Diaspora Eats: Good Eats and Better Company

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2029

My first blog for Swit Salone Yippee….. I am so privileged to be given the opportunity to tell you about my world of food.

On Saturday I drove up the hills and slopes of Collier Wood in Essex, to a birthday get together. When you’re invited to these occasions any one of the following questions might pop into your head: Are the right people going to be there? Is the company going to be good? And most importantly is the food going to be rubbish? Let’s face it if the first three are a let-down, then the fourth one better be right or you won’t be hanging around much….
My fears were eased when I smelled freshly cooked scotch bonnet pepper, onions and Maggie with some sort of fresh basil; a concoction of well-seasoned food. Nice!!!

As I walked in I couldn’t help but wonder the contrast this was, to where I had just been.  Ten minutes before I got to this venue, I had been at an English wedding!! Now I have been to some that are absolutely brilliant especially ones done by yours truly; with fantastic spreads, exotic foods to play with your taste buds and tantalising desserts to wake up your senses, however , you know when you are invited to one you eat before you go “cause you never know”.
We were treated to the usual sandwiches, the ever popular tortilla wraps, sausage rolls, chicken nuggets and ‘the Macarena’. One thing you know is, you are never disappointed; the only way is up from there.
Not so when you are invited to Sierra Leonean get-togethers, even if you know the person isn’t that good a cook, it is expected that they would raise their game on the occasion.

I entered my hosts’ home and I made the usual gestures of ‘bond and greet’ while all the time eyeing the dining table.
You have to understand that for someone like me, ‘a foodie’, it is not just about the eating. Food for me is about the experience. Put it this way, you remember what fullah man bread tasted like fresh from the bakery? Right!. Now remember how it tastes like two hours later? Right!, no one does; this is because the best memories are of the best experiences, that fresh hot bread fullah bread, the melting butter spread on both sides that smell, oh that smell, the chunky slices of luncheon meat layered onto it, then the bite and then washing it down with a cold bottle of fanta ooh yes. That’s the stuff good food experiences are made of.
So I took my seat and went through my check list again, venue? Check! Calibre of guests? Check! Food potential? Still waiting….


Apart from the battle for the popcorn in the kitchen, the debate to go on to the next party on the west side of London, the only other conversation was about the simple spread on the table, Seasoned fried fish With plantains, Lyonnais Onions & Capsicum or Oven Roasted Chicken with Mediterranean Salad with olive Oil & Couscous and The always reliable Fried Rice..

Decisions decisions… Not!!!