Or should I say Bonjour since its already 12:33am. So on Saturday night, my roommate and I had a special Eid Soiree to mark the end of Ramadan which was actually last weekend. We decided to host it this weekend because 1)My roommate and a couple of the potential guests were off to Barcelona (which is only 3 hours away from Montpellier) for the weekend for birthday celebrations–I couldn’t go cos I had a phone interview, and I didn’t want to take the chance of holding it while on a train in God-knows-where– 2) We hadn’t really given much enough notice to all the invitees, and 3) Well, lets just say that weekend just wasn’t the right one…I didn’t really feel up to anything.
So, the soiree turned out pretty well. Me and Nana Yaa woke up around 9:30am..actually, I woke up at 9:30am and woke her up and hour later cos she had a late night…and yes, 9:30am is early for us considering we don’t always go to bed early…don’t ask what we stay up doing, cos I sometimes wonder that myself. After deciding on what ingredients we would need to prepare the dinner, we head off to do some midday shopping. As it is, we needed plantain, and just that single ingredient opened up a world of magasins undiscovered and interesting people.
By 2:30pm our shopping expedition was over and we had discovered two shops that sold basically everything…kinda like Melcom in Ghana and maybe Walmart in the US…and for very reasonable prices. We got these really classy serving trays/plates which made me just want to be done with school and get my first real apartment (okay, second) so I could decorate. So anyway, by the time we were done shopping, we also found out where the African market was!!!! Which, trust me, was a big relief cos…well, imagine life without plantain, yam, fufu, etc and u’ll understand.lol.
So we got back home, and of course, the apartment was a big mess…which is understandable cos we had a tough week ? Okay, so much for an excuse, the fact is, it needed cleaning. So we set about seasoning the chicken, and after that we wrapped it up in foil and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours…trust me, that really gets it well-seasoned! And then we cleaned the apartment…I’m not going to get into the gruesome details of that one. But all in all, by the end of our mini-spring cleaning session, the apartment looked heavenly!
After me and Nana Yaa had taken a breather we set about making the dinner. On the menu: appetiser: kelewele with peanuts (we found some “Nkate Boga”-like peanuts in the chinese magasin on the next street…it was soo good we braved the deadly stairs to our apartment and got a second one…since we’d basically consumed the first) and dates, main meal: Jollof rice with grilled spicy chicken and cole slaw (I’ve never been too sure how to spell it), OR plain rice with garnished with tomatoes and boiled eggs, with vegetable stew. Since it was in commemoration of Eid, we had a no-alcohol policy and so the main drinks served were water and fruit juices :)
Our first guest to arrive was Danti, and she helped us with some of the cooking. Then more guests started arriving and Nana Yaa and myself had to change outfits…I mean, we’d been cooking for about 3hrs and our clothes weren’t exactly presentable. So once a couple of peeps arrived we all got into the moood of things. After all the food was set, we explained what the dishes were to our guests (there were 11 guests in all, including us making it a total of 13people…don’t ask about the number lol)
I think everyone enjoyed themselves immensely, and I for one had a splendid time as well. Its funny, cos I used to think of cooking more of a necessity, but I think I’m beginning to like cooking simply for the pleasure of it and also to try new things. In any case, it ought to be a splendid surprise to my grandma, cos guess what? Jemi cooks!!!
Lol, okay so Danti and Nana Yaa have been teasing me that I’ve become tooo french cos I almost always have some tea or an warm drink after a meal….Alors, in true french style, we had some tea and Petit Ecolier cookies (which are absolutely delicieux!!!!) for dessert while watching the AC Day 2007 video. After that we cleared the room and had a petit dance session of our own…and then a couple of laughs….wasn’t a bad night, and it definitely was a gratifying experience.
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.