town several times. He called me a snobbish Kenyan until the day he found me walking to my friend's condo on a hot afternoon and he simply said get in the car girl! 
And I sheepishly got in, folded my hands on my laps and thought about kidnapping stories I had heard in the news.
He didn't say a word to me.
When we got to the condo parking
I said thank you and got out.

He didn't stop to offer me rides after that.
The Motswana girl was a good cook. But she didn't cook at all.
Just made cup after cup of coffee which she would drink sitting on the treadmill tricycle that was the only bit of furniture in the large sitting room. That, and an old tv that only broadcast Channel 1 news in Malay. She then would get out to the balcony to smoke some thin  cigarettes.
I broke her coffee cup washing it that time she went to visit her boyfriend, when she came back she was really annoyed, then her friend from her hood back in Botswana came calling and was walking about the house naked.
She also didn't lock the toilet when she was inside and almost gave me a heart attack when I got in and almost went blind with both shock and embarrassment because I had not seen a full woman's grown body since primary school and here was one sitting on a toilet asking me if I was coming in for a shower.
I escaped and spent that weekend at my friend's house. There was no chance of any humans walking around without clothes here.

I ached for the lost deposit but then later on in life I did my math and settled my heart that the deposit was legitimate fees for several cooking classes. 
The Rwandese praying mantis only cooked potatoes with frankfurters and when she did she would use my cooking oil. 
I'd scrowl at her any chance I got but she never would look me in the eye.

 I did learn to make a liver and here is the recipe.

  1. Cut the liver into nice cubes.
  2. You may rub it with lemon juice to remove that livery smell it's got.
  3. Turn it over into a thick frying pan and turn it until it starts to turn Brown.
  4. Add a little oil and keep turning it over and over.
  5. Sprinkle some salt.
  6. Add yellow and red bell peppers, hobo and onions and tomatoes all together and cover for a while.
  7. You can add a table spoon of water and let it simmer.
  8. Keep checking to see if it looks cooked.
  9. It should be soft to cut through and not rubbery.
Enjoy.

I find if I leave it over and eat it the following day it tastes better.
But I have a weird taste choose so don't say I told you to watch your cooked food over night.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Embracing Vulnerability: #Growth From The Inside



I'm 5% steel and 90 percent emotional  rust.

The rest of the 5% is the air that sustains the steel as it combusts the rust.

Basically, it's hard to explain how I'm still standing.

I take hits hard.

I crumble often.

 But my five percent steel

Is a whole five percent.


My friend said  to me a few months ago, that I resembled growth from the inside. 

It's not easy to know how growth from the inside looks like.

And I wondered might I not be worse off than when I began?


But you never really know If you have grown or not until you face a situation you faced before and did poorly, but this time you do better?


I don't mean Maths. I'd still fail maths if I took a test today. But in human relations, in how I view myself and how I interpret other's actions.


After trying to understand it. I finally told her- please explain- 


"Growth from the inside, is often seen by outsiders/ others as a threat or inspiration. Depending on whether the person has a fixed mind set or growth mindset. For me, it's inspiring, to see you all made up. I've never seen you all dolled- up, not like that. It's a risk, that was basically a"touch down ". You look amazing. Then seeing you model....I tell you the dreams you held on inside are surfacing. And the fact that, you accept & own both your inner and outer beauty is inspirational. True, life hasn't been easy.. But, you're taking it in stride and may JH continue to bless you, and strengthen you daily..."


So, inspite of my fear, nerves, constant apprehension? Delabitating uncertainity and the everyday realization that this world is too clever for me, I am growing.


I'm scared yes, but my fear these days fuels my motivation.


Take my hairdressing experiments for example.

 The Kenyan salon environment is the last place someone who has as many fears as I do would want to be.

The caste system, the politics and the competition.


 They are a fast talking ready to contend bunch, but who are so good at their work that the feelings I might have towards them would best be described as a mixture of awe topped with a big red cherry of disgust.


I hold them in equal amounts of derision and adoration.


And here I am trying to earn a living among them, knowing they know I'm not as skilled as they are, yet from the corner of my eye, I see the same feelings towards me, and something else.

They can see the 5% steel. 

They know I don't fully belong here, but they also can't place me. 

 There is something else there too, they admit.

There is fire.


And something else that is quite invisible. You need to posses it to know it.

'We are not sure why she seems to radiate joy even when she is obviously having a rough day.'


I've been reading about vulnerability and how it affects my life.

In her book: Daring Greatly, Brene Brown says that.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity


True after exhibiting vulnerabilityI have made some special connections. I have felt a little braver, I have become empathetic because I have been able to recognise the struggle in others.

And each time I bare my soul 

I have no need to live a lie. I am accountable to myself and those I have or in my life to be fully authentic. In a way I expect the same from them, but I never get disappointed.


"often the result of daring greatly isn’t a victory march as much as it is a quiet sense of freedom mixed with a little battle fatigue."



My friend Angie, overcame depression after a divorce





My friend Lindsey overcame Postpartum Depression



My friend Zawadi overcame intense grief after losing both parents

They are not strong, they are brave for not pretending that they were okay when they weren't.
The result is this clear growth from the inside.
It is the victory of overcoming a mountain that could have wrestled them to the ground.

I am a third of the way in my journey to becoming what I feel I should be.
so in a future post I will write about that.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

My future is my mother getting resurrected looking hot and spoiling the market for me.


The first thing my mother can expect from me when she is resurrected is an argument. 

She will have to explain why she just wakes up dead one day and doesn't even send me an alert before.

Even a text would have sufficed.


"Hi, I am dying, you can have the radio, I knew you always coveted it."

Or "I'm out, you should have been a son."

Or 
"I'm dying, don't make a scene."

Or
"I'm dying, marry someone dammit, preserve this family line for heavensake!"

Or 
"I"m dying yes but I better have four grandchildren when I get up."
Nyawira wa Munyeki & Gathoni wa Nyawira



All in capital letters because if she was dying she wouldn't have been able to find her specs fast enough to type that last message.

I admit I am keeping that little anger for her. Why it was such a bummer was because she always told me whenever she was leaving the house to go somewhere else other than work.
"Hi, we are going to Kisii for a funeral."
"Hey, ndathiī Donholm (her elder sister's house)
"Hey Ndathiī gwa Kami (her younger sister's house)
"Hey, nyuma kwa auntie nī akūgeithia. "(I was at my friend's house, she greeted you)

So for her to take the longest journey to be joined with her foremothers without telling me about it was a little offscript.
or maybe she didn't know about it, let me give her that, it was probably those unplanned trips tuseme. But still. 

I better have a man by then because if she is resurrected looking like this then I may as well make peace with spinsterhood for eternity.
Even at my blossomest age I never looked as fine as this woman.



I also need to have a few grandchildren to show her that hey look the family line is getting on.
So I hope someone nudges me when the time is nigh so I can at least adopt some quickly. A daughter will be crucial of course. And about seven sons, one of them Korean. I want those Korean eyes in my family.

I've been scared of what would  happen  to my emotions this week. 
I was worried my grief would rise up afresh and I would be paralyzed and  my head would be muddled like it was a year ago, a few months ago.
But you know what?
Time heals.
And you know what, it gets easier each day.
My biggest help have been my friends who I can totally trust with my emotions.
When you are grieving you need someone you can gush out confused emotions to.
My friends know when I say 'sijui nafeel feel aje' it means please let's chat until I start laughing at dark jokes.

My friends also know sending over a cute pillow or a cat meme will make me very happy.
I also have an aunt who was loved a lot by mother and who my mother loved a lot. And she didn't leave the scene when most people did.

And dear christian shepherds who check with me often.

It's  true only Jehovah's kingdom will be able to heal us all completely.
But even right now. Our creator is not ignorant of our suffering.
And he is open to questions. 
I've asked him very hard questions and cried to him in a lot of anguish.
But he has never turned me away.
He has been a real father to me.
And everyday I can smile, I owe it to him.
For now, I just keep doing my best to survive each tornado.

But very soon I will say:
“Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and is residing with them, and they are his people. And God himself is with them.  And he has wiped out every tear from their eyes, and death is no more, neither is there mourning nor outcry nor pain  anymore. The former things have passed away.” 
Revelation 21:3,4


Efficiency, why we must learn to be.

 There are no schools that you will sign up to to learn how to be efficient. Most will teach you a profession or a skill and it's up to ...