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I have never been a fan of birthdays. I really don’t know why, I just know it’s usually not a fun day for me. I do have to keep up appearances so as my birthday drew closer, my colleagues at work kept giving me reminders.

Why? Well, at my work place, when you celebrate your birthday, you buy food for everyone. This was law and no one broke it, Until a creature showed himself. A creature/colleague called Ebuka didn’t bring anything for us on his birthday and this caused a trend. “If Ebuka didn’t bring anything, why should I?” By the way, I think Ebuka is a baboon whale but that’s just my thought.

My birthday colleague and I decided to change this new trend… Well not my birthday colleague, she was born a day after me. Together, we decided to offer gizdodo, smoked turkey, cake and soft drinks and we coined the operation “Operation put Ebuka to shame”

Obviously, my job was to prepare the food. I got a carton of turkey and had each piece chopped into 3, making a total of 90 pieces. I marinated the turkey with salt, black pepper and vinegar then put it in the fridge for about one week.

Now, I had smoked food before but I knew I wasn’t getting it right. We have an offset grill, so I put hot charcoal in one chamber and what I want to smoke in the other chamber. Naturally, the smoke and heat ought to smoke and cook the food. Which is what happens but the food is generally not Smokey enough. I went online and discovered that it’s a combination of wood and hot charcoal. The hot charcoal heats the wood which in turn creates the smoke.

I went with this and made the bestest smoked turkey ever.

I didn’t stop there of course. I marinated the smoked turkey with my sauce and grilled it at 200 degrees in an oven for 20 minutes. The aim was to give it a crisp texture and a Smokey taste; I achieved that.

I went on to prepare the cake. I made a simple vanilla and strawberry cake.

The frosting was a little blend of mine. A mixture of whipped cream, blended Oreos, cocoa powder, butter and icing sugar. The main thing the cake had was the topping; Chocolate Paillette Feuilletine. To be sincere, I don’t know how to pronounce it but I do know how to make it. It is like crunchy flat biscuit.

I made the Paillette Feuilletine and mixed it with melted chocolate. My aim was to coat the whole cake with just that but I had issues sticking it to the sides of the cake. Another option would have been to apply my strange frosting then stick the Chocolate Paillette Feuilletine to the frosting but I am not trying to kill people’s children with sugar. So I applied it on top of the cake instead.

Next was the gizdodo. I had planned to prepare it a day before but my mum suggested I prepare it the day I will share it. Seeing that it was a work day, my mum decided to help me by preparing it early in the morning.

I baked the gizzard in an oven for about 30 minutes under 200 degrees. I salted and peppered the gizzard before putting it in the oven.

My mum handled the rest. She made a sauce, fried the plantain and put it all together.

I was also going to also give stuff to my friends around. So along with everything, I added a little snack. I boiled some sugar, added butter and groundnuts. I placed them in molds to cool off before taking them out.

My aim was actually to make something chewier, I didn’t add enough butter. Next time, I will also add milk to the mixture.

So did I put Ebuka to shame? Well, we were able to share the goodies for about 50 of our colleagues, including Ebuka. Ebuka seemed to be unaffected by the whole thing really. His heart has been hardened. You cannot shame someone who cannot be shamed.

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