NB: This article is based on a Kenyan perspective
Let’s lay out the norm and the tradition first. For the girl child, they were meant to help their mothers in the kitchen, help them prepare food, and times, cook if need be. For the other side, boys were rarely to be seen in the kitchen, they would spend time with their fathers.
If you were a lady or a guy and you were taught how to cook, you are safe. If you are still a lady, or a guy and no one taught you how to cook, you have a problem. A big challenge rather.
Well, am no different, let me present my case.
When I was young, I knew sugar was sweet, but I never got to understand why mum used just some few teaspoons for our tea. I never got to understand why she’d use just few drops of oil when making food. Like, oil makes food look good, why the limit?
I longed for the day, I’d be grown, my wish was to use whatever amounts without someone watching. Fast forward to now, when I know that everything must be taken in a regulated manner. Otherwise, you’d be risking your health, and chances of getting sick would be high.
Still on my cooking experience, there is this time I spent in a university in Kenya. For ladies, they mostly know how to cook. A lady invited me for supper and the food was awesome.
I however observed that most men, never actually had the skills to cook. There is this time, I was in a room, and their roommate had bought, sukumawiki (veges), and to my awe, they took oil, chopped tomatoes, salt and just mixed them together at once and let them cook. Like… really, I used to think you have to let the onions and oil cook first, then tomatoes… then later add the vegetables. Maybe I was wrong, maybe I was right? Be the judge.
Let’s think of the different food combinations. Someone should research on the various foods cooked by most campus students. Ugali sukumawiki today, Ugali eggs tomorrow, Ugali beans the next day… at the weekend, rice and beans. No variety at all… It’s the basic Kenyan traditional meal, you’ll argue it the basic affordable meal, but still, maybe no one has the skills of cooking other meals? It’s the only meal they can prepare comfortably, with ease. Don’t forget noodles by the way, mostly prepared by ladies, I think because its fancy and ‘snackish’.
Enough of the observations though, my main point is, since school doesn’t teach home science any more and that’s the only place one would learn cooking skills, and am sure they are not ready to bring it back; Let it be a personal responsibility to learn how to cook.
Learn not just how to cook but cook proper healthy food. Not just cooking proper food, but still cooking using the right proper procedures too. It’s not enough, to just fill your tummy and feel okay, its about being contented that you took the right proper food.
On terms of affordability, not everyone can afford, but still, with the little you can find, prepare it well.
For men, there is a stage I usually call, bachelorhood 001, it needs men who can cook nice food for themselves, so kindly, get ready before you get caught up in that stage.
Finally, am actually a good cook, give me a visit one day 😊