Oh, I had an amazing weekend, I am still repeating it. It was one of the best weekends I have had in ages, so much fun stuff done, and chasing new frontiers. I had part of my inner caucus with me, and it was such a relief to be able to bounce off ideas on how to grow the blog, new food ideas/recipes to try, golden words of advice to deal with negativity, it was a time to recharge the batteries emotionally and mentally, I am running on full steam ahead. I got to cook for the family, spend time with the children, talk shop on Saturday and Sunday morning, it was such bliss, I didn’t want to go home. We were up till 3am talking, my poor friend’s husband who was our host must have been thinking, goodness me, women sure can talk. He still finds it amazing that not only did we meet online, we have never known each other for years, and we are as thick as thieves already. As I was winding down to sleep on the sofa, I kept thinking about Kindred Spirits. It is not just two words but an activity, an action. Those words when put together are alive, they are pulsing, you can observe it everywhere. My faith tells me it is The Law of The Attraction of Homogeneous Species at play. You attract that which you are. It wasn’t just the good conversation and laughter, plus of course the food of which I came with an entire truckload, but the sharing, the frank candid advice. I got to talk to these women, like really talk. One was privy to what I have been going through with the blog and the unprovoked, un-solicited vitriol, the other two weren’t, still, they were open, honest, brutally so. You don’t get such with people anymore. Many people really don’t care, if y’all can gist about fluffy, bubble gum stuff, that’s okay, and you are friends, so much so. You could get a sense of these people are what you call “my person”, not to be sycophants which the world is full of but genuine, true friends. When I was going to do something quite silly and mischievous, quickly, they shut it down. Many would have laughed with me and said do it, do it, let it out, throw back your firing shot, gosh I love mischief, but they didn’t let me. The maturity displayed and the feeling of, no, we won’t let you do something that may possibly hurt you, was quite touching, plus the fact that I listened, which in retrospect, I amazed myself. Some of us carry the stubborn gene. I inherited it from my mother. Shhhhhhhh, don’t tell her I said so. Hehehehehe.
Breakfast on Sunday was to be Boiled Yam and a Sardine and sweet peppers egg stew. I was passed a tuber of yam, and chatting away, I did not notice on sight, that it was the wrong type of yam. I cut into it, and stopped. Wait a minute, this is water yam, and that is how Ojojo which A, hadn’t eaten in almost 30 years became a Sunday afternoon snack.
I have terrible memories of grating water yam. Bruised knuckles and finger tips for one. I am the person that will grate till the very last stump of yam, injuring myself in the process, but I never seemed to be able to let it go. Plus water yam is quite itchy. It touches your arm and you would almost scratch your skin off. Then I remembered the food processor. Someone had asked me last year if it would work using the grating rings, and I said why not. She tried it, it worked. Opportunity to try it myself for the first time and I was so pleased.
Kemi, dug out the traditional grater from her store. It caused guffaws of laughter. Look at the price on it. Hahahahahaha. Observe the grating holes, and look back up at the grating blade of a food processor. Come on, look at the tiny holes, they are THE SAME. Pick up your grater in the kitchen and look too, yup, THE SAME. So, why on earth won’t this work. Say bye-bye to bruised knuckles and finger tips.
You can have Ojojo (recipe HERE), Ikokore (recipe HERE), Ekpang Nkwukwo (efik version of ikokore, wrapped in cocoyam leaves), Ayan Ekpang or Ebiripo (grated cocoyam steamed in leaves) in record time and no injuries. You can also do this in a blender, or attach the knife blade to your food processor, as if you want to make pounded yam. Kemi tried that yesterday too and it worked. Don’t you just loooooove technology. #2014NigerianCooking. Here’s how: 1. Peel and quarter the yam. Attach the grating blade to the bowl, place the cover and lock. Place the pieces of yam through the chute. You can get away with 2 or 3. Yes, free advert for Kenwood, it is intentional.
2. using the chute cover, press down on the yam, and turn the engine on
3. Now watch as the yam is blitzed through the grating holes, and forms a paste into the bowl.
A, took such amazing pictures, you can see every step
look at that yam go down
almost done now
4. Repeat the process with all your yam. One thing to watch out for is that, you will get some bits left behind on the grating blade, but you can always put them back in between the bigger pieces of yam and it will blitz all through. remember, even when grating manually, you will have some stumps left anyway.
5. Here you are people, grated water yam, no stress, no sweat, no yelping in pain when your skin catches on the grater and no blood. SCORE!!!!!!!!
Watch a video
I woke up thinking Ebiripo for breakfast. Those words used to terrify me growing up, because it meant manual grating and pain to be honest. Brought out the food processor, stat. Done in 10 minutes. The coco yams I got were quite dry, so I added a little water, attached the dough blade and whizzed again. This we would have done by hand at home. #theNewNigerianCookery for the win. Ebiripo is steamed cocoyam. The Efik's call it Ayan Ekpang. You can also grate water yam using a food processor for Ekpang nkukwo, implore or Ojojo. Say no to #bloodflavour. Morning, Tribe.
A tip I learnt from my mum. With some tubers, the water content is quite high, and when grated, it is not firm. Not to worry, just leave in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes or more, depending on the volume you have. Take it out and start cooking.
By the time we were more than halfway done, it occurred to me that why don’t we shoot a video. A, is quite a novice with my kind of camera, so the first 2 takes were shot half at the beginning, half at the end. We were slowly running out of yam, so I said with all seriousness (i didn’t realise at the time, blame my headmistress Mum, I have quite an authoritative tone), this is the last piece of yam, let us ensure that we get it right. Oh dear, the phrase “the best laid plans” must have been talking about children. The entire time we were using the food processor, Kemi’s little boy did not pay us any attention. Now, when it got to the last piece of yam, the Pièce de résistance he unexpectedly ran into the kitchen expressing his displeasure with the noise of the engine running. It was hilarious. You just have to watch this video and listen out for Femi at the end. With all pride and joy, I am officially announcing the launch of Dooney’s Kitchen YouTube Channel. Long overdue I know, I have never shot a video with my camera before, but I was quite pleased with the quality. Now it is time to put my Tripod and IMovie to good use. More videos to come. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzETwByPlQk
I will be trying out the blender and knife blade method, and update this post hopefully before the week runs out. Starting my cleans August 1, so I only have 1 more day left for eating anything. Wish me luck