I happen to be one of the best cooks I know. The thing is, I'm one of the best cooks in an unknown future. At the moment, I just know how to boil things. How I got into the conversation below- via text, mind you- is completely unknown to me.
Girl X: Guess who's attempting to make brown rice :) hope it works :)
Me: Brown rice isn't too hard :) too hard to make.
Girl X: Is it? but it uses a lot of water right?
Me: No. I usually use the same amount...
Girl X: The pack said 1 part to four parts and my mother said you should soak it first. For like 30min.
That's a lot of water.
Me: Oh yea, it takes a while to cook. And it's like the water evaporates so slowly.
Girl X: Oh dear how I hope it cooks. It's been cooking for 40min...crossing my fingers
Me: HOW MUCH WATER DID YOU PUT?
Girl X: 4 parts
Me: How many cups of rice?
Girl X: 4 and half. So I put 16 parts
It's pudding and it isn't ready :( oh gosh. I'm a failure
Well it was cooking on the jiko so there may have been heat issues. But imagine it's not even
close. Should I put coal on top?
Me: Okay, first of all you're not a failure. Second, brown rice tastes a bit different from white rice
when it's ready and you put 16 cups of water? That rice should be ready!
Girl X: My brother could kill me. I put spice to remove the weird taste. I may have over salted it as well
Girl X: Thanks love. Now this one is not cooked. It's chewy.
Me: My mum says (I trust her more than google) that it should be more than ready if it looks like
mush. And if it looks like mush, it can't really be saved :( that's what she said.
Is normal rice available tonight?
Girl X: I've made food for a village and there's nothing else to cook in the house. But why are there
pieces of uncooked rice?
Me: My mother is laughing at us. Dot com children struggling to cook rice :)
Girl X: Oh gosh. Tell your mother it's not funny. The whole family was counting on this meal working
out :) oh gosh. I'll leave it on the fire till everything evaporates.
Me: Why have you made so much food?
Girl X: Lunch the next day. And for whenever. There's no food in the fridge
Me: How about you make rice cakes. Girl X's version? ;) where are you?
Girl X: Rice cakes? What are those? OH DEAR! There isn't any oven. But I can use the jiko.
Me: Okay, forget the rice cakes idea. It's either made from rice flour or other things.
Girl X: Folks are home. Oh gosh.
Me: Oh no...what have they said.
Girl X: Nothing yet. Still waiting.
Me: Are you sure it's not ready?
Gril X: Well, I'm upstairs. Not going down till tomorrow or till she comes to my room.
Me: Ha ha ha! your mum won't kill you
Girl X: Well, her gloating could
Here I fast forward our conversation a bit...
Girl X: You know my aunts keep saying how we'll be sent home by our husbands if we don't know
how to cook. We have a problem. I'LL BE SENT HOME.
Me: Ha ha ha! I'll send him home :D
Girl X: For sending me home?
Me: For not helping you become a better cook and not cooking.
When I was reminiscing on our conversation and thinking how ridiculous it was that we had a whole conversation about preparing rice via text and how much Girl X uses 'oh gosh', I could't help but realise how much our mother's opinions mattered. Whether it was in the way the rice should be made or how it turned out, we both wanted our mums to approve whatever we were doing and affirm us.
Oscar Wilde said, 'All women become their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That is his.' I worry for my daughter :)