Kgomotso Matsunyane

As long as the belly is full...

2008-07-10 09:16

Kgomotso Matsunyane

I don't cook. Out of choice. Meaning that if my life depended on it, I could whip up a perfectly decent meal, but I haven't in years and I'm not intending on breaking the record any time soon.

This wasn't always the case, and in fact I used to fancy myself as something of a gourmet cook, until my ex-husband put me in my place by declaring: "Your food was okay, but it was never great or anything. Now your friend Tshepo, he is an outstanding cook." Ouch. Bastard.

That did more than just hurt a little bit. But I still ventured into the kitchen ever so often, and then my mom rid me of that little habit by always suggesting how I could "improve" my cooking every time she came to my house for a meal. So I realised that instead of making my loved ones suffer any further, I would simply stop cooking.

Domesticity has never been strong a strong suit of mine. It's not a judgment against those who love it, it's just not my thing, and I'm quite comfortable with that, thank you very much. But I find that people are really judgmental against women who don't cook, particularly as an African.

Apparently motherhood, marriage and cooking are supposed to be in my DNA or something, and I'm really getting annoyed with people who judge me for not conforming to their silly expectations.

So what do I eat? Delis are my biggest friend, and there are tons of take away places to choose from. Woolies roast chicken is also a particular favourite. Then there are also TV dinners; pierce the film, stick into microwave and voila!

Don't judge me!

Some people just love to cook, and god bless every single one of them, because ever so often I really do appreciate a delicious meal cooked by someone I know by name, and not by brand.

My friend from the US, Cass, a gourmet cook herself, is one of those people who has no problems cooking a four dish meal for herself. She does a mean Jack Daniels chicken, and her southern style grits and fried chicken are like nothing you've ever had.

My idea of cooking eggs is to stick them in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and microwave for about a minute. Don't judge me, it tastes fine to me.

I still host people for meals, and there are two great ways to do this without ever setting foot in the kitchen. The first option is to have some of the invited guests to cook their specialty dishes, so it becomes a potluck kind of vibe. The other is to order in - there are plenty of fantastic places that offer really outstanding meals, and I don't mind paying a little extra for it.

If really trying to impress I just heat the ready-made garlic bread in the oven before hand if you want the place to smell like cooking.

The true measure of a wonderful host is providing great food and company. Whose pot that food comes from is irrelevant. As long as the belly is full, who cares?

And just before you think I'm a serious degenerate, which may or may not be true, just consider that I'm not alone in this. As I was typing this, a friend emailed a service that will provide you with an affordable daily meal at a cost of R200 per week (five days). For R400 you get two meals per day. Drum roll. Here's the best bit - they'll deliver it to your door!

There is a God after all!

  • Kgomotso Matsunyane is a writer, producer and partner at T.O.M. Pictures, an award winning Film & TV Company in Jo'burg. She'll probably have Nandos for supper tonight.

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