Hello foodies! Today we have a special treat from a very talented writer!
This is the first guest author post and I am so pleased and honoured to have Njeri of The House of Olang’ grace the pages of Pendo La Mama with this tantalising piece. This is part 1, part 2 coming soon (^_^) She is an awesome writer, if you haven’t visited her blog, please do: Heart of Her Thoughts. Feel free to start here, the first post I read on her site. Enough of me taking up space, here’s her post…
Food is such an amazing bonding agent that writing about it creates a warm feeling in my stomach that is then transferred to my heart. I have always loved food and in my numerous travels, I acquired a taste for many many things. This is my story.
Oranges, mangoes, lime, papaya, are my favourite fruits, but we also have apples, avocados and pomegranates. All sorts of herbs and spicy smelling bushes that mama and I take to the market. When it is harvest time, our little house with the kitchen in the back would fill with exotic scents, and I was always fascinated with the mixtures that brewed away just days before we went to the market.
Market days were always an adventure for my parents and I, father would get all the bundles ready and I would help him double check the bags of potatoes, the bunches of herbs and greens that I would love to sell off so that I don’t have to eat them. Mama would prepare all the spices and sauces, I would run in to help her pack them in jars, bottles and anything we could find, the sounds of us giggling as we tasted the various sauces would invite my father in for a taste too….
“That is the sound of a new sauce, and you would try it without me!” father would always say.
We would sit down for a light lunch of the dried meats, bread and maybe some greens mama liked.
“Are we all packed for the market tomorrow?” Mama would smile at papa as she poured more sauce on his plate.
“Yes we are, I cannot wait to see what the others have been up to this time round.”
There is a group of men father is always in competition with to bring to the market, the biggest and best tubers, buds plants, anything really. This time we were taking a butternut. She was so beautiful and flawless, seamless features and perfect fresh scent. I remember father exclaiming in sheer joy when he harvested it.
Actually, all the plants and vegetables this time were so pretty and it was such a shame to see all of them go.
We set out to the market, bright and early. With succulent tomatoes red and delicious, eggplants plump and juicy, the watermelons solid and furious, ready to explode.
We arrived well before everyone and we set up our stall, the market came alive as we reunited with other friends and we went off to play.
“Stay close” is all we could hear from one of our mothers. The pungent smell from the corner only meant one thing, the Spicy Lady was back.
Just as we were running to meet her and see what she would make our taste buds do, we saw him, a huge man, wearing the whitest coat and the biggest stomach I had ever seen, two smaller and equally cleanly dressed men walked behind him with huge baskets.
“Who is he?” We wondered loudly,
“I am Chef Gourmet and I am here to purchase the best of your produce for my signature dishes!” he bellowed. It was so funny that as he spoke his tummy was moving.
“He owns a small restaurant by the river, and everyone who goes there always leaves crying” said Apricot, the fruit vendors little girl, all five of them are named after a fruit
“He serves food so delicious, no one is allowed to eat but his choice customers” Ryan would inform me,
“He buys the best from everyone, does not bargain, just picks and pays” Said apricots mum.
“I would love to talk to him” I quipped hoping he does not hear me.
“Yes little master, what would you like to talk to me about” Chef Gourmet asked me.
My tongue was glued in fear as the entire market line went silent to hear what foolishness I had to say to this busy and important man.
“Why is your food so special?” I asked
“Simple!” He laughed so loudly I thought my eardrums would explode. “I cook with my heart, every meal is presented for the eye, excellent for the mouth and warm just for the heart. That is the secret behind a Gourmet Meal”
He walked to my papa’s booth and left me tongue-tied.
How is that for a set up?! I’m pretty sure, just like me, you want to know what happens next. Who’s the spicy lady? And why the pungent smell? What will Chef Gourmet buy at the market? Will he invite anyone to his exclusive restaurant?
Stay tuned, coming soon!