...Hello Beautiful Strangers...!

Hibiscus flower

Well! well!! well!!! It's been too long, so long. Let;s see, my last post was in February and we are here now..., April is running out!!!

I am so glad I can blog again.. after what has been a roller coaster ride for me in the past few weeks y'know, moving from here to there, family thingz, foodie thingz and such... It has been hectic but I am here now, and promise not to stay away this long again....

So okay, its straight into my food adventures in a new place...! There's so much to explore, and I have found so much food inspiration too. I am totally excited, fully charged and rearing to go. At the moment, I am surrounded with so much childhood food memories, its unbelievable...foods and fruits that I have not seen or had for eons.

Now that I am back, I'd just like to request you to continue to expect nothing less than the very best of Nigerian cuisine from me. Cooking ideas drenched in creativity that also promise great tastes and flavours. Its going to continue to be a really exciting foodie experience.

So what's up with the flowers I hear you say? Seeing these for the first time after such a long time I said the words in my post title...."hello beautiful strangers"... These were picked by my daughter the other day, after she spotted them growing wild in the small bushes around the house... She is really creative too and her eyes catch anything colourful and flamboyant. She of course wanted to know more about them so I said to her, they are called the hibiscus flower and they are one of the most popular flowers indigenous to Nigeria.

They are in fact the first known flower to me, I mean when I was growing up. I cannot remember any others really. Back then, all plants that were grown for ornament were collectively called flawa (flower pronounced with the Nigerian accent, hehehe). Other than the rose, hibiscus is the next most popular flower I remember....I think!? If you know of any other Nigerian flowers please share their names with me.

Thinking hard about it now, I do not really know any flower names in my local dialect....other than the collective name given to them which is ododo (in the Yoruba). This is somewhat reflected in the fact that even in English or Pidgin, flowers are often just referred to by their colours. Such as the yellow flower, white flower, etc or just flawa full stop.

I had to further explain to my daughter that the hibiscus that grow in Nigeria are ornamental, ardoning people's homes / premises or children's hair whereas, in the UK hibiscus refers to the often dried out petals of the Roselle plant, used to brew a beverage. Both however belong to the same genius; Hibiscus; but are of different species. The ornamental hibiscus shown in the image is Hibiscus rosa-sinensis while the specie commonly used to make the popular beverage Zobo is Hibiscus sabdariffa

What I also told her was that the hibiscus rosa-sinensis contained nectar which bees and butterflies, as well as I, love to eat. She gave me a strange look but then I encouraged her to have a taste by plucking off the red petals and sucking the nectar from the neck of the stem. I admit the quantity of the nectar is quite small but the taste is something I enjoyed back then as a child. It also helped me and her to experience bee and butterfly food... I felt so happy sharing this childhood experience with her...

Wild Hibiscus flower



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