Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cultural Differences In Cooking

Even after all the years we've been in Africa I still shake my head at the way Africans do things. It always cracks me up when they remind ME of the crazy way I do things!!

Today while preparing dinner Pelegrino and Elisha were sitting at our dining room table with Bill studying the Bible. I was making a garlic-ginger paste for my new Indian recipes. Out came the blender, which made so much noise they had to take a break and just watch me. It was at this point that Pele asked Bill, "Do all American girls go to school to learn how to cook?" I've been told before by African women that there are way too many steps in our food preparation. I guess Pele was of the same mind because he thought there was no way an ordinary woman could learn to do this without a proper school. Little does he understand that my schooling came from the school of Trial and Error!

You know, actually going to a school to learn how to cook from scratch would be a great idea for the new missionary wife. I mean let's face it. Unless you've been blessed with a mother or grandmother who taught you how to cook we are clueless to what real "from scratch" cooking is.  I can well remember our first term in Kenya and my attempt at making re-fried beans from dried beans. I didn't realize I needed to clean them first. Weren't we surprised when our first bite showed it was full of BUGS!

Now I have an even better idea that is actually do-able... Maybe some of you older ladies can teach these new missionary wives how to cook! I know a godly lady in our church who often hosts a missionary family in her home during our church's Missions Conference. She happens to be a GREAT cook and could be such a blessing to these wives. Life can be so overwhelming when a new missionary family first arrives. There is so much to adjust to. If you add to that a wife who hasn't the faintest idea what to do with an open market, dried beans, and rice that is not done in a minute, well just picture her standing in the kitchen with tears rolling down her cheeks in despair while a hungry child pulls on her skirt! You think I'm exaggerating? Nope, I've been there!

I'd love to hear about any other missionary wife's story about learning to cook from scratch. I'd also enjoy hearing how you older ladies have lived out the Titus 2 woman by teaching your valuable cooking skills!


1 comment:

  1. Great post.
    My first week here, I could not produce any bread item for the life of me (and shed more than a few tears over it!). When I finally realized that Dan had bought corn flour instead of wheat flour from the market I was praising God yelling, "Thank you, Lord! I'm not crazy! I haven't completely lost my mind!"