My Memory of a Great Meal!
Today I have been invited to dinner my friend Memory Bandera's house. You've met
Memory before because Kevin and I have written about the Girl-Child Network and she is the president. Memory is
nineteen and in her fifth and last year at Zengezi High School.
Memory's house is similar to the other houses in Zengezi. It is a one story concrete house with a
fence around it and a large garden. In the garden, I recognize sugar cane, kale, peppers and tomatoes,
and, of course, corn plants. It seems like every Zimbabwean with even the tiniest patch of earth grows
some corn, which they call maize or, more commonly, mealies. After the revolution, when Zimbabwe was
formed, the first president even planted "mealies" around the presidential
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Dorcas, Memory's mother, knows I'm a vegetarian, so tonight we're making a vegetable dish cooked with
peanut butter. Unlike maize, peanuts and peanut butter come from Southern Africa. I
think it was brought to North America during slave trading, to eventually become a huge part of my
Memory joins us in the kitchen to help, and we chop vegetables, cook them, and then add a
peanut-butter and water mixture for them to simmer in a bit longer. Next, we make sadza. This
corn-meal mush is actually easy to make, but it requires a lot of strength! Memory
can stir the pot of boiling cornmeal and water with quick, strong strokes. When it was my turn, I was
embarrassed by how slow the wooden spoon moved through the sadza, even when I pulled with all
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Memory's father arrives home from his job as a book-binder just in time for dinner. All of our work
paid off because dinner is great! Sadza is traditionally eaten with your hands, and is mixed up with
meat stew, vegetables or any other tasty thing on your plate in order to give it some flavor. Like
rice, tortillas, pasta or bread in other countries, in Zimbabwe, sadza is eaten at almost every meal
with practically every food. The kids here can't even imagine how I can ever live without it in the
United States. What food can't you imagine living without?
The Team - No Cans Allowed!
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