Friday, March 05, 2010

Cooking the West African Way

At my March 3rd cooking class we prepared  a West African dinner in my home. We dined on ginger (and regular) beer, bissap, green plantain chips, chichinga (suya), chicken groundnut stew (and a fish-broth-based version for one non-meat/poultry eater), palaver sauce, omo tuo (rice balls), gari (cassava meal), ampesi (we used white sweet potatoes, green and ripe plantain, cocoyam (taro), and, unfortunately but not surprisingly, the Mexican yam we got was rotten). We had atwemo (like chin-chin) and a fresh coconut and  tropical fruit salad for dessert. 

The participants were great and from the feedback so far, a wonderful time was had by all.  Here are a few pictures taken near the end of class. Kudos to all of my students! I'll share some of the other recipes we prepared, but since we were too busy to take pictures, will probably have to re-cook the groundnut stew, omo tuo and palaver sauce to illustrate for you.

In 2 weeks, it'll be time for a trip to southern Africa. I'll let you know how that class goes (or, if you are in the State College area and want to sign up, I still have a few openings). Here's some information on that class:

March 18: Southern Africa--includes South African wines, shrimp peri peri, samp and beans with tomato bredie, chakalaka salad, curry and rice, melktert, and rooibos tea. Each class includes an illustrated introductory lecture (and snack), followed by preparation and enjoyment of classic beverages and dishes.

Sadly, I was at our local Barnes and Noble bookstore today. There were bookcases and bookcases of international cookbooks: France, Italy, Spain, China, India, Brazil, Japan, Thailand, Mexico, Germany, etc., etc. etc., but the only "African" cookbooks were 3 on Moroccan cooking. This is most unfortunate. Africa has so very much to offer and teach us.

"The one who has not traveled widely thinks his/her mother is the only (best) cook"--African proverb among the Baganda, Akamba, Kikuyu, Memba, Haya, Igbo, Yoruba  

9 comments:

Nina said...

sounds yummy and I am sure you all had a lot of fun!

AfricaLiving said...

My mom is the best cook! And I've traveled widely...

Cindy said...

Hi Fran,

I was surprised that your bookstore doesn't carry Marcus Samuelson's book on African cuisine or Yolele, by Pierre Thiam, on Senegalese cooking.

All the more reason to get yours out there! ASAP!

PS: I linked to your blog from a blog post today on Gherkins & Tomatoes.

Cindy

Fran said...

Hi, Cindy: Thanks for the link. I don't carry any books, like Marcus' or Pierre's, that are easily available online at places like amazon.com. I do carry books of folks in Africa, like Ghana, who do not have access to such services and who've asked me to help them.

Cindy said...

Fran,

I was referring to your comment in this post about you having been to a local bookstore and only seeing 3 books from Morocco as being representative of Africa. I was unaware of your own bookselling efforts.

Fran said...

Whoops, sorry about the misunderstanding. I thought you meant the "market" tab at my website. Remember, I live in central Pennsylvania, not a big city. The tastes are not particularly varied here ;-)

yoshi3329 said...

Wow! Sound good. I wish I could your class or any class for that matter. I can't seem to find any African cooking classes here in Illinois. That's why I'm glad you have a blog. Will you be doing any of the South African recipes?

Fran said...

Sure, I can put up the S. African recipes we prepare. I'll keep you posted.

Kathy said...

Hope will see more Africa cooking book in the book store
:)