Friday, April 8, 2011

The Way We Were- Bitter Leaf/ Egusi soup

It’s the weekend. The menu is focused on Palava sauce aka Plasas and the starch/carbohydrate is foofoo. Among the choices for palavasuace includes Bittas aka bitter leaves,  egusi soup, KrainKrain, Okra, Shakpa etc…
Its early Saturday morning, fresh peppers are being grinded on the pepeh stone ( ie: a combination of a relatively contoured almost flat iron stone used in combination with a smaller rounded version of iron stone to grind foods). The Matorodoo ( A wooden bucket caved out of a tree stump) is being cleaned along with the Motar pencil (a long wooden rod carved from a tree trunk). The dried Barrcuta fish is being plucked making certain that nothing goes to waste. The leaves are being prepared cut up washed and pounded if necessary.
As the sun rises in the Horizon its light is greeted with the risng smoke from the fireplace. Varied sizes of stones strategically placed together with chosen woods topped with a mesh of iron positioned to receive the large pot.
The rooster crows -Cock-O-rioooooo-Kooooooh its about six- o- clock. The cooking process begins. The aroma fills the air, the sounds of wood crackling as the fire burns, songs sang to pass time and quell the labor of grinding, pounding and cutting. This mixture of sounds, sight, laughter, agony and smell builds up with the rising heat from the Sun and fireplace as the meal for the day is prepared.  

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