Friday, November 27, 2009

Fete-ing in DoGbO!!!

This past week has seen a lot of good food and fete-ing in Dogbo! Wednesday was Kristin's birthday so we went to eat at the local buvette and then people came back to my house for cake. I found balloons in Cotonou, which added a little bit of flare as well.

Thanksgiving au Benin, round deux was excellent. I was freaking out that none of the Thanksgiving boxes my family had sent me made it here but we managed to scrounge up a delicious meal in Dogbo with all Beninese found items anyway (with the exception of 2 cans of cranberry sauce, lovingly donated by Michelle and Kristin).

I never really thought that the first thanksgiving I hosted would be in West Africa but it was pretty awesome. There were 11 people at my house on Thursday for dinner. Angelina and Andrew were over all day cooking with me and then Kristin came over after class to help, and Michelle as well. Everyone else just came to eat, which worked out fine—too many cooks in the kitchen and all. We made cornbread stuffing (made the cornbread the day before and attempted to let it dry out—let me take a moment to expound how successful THAT was in a tropical climate…all I succeeded in doing was getting it covered in ants and having to brush them all off the next day before people got too grossed out), Turkey legs that Meredith brought down from Azove, glazed carrots, green bean “casserole” sort of, cranberry sauce, corn, gravy (Angelina made it from bouillion cubes and it was wonderful…don’t know how she did it. We didn’t have drippings because we fried the turkey and even though we boiled it first because meat here is too tough to eat if you don’t boil, the water got thrown out by accident). We also had garlic mashed potatoes, glazed “sweet potatoes” (not what you r thinking of—Beninese sweet potatoes). And I got up at 7 to make fresh onion herb bread which was a HUGE hit….so delicious…and it made a ton. We brought down the extra to Cotonou yesterday and bought meat to make sandwiches…AMAZING! Dessert was apple crumble pie and Michelle whipped up a “Green Papaya tastes just like Pumpkin Pie” that really did taste pretty much like a pumpkin pie. We had an amazing time hanging out together and cooking. We even splurged and bought 3 things of real butter!!! The smell of ACTUAL REAL butter melting on my stove to make the crisp topping was unbelievable. Never in my life have I appreciated that smell before like that. Angelina and I actually stopped dead in our tracks at the same time just realizing that the kitchen smelled like actual butter and we sort of basked in its glow for a few moments. Same thing with the smell and taste of turkey. All in all a great day. And Kristin’s mom had sent down thanksgiving napkins, plates, and tablecloth which set a nice ambience! No refrigerators here are inherently a problem for leftovers so my neighbors made out like bandits (as did scout…she is eating for several, after all), and we gave them the oil we fried with, which I think probably made them happier than any of the food we gave them. Friday morning we cleaned up the house and migrated down to Thanksgiving Round 2 in Cotonou for ALL of the Southern volunteers. I am bien full and can’t even think of food right now!

The cake!

My house decorated

Make a wish!

Bread in the middle of rising...there was so much dough

MY kitchen in the middle of cooking

Apple crumble pie...even made little leaves!

Andrew standing guard over the turkey

Angelina and Michelle, who always gives me the peace sign in photos

Our Thanksgiving spread

my plate!

Scout in a post turkey-scrap coma...or maybe in just a "I am so knocked up and tired" coma


Maman et Papa said...

I think I would have been very satisfied with this repas! Maybe even to the point of feeling like Scout!

Nice stories - I like the B/W picture with the two children, maybe you should use that for your Blog pic?

By the way - I have seen similar wood (2x4's) scaffolding here too.

Love you to Mars and back!

Aunt Nancy said...

Your feast looks sensational and like so much fun. I had Uncle John's family over. I cooked and cleaned for a week. It was worth it though. They stayed for a little more than two and a half hours. Freaks!

Didi said...