Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rwandan Cooking: onion salad with a dressing of giardia and salmonella, anyone?

This morning I went with Jenny to her resource family’s house, centrally located near the market. Her mom had invited us for a cooking lesson. We headed to the market for produce and then set about preparing the meal.

With an audience of 6 (the mom, dad, 15-month-old Teta, 9-year-old Mami, houseboy, and grandmother) in hysterics, I attempted to peel filthy potatoes with a dull knife. I was actually pretty glad it was dull, because I could have cut off a finger with a sharp one. By the time each potato was peeled it was filthy from the dirt that had been on the skin, but Jenny and I just rolled with it.

I believe the picture speaks for itself: knife sharpening on the back stoop in full America-loving regalia.

We also helped pick over the rice, chopped carrots, removed skins from boiled tomatoes, cut up the potatoes and threw them in oil to make ifiriti, and got smoke in our eyes. When the delicious looking carrot-bean dish was almost finished, we watched in horror as Jenny’s host mother chopped up an onion for salad and then plunged it into a dish of unboiled, very unsafe water before returning it to the salad plate. With the meal of rice, fries, and carrot-bean-deliciousness on the table, they heaped some unrefridgerated mayonnaise onto the giardia-infested onions. We both turned the salad down, but the rest of the meal was delicious.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to hear that you decided to skip the onion salad!


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