The first roti dough makes it onto the tawa. The aroma fills the air.
“Can we have some now?” I ask with the sweet and gentle voice of a little girl.
“Danii, it’s not even done yet!” my husband exclaims.
It begins. I am annoying him as my patience thins for a taste of roti which I have not had in 3 months.
When our adult time together is impeded upon I start to get beside myself. He cures my craves with his cooking. He’s done that since day one, made food and drinks for me. It took me 14 years to realize I didn’t have to pay for the attention of my husband nor did I have to defend myself against unwanted propositions. This is a new revelation for me that I am still exploring in therapy. I will say this, having this new awareness I am no longer burdened by an underlying stress associated with loss. But this moment is not about my gender memoirs its about the smell of roti in the air and figuring out a way to steal a taste without getting a touch lashing from Kevin.
While patiently plotting my heist I observe his every move. Tawa set to 3 burners on low then raised to medium. Olive oil added and spread slowing. Steam rises. Roti skin added. Again olive oil is added to the skin. He holds down the skin with his barehands against the hot tawa. He’s a beast!
He spreads, flips, folds and tosses each roti one by one. I watch his sorcery. I watch the roti skins pile up. My concentration is broken.
“is-it-all-done? daddy is it all done? is-it-all-done? is it ALL DONE!”
Our toddler runs over rambling on and on. The smell has over taken his 3 year old attention span. He dances at the stove near his father’s legs sing over and over, “is-it-all-done? daddy is it all done? is-it-all-done? is it ALL DONE!”
“Oh my goodness none of you have patience!” Kevin shouts.
One Roti skin left. He flips and tosses it. He turns the burner off and walks to the fridge to grab the chicken already seasoned from the night before and fresh vegetables to prep his mise en place.
Just I am about to sneak a pinch of roti skin, with his back turned my husband slowly utters the words, “You can have a piece of roti now.”
The open door of permission curbs my enthusiasm. Pissed that he gave me the okay, I remain seated. Stubborn to move myself because he’d unsweetened my taste of victory.
“daddy daddy where it go? daddy where it go? daddy-where-it-goooooooo?” The toddler is back sniffing out the whereabouts of the roti skins.
“Where did what go?’ his father asks him.
“Oh my goodness!” Kevin exhorts. He grabs 3 mini mixing bowls, rips into a roti skin and shares it out in equal parts.
I am not lazy eh. I am lucky! My husband loves me so much he made roti from scratch on a Sunday morning while I sat down watching him workout and sweat over the dough and a hot stove then serve me a bowl. Steamy!
Next up, the making of the curry chicken and me digging in with my bare hands to eat it all!