“It will be a very big shame for you to get married to an Igbo man and not know how to cook onugbu (bitterleaf) soup.”
Prior to that verbal assault
you read up there, I did not know how to cook onugbu (bitterleaf) soup. I was curious enough to ask mom to teach me. Remember that I said I asked her. She did not tell me I had to learn it. I
begged her on my own to show me. We have been attempting to do this mother-daughter cooking for the longest time – I’m talking years now – but you know how time is exactly what we don’t have enough of. Finally, we agreed to do it on Thursday (March 19th), but mom was too tired. I guess that meant it was automatically postponed to Friday, March 20th, but I didn’t know. So off I went to hang out with Funmi #1 and Funmi #2 (Yes, there are two Funmis, but Funmi #1 is the one who comments on my blog).
I decided to call mom at 10:41 PM to check up on her… as per good daughter and all, and that verbal assault up there was what I heard. And after speaking, she hung up on me ooo! LOL. Couldn’t stop laughing walahi. I finally got home more than an hour later to realize the woman had not even started cooking the soup – even though prior to hanging up she said, “Don’t worry, I’m cooking my soup myself” … you know one of those things they say to make you feel guilty. Anyway, I ended up joining her in cooking.
I was required to
scrub the bitterleaves till they were no more bitter. I wanted to wear my rubber gloves because I didn’t want the finger nails I had been growing to turn green after washing the leaves, but I was chastised by my mom, “How can you wear gloves to wash what someone will eat?” After two minutes of washing, I became tired, but I had to keep going; apparently, the leaves were still bitter. By the end of it, I came to one conclusion: I must have a house-help! I am not cut out for this. I refuse to bend over the sink to wash bitterleaves. My mom laughed @ me. She asked, “So you’ll have a house help as soon as you enter your husband’s house?” I said, “Yeap. She’ll be my hand luggage.”
Mom: What if your house help is not Igbo? Or what if your house help is not a female?
Me: I don’t even want a female anyway. Too many house-girl/husband casualties. But if he/she isn’t Igbo, he/she will be trained on how to wash bitterleaves.
Mom: Who will train them?
Me: Obviously not me.
Mom: *Shaking head.* You’re not serious.
Me: Very serious, mom.
Soooo after about an hour in the hot kitchen, a pot of yummy onugbu soup emerged. It is safe to say that I am now ready to be given away to an Igbo man. I took pictures to show you my soup. Oh, but you know what my mom said after we finished cooking? She said, “You know you didn’t learn anything. All you did was walk around here and take pictures; we have to do this again.” Lai lai! We don’t have to do anything again. I have learnt. I’m good.
Voila… the result!