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The Sixth Letter To My Sisters

Cooking lessons: It’s okay if you don’t know how to make chapati

BY Pauline Katethya

Sep 03, 2021, 07:39 AM

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Hello sis, I hope you are doing well. I know you are wondering who permitted me to talk about food. I know I don’t do well in this area but hey we said we don’t judge, right? We make mistakes in the kitchen. Today it’s burnt ugali, tomorrow it’s overcooked rice. But we keep cooking.

Here are a few things you should know concerning the kitchen.

Learn How To Cook

Not because society says so or because you won’t find someone to marry you, but you need to learn for yourself. This is an important life skill and one of the best ways of taking care of yourself. We spend a lot of time thinking about food. What to eat for breakfast or dinner, and you can’t buy these meals every day. Knowing how to prepare a good meal for yourself is not only efficient but also saves you money. It makes you healthier because you are in control of what you eat. There is no formula but cooking often will make you a better cook. Try new dishes and watch tutorials on YouTube, it’s never a boring affair. And if you love cooking, you might make money out of it.

Food Has No Gender 

We’ve been raised in a society where women are taught they belong in the kitchen. This has made some men very entitled, they can’t even step into the kitchen to make eggs. We play a big role in the kitchen, but it’s not a woman’s job to cook. Well, not all the time. When you get in a relationship, don’t kill yourself trying to make five star dishes because you heard the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. He also has hands he can make his way there.  Men belong in the kitchen too.

Dirty Dishes Don’t Make You A Dirty Person

If you are a clean freak like me there's always the need to be perfect and clean. I used to be the type of person who thought about dirty dishes even in a matatu . It made me uncomfortable until my mum taught me that it’s okay to let the dishes wallow in their dirt once in a while. They won’t die or get sick. No one will shame you publicly in town for being dirty. 

I am not encouraging you to be lazy, but if you get home and you are tired, and you just want to sleep, sleep. The dishes will be there the following day, but there is no crime in giving yourself a break. You cannot finish all the house chores in a day. There will always be something dirty.

Not Knowing How To Make Chapati Is Okay

Chapati is one of my favorite dishes but every time I attempt making some they are either hard or out of shape. The amount of ridicule and insults I have received are countless. At home, my mum’s friends will say hi to my siblings and call them by name but when they see me, they sigh and ask my mum if this is the one who doesn’t know how to make chapos. I am not saying you shouldn’t try. By all means, try and learn. But if you don’t know, it’s not the end of life. Whether you can or can’t make chapo, you still matter. Cheers to chapati movement.

It’s Okay To Order Food 

Just like it’s okay to leave dirty dishes in the sink, it’s okay to order food on those days you are tired and can’t lift a finger to cook. When you also need to relax like on Saturday, it’s okay to order those wings and a beef burger. This doesn’t make you a bad person, unhealthy or a woman incapable of taking care of her family. No. You are human and from time to time you deserve to take a  break from the kitchen and enjoy your take out with your feet on the table.

Read: Here's Why Shamba Cafe Will Blow Your Mind