Cooking Roti with my Husband (a live story pt3)
He’s burning up from the the work out and needs to undress. He requests my help and I get excited to be close to his warm body surging from working the dough. But he moves quickly and I miss my over the clothes action opportunity.
It’s tawa prep time. While the dough rests with the butter rolled into it, Kevin washes the tawa. We don’t do that nasty shit were folks don’t wash their cast iron pans. We wash our pots, griddles and tawa to ensure our food is safe for our children and guests. Plus cleanliness when crafting our beverages and foods is GOD. He rests the tawa on the stove. It sits there are 11AM torturing me, tempting me, wetting my palate for some delicious bust up shot roti aka oil roti.
Back at the Island it is clear my assistance won’t be needed this time. He is not figuring out shit this go around. He knows just what he’s doing as if possessed by the spirit of his Trinidadian ancestors. His movements are swift and confident. That confidence comes from years of relying on frozen roti to be shipped to us from New York City. Now we no longer have to wait for a taste of home. He’s got this and he knows it. He and he alone is responsible for the joy his children and I experience when we rip into the roti he has made from scratch.
As he’s in the zone re-rolling out the dough before cooking it he asks me, “You think they roll these out in Caribbean restaurants? I would think there is a press for it. It can’t be different from rolling out tortillas. If there isn’t one I’d like to work on that.”
I am shocked by his statement. Watching him dance with the dough I forget ‘it’s work - he working’. Making roti is a task! He makes it look easy, he makes it look like art but at some point my husband wants to move on from the repetition of his own perfection to do something else. He needs to multitask. He needs to problem solve. Once his brain has worked out a problem and designed a solution he wants to move on to the next thing. That thing now being the engineering of a tool to make roti roll out more efficient and less hands on.
The pride I assumed he held in his method and delivery are my own feelings. Sure he’s proud of mastering his technique, “….but it’s a workout though. I don’t understand why some chefs are so fat,” he declares.