H2’s family were in town over the summer staying in beautiful Maida Vale but we insisted that they came round to spend a weekend with us; Essex is very green and beautiful too!
I was quite excited about having the in-laws round as I had never really spent time with them plus I had the food front covered or so I thought……
All sorts came out of my kitchen that weekend: jollof rice, grilled chicken with red pesto, yam pottage, steamed barracuda* with tiger king prawns aromatised with ginger, garlic, scallions and red peppers, designer stew and plantains, kedgeree for breakfast, etc.
*The barracuda is a ray-finned fish – Southern Nigerianssmoke them for use in soups – I know this fish thanks to Saturdays mornings spent in Ijora market, Lagos with my father buying baskets of fish. My grandmother had a fish pond so my papa loves his seafood.
H2 ‘s papa (Nnam means my father in Ibo) likes his swallows* so I knew that I had to make at least one pot of soup – I should have realised that there was a problem at this point because I have only made soup once or twice in the past year.
*Swallows used to describe staple food from Nigeria made from starchy vegetables like cassava, yams or plantains and hot water by pounding or stirring into a dough-like consistency usually eaten with soups
Knowing that my mum and sisters have said so many times: do not try out new dishes on guests!!! I should have just recreated my yam rolls and seafood okra (http://dvsfoodobsession.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/seafood-okra-with-yam-rolls.html). If only I was a child that hears word!
Anyway I decided to make Banga soup*. When Nnam declined my offer of yam pottage on Sunday afternoon and requested pounded yam, I was delighted that I anticipated this request and served him pounded yam with my Banga soup.
*Banga soup is made from palm nuts and is eaten primarily in the Midwestern part of Nigeria, especially by the Urhobos and Itsekiris, in Cameroonit is referred to as Mbanga soup
When he was done, he said thank you Nwam nwayin (my beautiful child), dancing smiley, and then he said in passing that he had just been poisoned with salt, lol. It was hilarious…. Even though a part of me was sad because I thought I had the food front covered, for the most part it was hilarious because I could see that H2 didn’t fall too far from the tree.