I cannot say for sure how many times I have been asked this question, but the askers of this question – also known as my mom, my grandma, and my numerous aunts – never seem to believe me when I say, ‘Yes’. What, if I may ask, is so unbelievable and abominable about giving my husband – a man I am not yet married to, by the way – a plate of spaghetti and meatballs? Where does the taboo come from? The long spaghetti strings that are just fake brothers of rice? The spaghetti sauce – which is not original stew? Or could it be from the meatballs that are not made of goat meat or oxtail?
There’s something remarkably and overwhelmingly beautiful about spaghetti and meatballs. It takes nine to eleven minutes to cook the spaghetti. It takes just about the same time or less to cook the sauce, and I use the word ‘cook’ sparingly. The sauce comes fully prepared in a jar. The meatballs, too, come fully cooked – albeit in a bag this time. All I have to do is pour some sauce in the pot, throw some meatballs in there, and of course, add some Nigerian flavor – by way of two maggi cubes, a quarter teaspoon of curry powder, and some pepper.
Pic 1:The ingredients: Spaghetti, meatballs, spaghetti sauce (and it comes with onions, too!), two maggi cubes, curry powder, and pepper.
Pic 2: That’s when they all met in the pot.
Pic 3: Somewhere underneath that steam, some strings of spaghetti lie.
Pic 4: Voila! The food is ready.
In about ten minutes – give or take one minute – lunch or dinner is served! Why on earth would anyone want to work harder? As long as I stand by the stove and dedicate a few minutes to staring, mixing, and turning, no one can say I did not cook the meal myself. If grandma, mom, and my numerous aunts would complain and not eat said forbidden meal, perhaps, I would take them seriously. It is a little difficult, practically impossible, for me to take them seriously when they consume seventy-five percent of the meatballs.
No matter how unoriginal my stew is, and no matter how much of an uncanny taste-resemblance spaghetti bears to rice, and no matter how adamant the makers of meatballs are to use goat meat and oxtails for their meatballs, I will continue to patronize the spaghetti-meatball meal because, well, I like it. I do not know what everyone else’s spaghetti and meatballs tastes like, but mine is Olive Garden meets Iya Bukki, the Mama Put CEO.
Pic 5: It looks even better on a fork.
And so, yes, that is exactly what I intend to feed my husband – among many other things. Yes, that is how I intend to cook it. And no, I do not wish to disclose what other things I will feed him.
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