I have kind of lost track on what I love eating but on “treat myself day,” I try and not go crazy with the cravings.
Generally I eat anything except goat, offals, eggplant and beef.
I grew up hating the smell of beef, I would either get a tummy ache or nausea if I even tasted a little bit of it. I just couldn’t stand it, so whenever it was beef day at home they had to make me greens or my favourite, pumpkin leaves in some delicious thick groundnut sauce; one of these days I will show you how to make it. In my language (Lugisu) pumpkin leaves are called kyimisheebebe and are commonly cooked in groundnut sauce usually served with matooke, sweet potatoes, cassava or pumpkin.
Anyways, fast forward to age 24 when I discovered the taste of lasagna. I used to see it being served and it always mesmerised me the way Ina Garten would make it so flawlessly on her show Barefoot Contessa. I remember the day I finally made up my mind to just try something with beef and lasagna seemed like the easiest way to go; it had so many different flavours in it to mask the heavy beefy taste so it was the right mark. At that time Nakumatt (supermarket) was at the peak of its growth in Uganda and had opened so many branches and in these branches was my favourite thing, Cayenne Express. Way before Jumia Food gave you a variety of restaurants with different cuisines, Cayenne Express was my place. They had delicious sandwiches, green smoothies, ginger cookies and almost everything at an affordable price. Of all these things was the holy grail of them all, lasagna.
On the day I made my mind up, I walked into there determined to finally get it. I ordered for the lasagna and went home straight to my room so that if it backfires, I do not hurl my guts out in front of the family who already knew my revulsion to beef.
I got home and decided to set the mood for it, you know like your first time. You want it to be perfect, I did some stretches and cardio in the library (gotta create room for the food) then showered and switched on Garfield because only he loved lasagna more than anyone else in the world.
I started with the rocket leaves which were added as a side and slowly slipped in a minimal slice of lasagna. My mind went a little crazy for a minute; my tongue did some twitching then got into absorbing the deliciousness oozing out of every ingredient. It was like a new day, I suddenly knew why Garfield loved it. I had found my new favourite foreign food. I ate every little forkful of lasagna with the wonder of a child discovering a new adventure, slowly taking it all on and feeling out the flavours. It was after eating that I realized I had eaten beef without rushing to the bathroom to bring it back up.
After that day, I looked online for every recipe for lasagna and decided it’s time I cooked it. I would like to inform you that lasagna is not one of the easiest things to make and believe me you, I am a good cook by my friends and family’s standards.
It took me so many times and a lot of chicken mince (I still hadn’t convinced myself that what I ate was beef) to finally get it right.
My favourite lasagna is from The Bistro, a restaurant in Kisementi opposite the Acacia mall. They do not hold back on the portions, it is huge and is quite delicious. Although nowadays I do not get time to head out to The Bistro for those nice random “treat myself” Saturdays, I just order in from Jumia Food and get my JP Chenet on too then catch up on anime.