All posts filed under: Senegal

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Monday Meal Review: Senegal

“Little by little one catches the monkey in the jungle.” – Senegalese Proverb* A reader recently asked me what my New Year’s Resolutions were. I’m almost loathe to admit that I spent New Year’s Eve fast asleep, head pressed firmly into my dreams, but the reality of the matter is that the only place I wanted to be at midnight was fast asleep in my cozy nest of blankets. Our bedroom holds steady at 64 degrees, guaranteeing that the tip of my nose stays cold all through the night, which makes snuggling all the better. Brrr. To answer the question, though, I’ll say that, while I’ve given up resolutions in the traditional sense, I’ve taken on year-long challenges instead.  It sounds the same, but it’s not. These aren’t broad, sweeping resolutions like “lose weight” or “have more fun.” These are small, measurable, and manageable challenges.  Little by little, they add up. Plus we start them around Thanksgiving which, I suppose, makes them Gratitude Goals, not New Year’s Resolutions. Last year, for example, we vowed to only …

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Chicken Yassa

In Senegal’s villages, which dot lazily between scrubby fields, life is slower. People gather barefoot on stoops, pounding millet or boiling rice. Talk and dance reverberate in rhythm with hide-covered drums, around outdoor fires, as though there were nothing more to do with the day than to live. There’s a popular proverb: Yarude seesa haɗtaa yettaade* or Going slowly does not prevent you from arriving. The words make me wince a little. Even with this Adventure I’m often in a hurry, rushing out the door, arms too full to hold Ava’s hands, or trying to slap a meager dinner on the table conjured up halfheartedly bagged, frozen helpers, all the while mind racing with checklists. Slowing down, I’ve realized, is a privilege and luxury that I often don’t indulge in. I could take a lesson from slow, easy Senegal. Chicken Yassa, a favorite stewed chicken dish in Senegal, simmers with onion and lemon juice quite leisurely until the flavors unite to create a tender, falling-off-the-bone, mouthwatering delight. Yassa can be found all over West Africa and there are …

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Senegal’s PB & Peanut Sugar Cookies | Cinq Centimes

In French, Cinq Centimes means Five Cents. Don’t be fooled by the name. This isn’t the sort of recipe that must be studied like a terrible, paragraph-long math problem. This is not a prerequisite to calculus, or even rocket science. This is a snippet – a slice of a dream from Senegalese street vendors. A one-two-three treat worthy of any snack time. No more. No less. Every step is ridiculously easy.  The hardest part will be keeping your sweet, adoring Mr. Picky from sniffing the cookie tray out and eating the entire shebang, so that you have to go and arm yourself with more supplies and an extra secret spot to stash them in. But maybe that’s just me. Inspired by The African Cookbook by Bea Sandler. Ingredients: Sugar Cookies Peanut Butter Peanuts Method: Step 1: If you have the inclination (and a great recipe from grandma), make a batch of sugar cookies. Otherwise, your local bakery is your friend. Oh, and what a good friend they are… Step 2: Arm yourself with a handful of peanuts …

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Senegal’s Black-eyed Pea Salad | Saladu Ñebbe

This New Year, I’m making room for sunlight to lay across the floor. No more discarded shoes to trip over. No more stacks of books or useless tchotchkes. Senegal inspired me. I saw photo after photo of her beautiful waters… vast expanses where sunlight runs free, unhampered by clutter. Less stuff in general, with more of the right stuff – friendship, laughter, love. This is how I want my home and my life to be.  I want to eat fresh and right. I want sunlight in my body. There’s nothing like starting the New Year with Black-eyed Peas in a crisp, cheerful salad, loaded up with all of her favorite friends: tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, and hard-boiled eggs. Coincidentally, the mild, tender bean (it’s not really a pea) is a Senegalese staple. You can find salads like this in restaurants along the coastal cities, either dressed simply with fresh lime juice, or coated thickly with a French dressing inspired mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise. Some will serve the beans spicy with minced habenero, while others keep it mild. …

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Menu: Senegal (& Giveaway)

Those of you who have read this blog before know my refrain “We create peace when we learn about each other, when we understand one another.” To be clear, learning is not the same as understanding, but to understand we must learn. And we can do this through food. And so here we are. Well, today I found a very similar saying from Senegal: “In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; we will understand only what we are taught.” The beauty of these words is in their simplicity. To conserve is to protect. Yes, our environment. But also each other. We must find our way to love through learning, friends. This week, by learning about Senegal, we’re coming closer to love. To peace. To conserving each other and our beautiful cultures. Let’s do it. All recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. Senegalese Salad [Recipe] It’s not too late to bring in the New Year right. Try this lime squeezed black-eyed peas salad tossed with …

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About the food of Senegal

Today’s daydream takes us to Senegal… a land of alluring contrast. One, long finger of Senegal fades into the Atlantic ocean, the westernmost point of Africa. As you wander inland, past the subtropical streets paved with the catch of the day, still fresh from the ocean, you will see as many collard shirts and slacks as you do bright tunics and robes. Three quarters of the population lives in cities on the coast. Once past the bustle (where buses noisily bump past rickety carts), the roads slowly turn to dust and the Savannah takes over. Here, the people’s bright clothing stands out against the golden grasses, thatched roofs, and earthen walls. The flicker of fires in outdoor kitchens makes for a spark of natural color.   This former French colony still has traces of French culture in the food. Baguettes can be found under arm, but more popular than that is rice and millet. Rice is increasingly popular thanks to the ease of preparation although there’s old love for couscous made from millet. With lakes …

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