I handed my upcoming book, Blues to Bliss; Creating Your Happily-ever-after in the Early Years to the editor three weeks ago.
As I wait for feedback and further edits, I’ve been creating some freebies to give away during the launch week (hopefully and if everything goes well, in February 2015)
Anyway writing the book and creating these giveaways has taken me way back to my early months of marriage.
And my early days in America.
Last week I came across this journal, where I wrote about the drama of making African food in an American kitchen with American ingredients! And 3 takeaways for life and marriage.
Today I was in a good mood. I decided to make Chapatis.
This is a Kenyan delicacy, a type of flat-bread with origins and roots in Asia.
Respect new beginnings
The prepping and frying was dramatic, nothing like I had envisioned.
First I used too much water to mix up the dough. I ended up with a soggy wet mixture.
I added more flour to harden the dough. And ended up with a whole lot more dough than I wanted.
Then came the cooking.
In Kenya we have heavy pans, specifically for making chapatis.
The thickness helps spread the heat evenly, cook slowly, all the way through…without burning.
I had none of that..just a normal thin frying pan.
It was absorbing heat like paper. My chapatis were burning up.
I was in my 5th or 6th chapatti before I got the hang of it.
Respect new beginnings. I have never made chapatis in America. Not to mention it’s white flour. (I am used to whole grain).
But I dove in because it’s something I’ve done countless times before.. (in Kenya!).
Like all other areas, I need to start respecting “newness”. I am in a new country. Acting like life is still the same isn’t helping much.
I need be alert, be aware that things have shifted in life.
It’s this awareness that will help me expect the unexpected, be ready for the twists and turns.
Ignore the little things
The kitchen was hot and stuffy .
I don’t think the person who made this kitchen ever imagined that one day an African woman will walk in and require huge ventilation for her fiery kitchen adventures!
The fan was running but I was hot, sweaty, annoyed and wanted out.
But oh my chapatis..I wanted some. I wanted to make my husband some.
So I decided to woo him out of the living room where he was glued to the television.
Looking at the humongous amount of dough before me, the cooking would take a while.
Having my sweetie’s company? Ah bliss.
He warmed up to my wooing. Well, somewhat.
He perched at the dining table chair out side the kitchen, and continued to watch the TV, at the far end of the living room.
I told him I want conversation.
So he relayed to me the ongoing movie on TV. His idea of conversation.
I could feel the irritation rising. I want conversation with me!
“I am all sweaty and suffering because I want to make you happy with this meal!”
Eventually I had to let it go. I was already hot and irritated as it were, no need to add more fire.
So he watched the movie, relayed some parts to me, I cooked.
Learn to be content with what you get, ignore the silly little things.
When you’ve had enough, let it go.
I endured the heat, the stuffiness, the sweating, the burning fingers, a half-present husband. Then I had it.
I made twenty one pieces and I was done.
I grabbed the rest of the raw dough, stuffed into freezer bags and dumped it into the freezer.
Ahh, we have limits, don’t we.
But sometimes I act like I don’t. Especially when I am on a mission to please others.
It’s good to know my limits. I can only do so much.
Got to learn how to do what I can do and quit trying to kill myself in the name of pleasing others.
Because it’s not really “pleasing” when you’ve done all that and sit an your dining table picking at your Chapatis…all mad and morose.
So that’s my early introduction to cooking a Kenyan staple in America!
Ps. I have improved a lot since then! : )
Your turn; Have you attempted something new – in your kitchen, work, marriage, life e.t.c – lately? How did it go? 🙂