Topic: Education and Values
I just got back from Africa, Uganda specifically--following a medical mission to a hospital in Nebbi district. This was my second trip and I already miss the patients, staff and entire environment. There is a simple, pure honesty in their day-to-day life, unfettered by the materialism of our western culture.
My observations of their daily rhythms expose the often artificial nature of a day in our lives. Funny values we have, often self righteous to a fault: predominantly consumers, not producers, often petty, unkind, pitting one against the other, instead of uniting. We fail to act as community, instead as little self-interested groups, and this behavior is encouraged by our political leadership. We behave with a poor conceptualization of individuality.
The Socratic saying, "The unexamined life is not worth living" still applies, we should heed that advice.
Instead of preaching about values, let me share a recipe for a meal we often had--seasonal vegetables in a stew, prepared in a kettle over an open firewood fire. Even at the "hotel" in Nebbi, food is prepared off site in an open kitchen, over a wood or charcoal fire. (Yes, they make their own charcoal!). No "fast" food here, also no GMOs, no preservatives or chemical additives.
African Inspired Vegetarian Stew
4 medium carrots, sliced ½ in thick
1 small onion, chopped larger chunks
1 medium zucchini (without seeds) chopped larger chunks
1 large sweet potato or small eggplant, chopped (you might use pumpkin or other hard squash here)
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 large Russet potatoes, chopped
28 oz can crushed peeled and seeded tomatoes
1 tsp salt (iodized, universally needed for thyroid function)
Chili sauce, to taste—
OR—if you prefer north African seasonings:
½ tsp red pepper flakes, 1 Tbsp Za'atar, 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp dried thyme,1 tsp dried parsley or fresh parsley chopped
If in Africa—you'll have to bring to a boil over an open fire in a kettle, then cover and bury in ashes next to the fire or cover with hay and incubate for several hours until the vegetables are thoroughly cooked.
If in the US—suggest putting in an oiled crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours. OR- in a Dutch oven, bring to a boil, then cover and bake 2 hours in a slow oven 300 degrees until vegetables are soft.
The Vegetable Stew should be served over rice. I cooked 1 ½ cups dry rice (3 cups cooked) to be divided between 4 bowls, then ladle stew over. . I used canned peeled and seeded tomatoes, imagine if you had to produce the same from fresh tomatoes--you CAN do it, but thankfully, we have the canned product readily available and nutritionally it is equivalent.
Serve the stew with homemade CHAPATI, an African flatbread.
Chapati (African flat Bread)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 Tbsp oil
½ cup water
½ tsp salt.
Combine in a bowl and divide dough into 4 pieces.
Roll each piece flat, adding extra flour to avoid sticking.
Fry each piece in an oiled pan, turning once. Start with 1 Tbsp of oil in the pan, then add more as needed.
Enjoy this fabulous dish of simple, pure vegetables and easily made fresh flatbread...