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My Memory of a Great Meal!

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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.

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A Family
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Whisking up a tasty concoction!
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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 palace!

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 diet!

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Ashton and I feast on this wonderful meal
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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 my might!

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Yummmmy... Oops..I think you missed a little!
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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?

Abeja
 

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