One of my earliest memories of Internet goodness is of searching for a recipe for wild mushrooms--this would have been sometime between 1998 and 2005--and finding one offered by a guy who identified his location as Turkish Kurdistan. We had a brief back and forth, and I thought, Now this place is personal to me. I know someone there. I know he used to pick wild thyme with his grandmother.
Fast forward to last summer. One of my best memories from Timor-Leste was of being served deep-fried plantain chips, homemade, and of sharing the leftovers with friends. I wanted to make those myself, to feel close (because eating food brings us close) to Timor-Leste. And the best recipe I found? Was a Nigerian one.
So easy to follow, so clear, so pleasant! (And the recipe was a success)
Not only did this bring me close to Timor-Leste, it made me feel close to Nigeria. I had one previous experience with Nigerian food: akara--wonderful, croquette-like deep-fried items, made with ground black-eyed peas, with onions and hot peppers to flavor it. I bought some at a local market, loved it, wanted to know how to make it, and had found recipes online, but was stymied by one key detail--getting the skins off the black-eyed peas.
Oh My God, the time that took. I'd soak the black-eyed peas, and as they expanded, the skins would begin to come loose. Then I'd rub them together in the soaking water to get more loose, and then I'd strain off the skins (which would float), while trying to keep the peas themselves from pouring out. It was such a slow process! I mean, kind of relaxing, too, if you have nothing else to do, but. . .
Well, Flo, the woman behind All Nigerian Recipes, has the answer for that, too:( two videos about getting the skins off beans )
So by this time I'm really loving this Youtube channel, loving the recipes, loving the fact that Flo responds to comments--and loving her personal videos, too. Like this one:
Pretty cool, right? Not only does Flo put up fabulous cooking videos, she also has an *intense* day job!
And because the Internet lets us make friends with people all over the world--just write hello, just hit send--I thought . . . maybe she would let me interview her.
Then I checked and saw that she has close to 30,000 subscribers. Her top video has more than half a million views, and her top ten videos all have over 100,000 views. I'm not the only one who loves her. So then I felt more hesitant about getting in touch. . . . But I overcame that and wrote to her, and she said yes!
So come back on Monday, everyone, when Flo will answer my questions about cooking, YouTube, and self-publishing a cookbook.
Meantime, enjoy her channel and maybe have a Nigerian meal tonight.Video List Here!