Yesterday Omer’s wife, Nona, came from upcountry with the basket of native potatoes that Omer had asked her to bring. She grows them for own consumption as well as for local sale:
Nona manages the family farm upcountry, crops as well as goats and cattle, while Omer lives and works down here and has put their four children through school in the Bujumbura area.
Chef Richard was delighted, instructing his cooks to boil them in preparation for adding them to a sauce or to beans, as a trial taste-run. Unfortunately, the kitchen staff cooked them too long; they were soggy and much of the taste was gone.
However, what taste was left was quite good and Richard thinks some very nice dishes can be made with them. So, Nona will send down quite a bit more so that we can plant them and start them in the Contract Farming Project. They can be featured in the Sunday Buffet as ‘Burundi’s Own Native Potatoes’ (or something like that) - which should be a hit.
Also, if their cultivation is successful, they can be a cheap addition to local diets, by those who will be growing them for the Contract Farming Scheme and for themselves and for local sale.
Then, I was very happy to learn that Nona and her daughter, Elaine, had brought a large cock as a present for me (live) and so in a few days we’ll make a little feast in the village :-)
Elaine, who has recently had her first child (her cousin, in the picture) is very happy to live upcountry in the same area as her mother. She brought me a live rooster in a box that was tied to the top of the minibus; above picture).