So you know how I am now a foodie right? And how I promised to give details of my foodie life?
First, I am still working on the sequel of my "I know what you did last summer" post -- It shows details of my foodie behaviour over the summer break -- be ready to hate me for the mouth watering pictures that will come with the post-- but don't worry, I'll love you for two (yourself and myself)
Second, because of my new foodie behaviour, I have now turned to a market woman 😫😫😫-- these days, the market women know me on a first name basis
"Ahh Chiamaka, what are you cooking today? come and see these fresh Oha leaves I have"
"Ahh Lecturer (somehow gist goes further than you can imagine), fresh tomatoes dey ooo"
"Aunty, see this beans, it is good for moin moin"
"Sister Debbie, I have fresh fruits oo. The beetroot will give your smoothie fine color"
I don't even know how I feel about making friends in the market -- but as they say, "be friends with people that cook your food", in this case, people that sell foodstuff to me.
So, in the past month, I have found out that it is apparently impossible to be a foodie and not visit the market like once a week, or in my case twice a week (I cook according to inspiration -- so it is as the food "hungers" me, that I go and buy ingredients).
Last week Thursday, I went to the popular "Oja Ota".
Growing up, I watched a lot of Nigerian movies, eiiis not like I had a choice, those were the things we had on TV, before the great satellite graced Nigeria with it's presence -- So sitcoms like "Binta and Friends" and "Super story", taught me about "market day". unfortunately, it wasn't the pleasant side of market day...
In Binta and Friends for example, they'll only talk about market day when madam Gagu (please who even named this character), asked a person to meet her at the T-junction on market day to perform one ritual or the other, while in Super story, I'll hear things like "drop that Calabash at the 4th street on the 4th market day if you want your brother's wife to die".
But apparently, market day is not for rituals alone 😀😀 it is also for buying foodstuff at a cheaper rate-- basically what my oyinbo people will refer to as a food fair.
Oja ota happens every four days, and you can literally get almost everything in the market-- from make up (of course KLYIE lipstick instead of KYLIE lipstick) to foodstuff to clothes! Like literally everything. Apart from the cheaper rate compared to other days, you have access to variety of items, so for example, getting Igbo soup ingredients in normal markets is sometimes difficult in a Yoruba city like Ota, but on market days, there is a small section of the market serviced by dominantly Igbo women, and they always come with the freshest of ingredients.
On Thursday morning, I woke up really in the mood for a pot of Oha soup, and so I cajoled my colleague Augusta to come with me to the market (I am still learning from Augusta, when it comes to going to the market- the babe's wife material is like 150 yards, mine is still on 100 yards). Unfortunately, by the time we got to the market, we were told that one of the ndi Igbo market women died, and Thursday was her wake - keeping, so non of the other Igbo women came to the market (may her soul RIP) -- I was amazed at such solidarity-- Eisss not everywhere that you find that yo!
So, I ended up buying ingredients for Ogbono soup, and treated my freezer to an addition to its soup collection 😩😩
I have a bad habit -- I find it really difficult to eat immediately after cooking, so if I have no one to stuff the food into, I just pile the food in my freezer, and hope I'll be hungry for it another day.
Fast forward Monday morning, I went to my father's house briefly to attend to some things -- but it seems like my foodie behaviour has given me a special skill of smelling "market going" several miles away. My mum, the entrepreneur -- I can't count how many businesses this woman is doing right now-- had some market going to do on Monday (note! I didn't know this before I went home, in fact I could have gone home any other day, but mba I went on the day that market- going was imminent-- Market-going instincts remember?)
Anyway, Monday was apparently World Food Day, and her fellow farmers were having a farm produce exhibition, which she was attending-- Oh how can I miss the opportunity to go to a fresh food market -- mba nu-- and that's how I found myself in the market again (barely four days after). My brief visit home, ended up being a not-so-brief visit.
I rewarded myself for the wonderful market labour, with a pot of jellof rice.
Is it weird that I actually look forward to going to the market these days?