3 Quick Recipes for Zimbabwean Pumpkin & Squash

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Everywhere I go, I see the rust, orange, and gold of pumpkins and squashes. Some smile from my neighbors' front stoops. Some have been tagged for this year's Thanksgiving pie or pumpkin pancakes (Hello, Russia!). Even Pinterest looks like a digital pumpkin patch of late. All this for good reason. These beautiful gourds are autumn. They represent breathless hikes to pick out the biggest, the gnarliest, the cutest in the bunch. But for all that, I can only look at so many pumpkin recipes … [Read more...]

Menu: Zimbabwe

Witch doctor of the Shona people close to Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe. Photo by Hans Hillewaert.

I don't think I've ever done this. I've always told you the menu. Every Wednesday for 195 weeks, my choices have been in this space, recorded in black and white. But today... I'm just not ready to tell you what I'm making. Perhaps it's panic. What if I make the wrong choice this week? Or perhaps it's denial. What if I'm not ready for it to be over? I can tell you this much: there will be pumpkins and squashes. There will be peanuts and peanut butter. And there will be, I assure you, some … [Read more...]

About the food of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Sunset. Photo by Steve Evans.

Yesterday, I mentioned my fear of crossing "the chasm", towards the final post of this Adventure. And yet, here we are. Time stalls for none. This is the first step over Victoria Falls from Zambia to Zimbabwe. There are a few restaurants near the falls, like the Rainforest Cafe, where you can get a Crocodile Tail Wrap with wasabi. Talk about fusion! As one travels further into the heart of this southern African country, more traditional foods appear, like pumpkin greens … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Zambia

Victoria Falls, First Gorge, Zambian Side. Photo by DoctorJoeE.

httpv://youtu.be/Ign5yEDHq9k Between Zambia and Zimbabwe lies the stunning chasm of mist and water called Victoria Falls. The water flows through both countries like some stealthy border walker, never fixed to one particular country. Never tied down. In this poetic space, where rapids, danger, and sparkling, spraying joy all tumble together, I see meaning for our own little cooking adventure. I'm on one side of the end, metaphorically sitting in Zambia, looking at Zimbabwe. Wondering … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mealie Bread with Blackened Chilies

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If you ask my husband, there's always room for cornbread. And he'll eat twice as much cornbread if green chilies dot through the crumb. But what would he think if the cornbread came from half a world away? If it came from Zambia? As a former "Mr Picky" he says: Mealie Bread is a good way to bridge the gap for picky eaters to try something from another culture." The cornbread in Zambia is much like the cornbread in the USA - except it is made with fresh corn kernels instead of cornmeal. This … [Read more...]

Recipe: Zambia’s Spiced Tilapia Stew

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  "Leading a race does not mean that you will win it." Zambian Proverb It's a chilly, wintery, blustery sort of day. Even the trees shudder, their leaves falling down in chatterings. Thankfully, Zambia makes quick work of dissipating the cold, with this Spiced Tilapia Stew.  Each bite pops with fresh lime juice, tomatoes, and Napa cabbage. A dusting of cumin, mustard seeds, fresh ginger and garlic give the broth depth. But it's the Thai Bird chilies that'll clear your sinuses. … [Read more...]

Menu: Zambia

Fish market stall on Great East Road at the Luangwa Bridge, Zambia by Hans Hillewaert

  "Talk to a person who can understand and cook for a person who can be satisfied." Zambian Proverb I'm in the final phases of writing my memoir. By the end of November, the manuscript will be sent off to National Geographic to do their magic. At that point, they'll work on final edits, layout, and publicity. And then, boom, next year there will be a book. My book. It's the story of my search for food, family, and home - and I can't wait to share it with you. But right now, I'm in … [Read more...]

About the food of Zambia

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia by Joachim Huber

While you'll find caterpillars and grasshoppers on the menu on the tropical plateaus of Zambia, maize (a.k.a. sweet corn) is far more common. This southern African nation will enjoy maize as a stiff porridge called nshima, in a beer called chibuku, and in sweet loafs (similar to our cornbread, but made with fresh corn [Recipe]). Like many African countries, the groundnut (a.k.a. peanut) is beloved, especially when stirred into stewed greens. Peanut oil is also preferred by many Zambian … [Read more...]