I grew up in a big family which in terms of doing household chores, operated assembly-line style. At times there would even be a duty roster ensuring that everything operated like clock-work. During one school holiday when I was in Class 1, I remember I had to clean two whole bedrooms daily by myself. Huge bedrooms they were then 🙂 ha ha. There was someone for every job in the house.
Now the kitchen was where the fun was especially when making chapati. Someone to prepare the dough, another to section it, another to roll the sections out & apply oil, another to roll out perfect circles & put on pan and another for the cooking process. Sounds like a whole lot of people but that was really it.
By the time I was in high school, the only part of this process that I could perform competently was sectioning the dough and rolling the pieces out to apply oil.
I was one of the few girls in school, who carried chapati and mandazi they have not cooked themselves. During one mid-term break in Form Three I got sick and had to report back to school later on a weekday. This was my big chance to prepare chapos for myself because my elder sister was not available to sort me out.
My dad was to pick me up at about 1pm and I dedicated most of my morning to my project. Not even our house-help who knew I had never done this before, could discourage me with her skeptical remarks. She kept looking over my shoulder asking, “sasa unafanya nini?” – talk about pressure.
The reward for my labour was just spectacular. Nothing close to what I had envisioned – they were shapeless, white with black dots here and there and hard. I mean, breakable; like a very hard biscuit. That said, they were MY creation so I packed and carried them proudly to school (even though I had to eat them in secret) lol
I should have taken Home Science instead of Agriculture (sigh!)
After completing high school, I just had to learn how to make chapos – even my friends in youth group had started chiding me that I would never get a hubby if I can’t do so. I am glad to report that after hustling long and hard, I can now make a few basic Kenyan dishes. And my chapatis are round. And soft.