If anyone would have told me years ago that I would be using a small charcoal stove and firewood to prepare dinner on an outside patio, I would have laughed in their face. Uganda definitely introduced a new experience for me!
I prepared dinner for my host family as one of the ways to say “THANK YOU” to them for all of their help, kindness and hospitality during my visit. Staying with them really made me feel like I had a new family in Uganda and a place to call home should I ever go back to visit. I decided I would make them a Mexican dinner (or at least something close to it). I set out to the busy Friday market alone in the pouring rain and came out pretty successful. I purchased pineapples, watermelon, spices, ground beef, onion, garlic, peppers, fresh beans, potatoes and tomatoes, juice, and I even found ice cream at the supermarket. I was sure that I would be able to whip up a delicious meal in no time! I was wrong.
I returned to my home to find out the electric stove was still not working so I rolled up my sleeves and prepared to use the charcoal stove and firewood. Although I told them this was their true day off to rest and relax at dinner time, my host family all pitched in to help prepare the feast. My host sister taught me how to make chapatti (closest thing to a flour tortilla I could think of),
my host mother helped me fry the potatoes, my host uncle helped me cut veges and my host brother even helped pitch in by making chapatti himself. After an intensive 5 hours of cooking, dinner was ready!
I didn’t know how the meal would turn out since I’m so used to the modern, quick way of cooking (life of a grad student). The meal was fabulous! My host uncle and host cousin even went back for seconds and no one had room for the desert ice cream! We were all stuffed and satisfied after my take on Mexican soft tacos, beans and fried Irish potatoes. I was happy to see them happy and although they didn’t really get a day off because they insisted on helping, they definitely had something different to eat! I know Matooke (a popular banana dish) is the main item on the menu most of the time, but we definitely switched it up at the Kasimba Clan residence that day!