I used to have an open kitchen……I must confess I am thrilled to be back home in Nigeria, back to closed kitchens. Hidden sinkfuls of dishes. Crumbed worktops beyond the prying eyes of anyone.
I have always been a ‘midnight cook’ but being back home has made that even more pronounced. I find myself cooking late into the night, not as an excuse to binge….but as a time and space to be all by myself, to embrace me, to unleash my creativity and set myself free.
My kitchen is my canvas, my place of visual experimentation and evidence. I never tire of taking on a new challenge or learning new ways to do old things. Even seemingly mundane things like grocery shopping hold such excitement for me…..and always have done. Maybe it is because I work full-time. Whatever the case, I am loving having a new kitchen and being back home to rediscover some of the foods of my youth, with a new eye. And discovering new ones too.
Though small, I love my new kitchen. The walls are bedecked with my instruments of trade and sufficient to warm my heart and soul.
There is plenty of storage space, with cupboards crammed full….and almost overflowing! The tops of the cupboards are full of bottles and jars that I love….and am too scared to throw away. They all have their stories. Like you and me. When I bought them, when, how I acquired them, who gave them to me, what it meant. They are pretty special. To me.
The floors and worktops are tiled so they are pretty easy to clean. And lots of cleaning is required….I am not exactly the tidiest cook, even though I attempt to clean as I go along.
The most interesting thing to me though is that my kitchen is air-conditioned. For the first time in my life. This is a country where there most extreme temperature variation where I live is in the order of less than 10 degrees – which translates to HOT. VERY HOT.
When I lived in Nigeria before (2003 – 2007), I cooked without an AC in my kitchen and it never bothered me. Fast forward to our return, from temperate climes and it was non-negotiable.
I hold the Netherlands dear, and my magnetic blackboard, is a visual reminder, with Dutch houses (free in Business class on KLM flights…) help out.
Clay pots, though not Nigeria somehow remind me of Nigeria. Of ethnic flavours and textures. Earthy colours. I love them.
Welcome to my new kitchen. Enjoy your stay!