(Written by Dr Dr Tulsi Dyal Singh)
One piece of time we had a mortar and a pestle
though we called them a matta and a matta stick
which we used to pound plantain to make foo foo
a recipe one of my father’s friends had given him.
The mortar was part of a hollowed-out tree trunk
about twenty inches high, waisted around the middle.
One end was an eight inch deep bowl-bottomed mortar
and the other end, about twelve solid inches thick,
was much more often used as a sitting stool
when it was not being used as a butchers’ block.
The matta stick was a three foot long wooden rod
which you grasped bimanually to pound and pestle.
The children pounded the boiled green-plantains
until they were soft, smooth and buttery in consistency
then flavored with garlic, salt, onions and peppers
and rolled into bite-sized balls to eat with stew.
When you see people ambidextrously pounding air
and mouthing blather, void of fact but rich in innuendo,
instead of a podium and a microphone, give them please
a matta and a matta stick to macerate their drivel.
Tulsi Dyal Singh, MD.