Food. Let’s talk food. Because that’s what I do pretty much all day every day.
So, where do we get our groceries? There are a few places. About every week we visit the Boma, about three miles away. The Boma is a local market with little restaurants and shops selling a variety of things like internet, household supplies, hair care products, vegetables, fabric, bags, shoes, clothes, you get the idea. But don’t picture a farmers market like back in the States! It’s a long way from looking like that. Anyway, we take a taxi and get some chicken, sweet potatoes, onions, tomatoes, greens, bell peppers, flour, bleach and eggs. Roughly every five weeks Lindsay, Timothy and I will join Elissa to do some bulk grocery shopping at one of the shopping centers in Solwezi, about a two hour drive. We will stock up on canned items, beef, snacks, vegetables and fruits, milk, beans, rice, butter, cheese and some drink mixes. We also stop at an Indian restaurant to get some take out for dinner that night. Yay for no cooking! About every other week a lady named Frieda will come by selling stalks of bananas, cucumbers, avocados, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. That pretty much sums up where we get our groceries. Brett also started a garden not long after we got settled and we get green onions, basil, kale and mustard greens from it so far.
Every week there is a potluck dinner for all of the missionaries here at Mukinge. There is no sign up of what to bring so each week the dinner varies from either all vegetables, more carbs or desserts or a very well balanced meal. And everyone cooks so good out here! Man, we’ve been eating so well. I look forward to Friday night dinner and Sunday afternoon pancakes. Each week Michelle will set out pancakes with a tray of different toppings and occasionally others will bring a side or brunch item. It’s like having dessert for lunch! And who wouldn’t want that.
About every other week I will bake two loaves of whole wheat bread for lunches or breakfast. I’ve really enjoyed baking bread and don’t mind it one bit. Well, until I start sweating because of the heat in the kitchen due to the oven and/or the stovetop going. But the smell that it brings and then slicing off a piece after it’s finished with some melted butter and honey, MMM! So good. I will also cook about two or more chickens a week in the crockpot for our sandwiches at lunch time and for a dinner. We can get chicken breasts and chicken thighs in Solwazi but they’re pretty small and more expensive, so we just do a whole chicken and work with that! I’ve had fun experimenting with different bread recipes like naan, bagels, tortillas and scones. And with Lindsay’s love for bulk cooking I’ve gathered a few tips from her, which saves time.
Now, all this cooking produces dishes… Boy, how blessed we are to have dishwashers in this world! Come June we will have been without a dishwasher for a year and I am so excited to have one again. But I am still so grateful. Nearly every night when I am laying Timothy down before we go to bed, Brett will do all the dishes that have accumulated from lunch time. It is such a relief and I appreciate that he does that for me.
And that’s most of my day for you! Here are a few recipes that I have really enjoyed making.
-Sandwich Bread, from Mark Bittman’s cookbook, ‘How to Cook Everything’