Saturday, March 21, 2009

My First Ghanaian Cooking Lesson

Today I realized how blessed we are to be having this experience with Nana Yaw & Esi being here. I am just learning SO MUCH, that I almost feel like I don’t even do it all justice when I try to write about it here on the blog. I can’t possibly write about everything, even though I really want to!

So, today was my first Ghanaian cooking lesson from Esi. It was so much FUN! We made chicken light soup, jollof rice, shito pepper sauce (which goes over the rice), and tomato beef sauce. The main ingredients in almost every Ghanaian dish are tomatoes, onions, and LOTS OF RICE! In fact, rice is typically served with every meal. The main spices they use for almost everything are ginger, garlic salt, onion powder, all spice, salt, and LOTS of ground red pepper.

I wish you could have smelled the flavors in these house was filled with a savory aroma all afternoon!!! And, of course, everything was so good! I love anything tomato-based, so I knew I would like it. My fav was the chicken soup. Esi had so much fun teaching me how to make these main meals. She thoroughly enjoys sharing her culture and details of her life with us. She is so open and willing to answer any of our questions. I couldn’t have hand picked a better house guest!

This has been the neatest day by far, because today I saw how God brought our family together with Nana Yaw & Esi. This afternoon Esi was telling me about the day that Nana Yaw went to the game that Jake attended in Ghana. Originally Nana Yaw did not want to play in that game, because there was a different, more competitive game going on somewhere else, and he would have much preferred to play in the more competitive game. However, Esi told him that he should go and play in the game that Jake was attending, because she thought that maybe it would open up some opportunities for him. You see, a few years ago they had started lining up Nana Yaw to take part in a foreign exchange program here in the U.S. They had started working out the details, but then the host family decided not to go through with it, so he was not able to come. Once things fell through, Esi told me that Nana Yaw was very discouraged and very sad because he had wanted to come to the U.S. for his education so badly. Esi said that she never stopped praying that somehow Nana Yaw would still have the opportunity to come to the U.S. Now, back to the day of the game….Esi said that she told Nana Yaw he could drive his Dad’s car to the game if he went….this was the clincher for him, and he decided to go and play in the game Jake was attending. And, you know the rest of the story. Jake saw him play and out of all the other players, picked him out of the mix and told him he wanted to help him out…to come and play bball in the U.S. and get an education. It was so neat to hear that story this afternoon, and to see how God answered Esi’s prayers….prayers that I didn’t even know about until today!

Esi and I also talked a lot about Solomon today. She knows a lot about his village and told me a list of foods that he would typically eat. We also talked about what an advantage it will be for Solomon to have Nana Yaw around…..a comforting face of someone from his own country. I thought about this for a long time today, and again realized God’s control over our lives. It is so neat how He planned out all the timing of this….because of Esi’s visit I will now have some traditional Ghanaian foods to cook for Solomon, and I feel like I have a much better idea of what Solomon’s culture is like….and I didn’t have to read it all from a book, but I got to learn it first hand. This afternoon Esi said that she had been observing JJ for a few days, and she thinks that JJ is going to do just fine once Solomon is here. She said she can just tell by JJ’s personality. Jake and I have felt this way from the beginning, and to hear her say this as well was so comforting.

I also wanted to post some pictures of JJ & Jayla from the NCAA party yesterday!

JJ's accomplishment was teaching Nyla how to jump off the couch!
These two followed eachother around all day.

Jayla hung out with Dad while Mommy cooked appetizers!

Somehow JJ didn't notice that they were playing peek-a-boo with his blankey.

Coach Julian cooked a huge dinner for everyone: fried chicken, homemade mac n cheese, cornbread, greens, rice, spaghetti & pound cake. As you can imagine, everyone loved it, and I made him tell me all his recipes, one by one.
By the end of the night, Nyla & JJ decided to gang up on Jake.
Poor Daddy.
Double trouble.
Fun Fun! And, my brackets are still lookin good!

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