I am sorry for my delay in responding to your letter dated the 1st of November 2011. You raised a number of issues, and I wanted to be sure I addressed each one as fully as possible.
Before I go on, thank you for being as you put it ‘the sole viewer of ‘Cooking with Joxy’’. I have not been on YouTube for more than a few months, and I must congratulate you for having managed to log on from various computers located in countries as diverse as Ghana and Sri Lanka simultaneously, just for the sole aim of boosting my viewing figures, which are currently in excess of 3000.
The dish you have an issue with in this letter is Efo Elegusi. Roughly translated, this means Spinach stew with ground melon seeds.
If you had watched the video as closely as you claim to have, you would have observed that the melon seeds were white. I also stated that they were commonly found in African food stores, and might have the name egusi on the packet. When I processed the seeds in the blender, the resulting powder was also white. I thus find it hard to understand why you chose to use watermelon seeds, which happen to be black (thank you for sending me some to buttress your point), and which as far as I know, are inedible. You state in your letter that these were hard to blend, and came out looking greyish. I totally believe you.
Spinach is commonly used for the stew, but green leafy vegetables can also be substituted. I listed kale, calaloo and even spring greens as acceptable substitutes and said the greens might have to be cooked for a bit longer as they had denser leaves. I held up each of these vegetables so you, the viewer could see what they looked like. I also said frozen spinach is widely available in supermarkets and corner shops. I fail to see why you thought using broccoli was a good idea. I know you claim to be good friends with Gregg Torode, the Masterchef judge, but as far as I am aware, there are two judges on Masterchef, and they are John Torode and Gregg Wallace. I am good friends with a psychiatrist, but I would not go as far as to try to handle psychosis of any form. However, I am quite happy to put in a good word for anyone who might need her professional services.
I am partial to using palm oil in recipes that require it. That is because it imparts a certain flavour that is not replicated in other oils. I am an advocate for using it sparingly, however a mild-tasting vegetable oil could be substituted if preferred, although the taste of the finished dish would be different. I do not recall advocating the use of food colouring to alter the colour of extra-vigin olive oil, and I am sorry the addition of red and orange food colours to your 2 litre bottle has made it bitter and unusable. For future reference, only a drop or two of colouring is usually enough to achieve the desired result, as opposed to a whole tablespoon, which to my humble opinion, is quite excessive.
I am not familiar with tofu. I have never eaten or cooked it. I suggested using whole or halved mushrooms instead of meat, fish or similar proteins. I am unable to explain why your tofu disintegrated into a cloudy liquid after you cooked in in your pressure cooker. For clarification, that method of cooking is usually reserved for tougher cuts of meat like bokoto (cow foot).
I am not at all surprised that you required hospitalisation after ingesting the afore-mentioned meal, and I do hope you are now fully recovered. I would not be giving you a refund for your olive oil, neither do I require you to guest host a future edition of my cookery programme.
Thank you for letting me know you are considering taking legal action against me, I have briefed my lawyers accordingly. I will address your other letters in due course.
Please tune in again soon for more episodes of ‘Cooking with Joxy’.