Want to apologize… I got one picture to upload, but any subsequent ones aren’t working. Will upload them tomorrow if it works.
Cooking Gambian style
Before I take my leave of this wonderful country, I thought it would be good to get some experience with cooking some Gambian dishes. I really have enjoyed a lot of the foods that we get on a regular basis, so I thought I would maybe be able to share some of those dishes with you all when I get home. A month ago, I got to try cooking domoda aka. Durango with my language helper. We used spam and it turned out very nice. This is the first dish that I tried (even before I arrived!) and I like it very much.
A couple weeks later, I was told that there was an opportunity to learn a dish that my language helper doesn’t make. I was super excited, so I tagged along. We did not end up making that dish, but made domoda again. This time was a lot more exciting though because we had to kill, pluck, and clean a chicken in order to make the dish. That was an experience in itself. Margit really wanted to kill the chicken, but since there was a man on the compound, he had to kill it (otherwise it compromises his honor). Margit still got to pick out the chicken and hold the wings and feet while the chicken’s throat was slit, so she was happy. She had me make movies of the whole process which are quite hilarious. The files are too big for me to put up, but you will have to ask me to show you them when I get home. Margit is speaking in Dutch, but you can get the idea of what she is saying anyways. I do have some pictures too so I’ll give you a bit of a taste of getting to cook.
Being that we only have solar power, I’ve already mentioned that we have a kerosene fridge. In addition, we are unable to have a washing machine. I’m sure many of you are curious to know how it gets done without a washing machine. We actually have a woman who comes and does our washing several times a week. She arrives around 7am to wash the clothes and hang them out to dry in the sunshine. In the rainy season, this was a little more difficult. Then in the afternoon/early evening, she comes to do the ironing. Everything gets ironed: towels, skirts, shirts, everything. They do this with all of their clothes as well. It’s not an OCD thing; they actually benefit medically from this practice. Especially around mango season, mango flies like to lay their eggs in drying clothing. If one does not iron all clothing, when the eggs hatch, they like to burrow into your skin and come out when they please. Doesn’t sound very pleasant huh? Thus, I am okay with the practice of ironing everything. The coolest part is that she uses a charcoal iron. I think it is pretty amazing that they can iron their clothes and not burn them with this contraption.
Don’t think that this is all easy for me though. Our washing lady (any for that matter) does not wash our underclothes. I don’t blame her one bit, but it means that about once a week I have to wash my underclothes. By hand. And then hang them out to dry. When it isn’t mango season, I can hang them on the line outside, but otherwise, I have to hang everything inside wherever I can find space. That is sometimes an adventure in itself. Anyways, no pictures on this one… don’t think you’d want to see it anyways.
Countdown: 3 weeks until I fly!