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The Serena Williams meal: Grilled prawns, fish, yam and plantain

Grilled prawns and fish with yam and plantain

Seasons. Every season has its own peculiarities. This is a season of melancholy, sadness and disappointment, but ironically it is also a season of abundance. There is a connection, but I am not sure which triggers which. Does abundance trigger disappointment or does disappointment trigger abundance?
 
Well… let me elaborate. 
 
The meal in the photo above was prepared by my brother Kene.I. He did not have a name for it so let’s just call it grilled prawns and fish with yam and plantain. By all accounts this was a tasty meal. One of the chief tasters in my household described the prawns as “flavourful”. Trust me, this is a tough customer to please so that really is some compliment and high praise indeed. 
 
Here is the crux of the story.

 
Kene is a big tennis fan and prepared this meal in his words “to make himself feel better”. He had witnessed one of his tennis heroines, Serena Williams embroiled in a devastating loss which apparently qualifies as the biggest upset in tennis history. Yes in tennis history. I had been so confident she’d win that I skipped the semi-final match in expectation of watching the final. 
 
As shocked as I was nothing could have expressed the utter frustration coming from Kene. I mean the guy was apoplectic. He was so upset that he felt the only way he could get some sort of closure and bring his mourning to an end was through a hearty meal. This was no mere loss. It felt like a dagger had been thrust into the collective hearts of all Serena fans. My goodness, there were rumours that the first family (The Obamas) would have been at the final to watch one of their own crowned the best tennis player of all time! Victory in this tournament would have made Serena Williams the indisputable best tennis player the world had ever seen. Serena, I was told had won 21 grand slam titles and needed one more to equal arguably (well in terms of numbers) Steffi Graf who had won 22. Serena had also won 3 grand slams this year and needed 1 more to win 4 grand slams in a calendar year, again a record held by Steffi Graf – the only tennis player who had won all 4 grand slams in a calendar year. Serena was also playing a tennis player who was unseeded and had betting odds of 300 to 1 against her.
 
How could she have lost?
 
Rumours abounded. Was she distracted by her “bad” boy boyfriend, Drake? Regardless of the reasons and I am still none the wiser a couple weeks after the game, this upset was devastating. 
 
Kene, however, had the perfect antidote. The most effective tonic perhaps.
 
Serena had a lot. Money, fame and 22 grand slam titles, but in the end this abundance only triggered disappointment and sadness. She was so near and yet so far and that hurt! However, out of this melancholy came an abundance of a kind. A hearty meal with a variety of mini meals – yam, fried prawns, plantain and fish. Never have I seen all 4 on a single plate. 5 if I count the shito sauce. This is a plate of aspirations. One to have as you count your losses. One to have when there is angst. One to have when you dream arduous dreams. One to have in hope of a more glorious season. Above all as the man described it himself, it is one ” to make you feel better”! 

 



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