The last blog was primarily about pombe – sorghum beer – that Nona brought down to the village for a family feast to which I was invited a couple of days ago.
Now about the food and other aspects of the little party:
Fetes here are heavy on the meat and carbohydrates and any vegetables are generally mixed into one of the dishes. The dishes are cooked over charcoal burners in the afternoon, while there is still light, and then served in the early evening.
- The roadrunner chicken had been slaughtered and cooked several hours with tomatoes, onion, some red pepper, palm oil, and garlic. Roadrunners are very tought (but tasty) and therefore require this kind of cooking. The sauce is reduced to a thick, rich consistency and is very yummy.
- Yellow beans – wonderful at this time of the year, freshly dry after the harvest – were cooked with potatoes and onions.
- Rice, from Omer’s plot here in the village, was steamed and served plain, to be eaten with the rich roadrunner sauce.
Following the food, I took pictures of some the kids who were there:
Just as Sorghum beer is a key part of fetes, so are baskets. Baskets continue to be made in the traditional style, though as shown below that is also being changed. In weddings and other celebrations baskets containing food are a key feature and still today are used in rural areas in going and coming from market.
Nona gave me a basket, which should have been given at Christmas, but at that time I was in the hospital.
Nona’s new basket (above) beside the one she made for me about 7 years ago. The ‘new style’ uses plastic in order that the color is not lost, and also incorporates new patterns. The older one that she made is similar to the traditional baskets shown below
Another reason for switching from local grasses and vegetable dyes to plastic, is that with land reclamation of the wetlands throughout the country many of the traditionally used grasses are disappearing.