You already know that maize and tomato are 2 of the core ingredients of the majority of Zambian and sub-saharan African meals. But we also have to add cabbage to that list. It is full of nutrients and keeps the belly full for a long time.
Of course our villagers and PAF members in Chinkonono are growing cabbage for their own use. But our member Raphael is doing it big style. He has a huge cabbage garden and is growing it for his family’s consumption and for sale.
But Raphael doesn’t only grow cabbage. In his garden you will also find onion, egg plant and tomato.
We say: well done! But take a look!
Proud farmer 🙂
Hard work pays off
now that is one big cabbage
On a side note…Lloyd is also trying other good foods 😉
Since we moved our PAF garden closer to PAF Center it is much easier to grow veggies. People work hard to make sure they supply their families and the village with veggies. This season we focus on tomatoes. Besides cabbage tomatoes are among the most important and popular ibgredients in Zambian cuisine. So it only makes sense to grow a larger quantity of them at our PAF garden.
Unfortunately it doesn’t come that easy. With dry season around it is very difficult to water the plants. Mostly women have to carry buckets and buckets and buckets from the river or a well to water the plants. Not even mentioning the actual gardening work. You get the picture…
But just a few days ago all the work started to pay off and the first harvest could be brought in. What a joy 🙂
Of course we have to face the fact we cannot conserve tonatoes properly. But we are trying new methods to keep them longer. One of them is to keep ashes from cooking and put the fresh tomatoes in a box with cold ashes and store them away in a dry and cool place. Let’s hope it works out!
It is again the end of year and everyone and most people are feasting and partying. Chinkonono village was not left behind again. Our PAF member Bruni from Germany made sure the PAF crew celebrated. So Bruni donated money for the event.
Just look at how happy our PAF kids Orsborn, Allan, Ryton, Cyford, Ruth and Told are!
It was supposed to be a PAF family get together, but when the village got wind of it they, too, invited themselves. I mean, who wouldn’t if there is food involved? 😉
This was quite a challenge to adapt to: from planning for 40 people to 160 now. But as it is with PAF, no one was turned away and miraculasly everyone had his fill of food, drink, laughter, joy and music.
But as you all know, a party does not prepare itself or little elves come and do it. So of course our members had a lot of work to do before the feasting.
First of all we had to decide where the food should be served and we were lucky enough that we could use the building that our dear friends Repairer of the Breach built near to PAF Center, the Brain Shapers Learning Center Zambia. Thank you so much, guys!!
Well…some decoration had to be organized. Funnily enough the men took care of that part. Lloyd, Patrick, Effeso and Phillip sat down and used what they had in their gardens to make the room look nicely. We are talking about banana leaves which were being cut into a “Merry Xmas” lettering by Lloyd. Just take some white paper and glue….tadaaaa 😉 Now add some of thosepoor man roses, the bagavarias. The deep purple reddish hues will lighten the Christmas mood. Doesn’t look too bad, does it?
Lloyd and the guys are cutting banana leaves for decor
Coming out nicely
Just adding some flowers and it is done 🙂
Now the major thing everybody was looking forward to: FOOD 😉
Our PAF ladies spent hours and hours cooking in our community kitchen at PAF Center. Rice had to be cooked, nsima had to be stirred and stirred and stirred. And if any of you ever tried cooking nsima, you will know what hard work that is. Also some goat stew and chicken were prepared, scones baked and drinks served.
Just imagine you would have to cook for 160 people, who initially were supposed to be only 40 😉
Pretty steamy in there 😉
Our PAF ladies doing some culinary magic in our Community kitchen at PAF Center
Stirring and stirring
Well…a bit more rice
Ladies, good job!! You guys rock! A big twalumba to Jane, Rosa, Venulli, Bina Bra, Bina Fortune and the rest of our PAF heroines 🙂
Before food was being served Patrick showed us his geeky dance to pass some time while the ladies were cooking.
Meanwhile…preperations went on, heavy loads to carry 😉
Just enjoy our PAF ladies and some kids marching in to the sounds of “My African Dream” 🙂
And then…then…the waiting had an end and finally food was served. Everyone was in such a good mood.
But even serving the food turned out to be hard work…just look at those plates! Incredible! Also make sure you check out our “Christmas Tree” Zambian style 😉 Since we lack a real one, we put some Elephant Flower…you know: attitude is everything 😉
Serving some decent portions
First plates are ready
Our “Christmas Tree” is watching over the dinner 😉
Now we are bringing on some meat
And then the feasting began. Everyone enjoyed a day full of laughter and fun…and a full belly.
Village kids digging in 🙂
Well deserved, ladies! Enjoy your meal!
The gentlemen sat down inside, in style 😉
In summary what was meant to be a PAF get together ended up as a village party and left everyone happy and satisfied. It was so lively and colourful that it was a Christmas to remember.
Thank you, Bruni! Twalumba! ❤
PAF is wishing everyone a Merry Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
Thank you and Twalumba to all our members, donors, supporters, friends and crew! Without all you guys PAF would not be happening!
It’s been St. Martin’s Day all over the world and people went to get some nice goose meat to feast.
But where do you get your meat, especially red meat in the bush in the middle of nowhere? The nearest mall or meat market is 60km away from Chinkonono. You have to hike and hope to hitchhike on a maize truck, paying maybe $2 to reach town. After this challenging trip you buy a kilo of steak if you can afford it.
But seriously…would you if hares and impalas (they call them the fast food of the bush because of their speed and the McDonalds m on their butts 😉 ) were available in nearby bushes? No? Well, our PAF people and villagers don’t either.
So when a family craves for meat the boys mobilise themselves and whistle the dogs to combat. Theboys doing the hunting are from PAF families. The older one is Kankido. He usually leads the hunt and is very skilled and experienced and thus a good teacher for the younger men.
This little bunny is stubborn 😉
…now this will be some nice dinner 😀
These troops spread into in the bush and within just a few hours they have fresh meat. It takes a bit of skills and patience. But it mostly pays off.
Just check out this short video about how they do it:
While, who needs a mall and fridge when fresh meat roams the neighbourhood?
People these days go crazy about healthy and organic food or superfood. All that for the “western world” is very expensive while in places like Chinkonono it is so easy to get.
One of our coordinators, Wesley (Lloyd’s brother), has sent some pics and info about one of the village’s favourite snacks: Vinkubala…caterpillars.
What? Yeah..caterpillars. What sounds like the most stereotype thing to say about Africa is actually a very, very healthy part of PAF members’ diet.
In Chinkonono those caterpillars are called Vinkubala. Wesley set out to catch them to bring home a surprise for his family for New Years Day.
As you can see the kids went crazy about them.
Those caterpillars can be found in some trees in the field around December and January. It is mostly a popular relish or snack around Southern Region.
Vinkubala provide the body with a lot of proteins, vitamines and many more nutrients. That is why during the 2 months people try to eat as many as they can. They are a valuable and important addition to the regular diet. Even the Zambian government recommends eating caterpillars.
As you can imagine, thinking of caterpillars, most kids at first are a bit hesitant and even scream when they see or touch them for the first time. But on the other hand they are more than eager to have them.
Kids just love them 😉
Do we really need spoons?
How to eat vinkubala, you ask? Well…obviously you put them in a dish and kids will try sort out the biggest ones for themselves first. 😉 Then you have to get the outer shell off and remove the insides. Apply some salt, let them sit there for a few hours or a day. Then they are ready to be fried or cooked. You can add any ingredients you see fit.
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Everybody loves sweets and candy, right? So do the people in Chinkonono. So we invited Kennedy to visit us in the village. Kennedy knows how to make candy. He sells them in villages and in town.
It seemed like a great idea to try and produce sweets to sell at our market soon.
Making sweets is as simple as they are good. All you need is sugar, a few lemons, some food colour (or in our case orange and strawberry flavored powder for water), some cooking oil and a bit of water. Obviously a pot, pan and fire 😉
First of all you put a pot on the fire and heat the sugar and some oil. After a few minutes you add water and the lemon juice and stir a bit. When it is boiling you will see some bubbles and foam.
Kennedy showed us how he knows that the mass is ready to be processed further. He took bits of the foam and put it in the water to check the consistency. I would just burn my hands 😉
While you watch that mass cook you can take some of the flavored powder and mix it with a bit of oil and also heat it till it is a liquid mass.
When the sugar mass is ready you need a greased pan to pour it onto. And then use a spoon to move the mass to not have it stick to the pan.
Once the mass cooled down a bit it takes 2 people to kneed and fold it over and over again. It is beautiful to watch how the colour of the sugar mass changes. It looks like gold in the sunshine.
The next step is to make a big ball of the mass and make small balls of the colored powder. Those you press into the mass and along the ball on 3 sides.
Then it is easy…you just form long threads of the mass, put them on the pan and cut them. Let them cool and tadaaahhh: candy!
Check the video to see the most important steps. It is fascinating to watch.
All our PAF members watched and learned. Even our PAF Warriors showed up to have a look (and taste a candy) before their practice.
We are now thinking of producing sweets like that which contain moringa powder instead of the flavored powder. But for that we will have to wait till we can harvest again. Right now all our Moringa trees are desperately waiting for rainy season 😉
We even sat down to count all the candy we made to figure out how much we could sell them for and how much benefit that would be. And what can I say? It is worth it! 😉
If any of you guys is interested in trying PAF Moringa Sweets made in Chinkonono…let us know. We gladly take orders and produce as soon as we can.
Ob wir es nun zugeben oder nicht…insgeheim lieben wir doch alle Süßigkeiten. Da sind die Menschen in Chinkonono keine Ausnahme. Also haben wir kurzentschlossen Kennedy eingeladen, uns im Dorf zu besuchen und unseren Mitgliedern zu zeigen, wie man Süßigkeiten herstellt. Wäre doch eigentlich auch nicht schlecht, wenn man selbst hergestellte Süßigkeiten auf unserem bald fertig gebauten Markt verkaufen könnte…
Süßigkeiten herzustellen ist wirklich kinderleicht und schmecken tun sie auch. Alles was man braucht sind folgende Zutaten: Zucker, ein paar Zitronen, Lebensmittelfarbe (oder in unserem Fall farbiges Pulver zum Einrühren in Wasser für fruchtigen Geschmack), ein bisschen Öl und Wasser….und natürlich Topf, Blech und Feuer 😉
Als erstes muss das Feuer geschürt werden. Dann werden Zucker und ein bisschen Öl auf dem Feuer erhitzt bis es blubbert und sich eine Art Schaum auf der Oberfläche bildet. Dann gibt man den Saft der Zitronen und ein bisschen Wasser dazu und lässt es weiter köcheln. Zwischendurch hat Kennedy immer mal wieder ein wenig vom Schaum oben abgenommen und im kalten Wasser betrachtet, um die Konsistenz der Masse zu prüfen. Würde ich ja nicht probieren…meine Hände sind nicht feuerfest 😉
Während die Masse so vor sich hinköchelt kann man schon das farbige Pulver mit etwas Öl mischen und dann auf dem Feuer erhitzen bis es eine zähe Masse wird.
Sobald die Zuckermasse die richtige Konsistenz hat wird sie auf ein gut gefettetes Blech gekippt und dann mit einem Löffel bewegt, damit sie nicht festklebt. Sobald die Masse etwas abgekühlt ist, wird sie zu einem großen Ball geformt und dann von 2 Leuten geknetet und gefaltet. Immer und immer wieder. Es ist faszinierend und wunderschön, zu beobachten wie sich die Farbe der Masse ständig verändert und golden im Sonnenschein glänzt.
Die farbige Masse kann nun zu kleinen Bällen geformt und dann längs der Zuckermasse in 3 schmalen Streifen angedrückt werden. Nun muss man eigentlich nur noch die Masse in schlauchförmige Stangen formen und auf dem Blech schneiden. Tadaaahhh: fertige Bonbons!
Schaut euch am besten mal das Video an. Dort sind die wichtigsten Schritte noch einmal zu sehen. Es ist faszinierend, die Herstellung zu beobachten. Kein Wunder, dass so viele unserer PAF Mitglieder zugeschaut haben. Auch die Jungs unserer PAF Warriors haben es sich nicht nehmen lassen, einen Blick (und ein paar Bonbons) vor ihrem abendlichen Training zu erhaschen.
Natürlich haben wir gleich mal alle Bonbons gezählt und durchgerechnet, wieviel Gewinn man theoretisch beim Verkauf erwirtschaften könnte. Es lohnt sich 😉 Momentan denken wir darüber nach, anstatt des farbigen Pulvers auch Moringapulver zu verwenden, um gesündere Süßigkeiten herzustellen. Allerdings müssen wir nun erstmal auf die Ernte warten, denn zur Zeit sehnen sich unsere Moringabäumchen noch nach der Regenzeit 😉
Falls ihr also Interesse an hausgemachten PAF Moringa Sweets habt, lasst es uns wissen. Wir nehmen Bestellungen entgegen und werden dann nächstes Jahr schnellstmöglich produzieren.