Housekeeping in Haitian Creole – Part VI
Stir-fry cooks, they say, come from all woks of life. Especially, I would venture to suggest, freelance writers like moi. Too many stories to keep an eye on, though not necessarily destined to be written.
Anyway, here in Haiti, we eat stir-fries and whole trays of roast vegetables (legime in kreyol) like peppers, carrots and the chayote squash were going out of fashion.
Mme Josette keeps a beady, if wondering eye on my cooking and though she boasts that she’s an excellent cook, I haven’t yet done more than ask her to boil some rice. That was not a great success. To reprise Robert Frost, there’s one thing more exasperating than someone who can cook and won’t – someone who can’t and will.
The rice was starchy and overcooked and I puzzled long and hard about how to convey this in polite kreyol to Mme Josette. Google translator helped.
“Diri sa a te twò lou(this rice is too soft)” I told her confidently.
“Lou?” she responded, puzzled.
“Two soft,” I amended, with a squashing action to illustrate.
“Two soupe?” she asked.
“Wi, wi, two soupe,” I replied, not sure I’d been able to get the point across.
Perhaps we’ll stick to Mme Josette playing sou chef.