Mother Africa's Table: A Chronicle of Celebration Through West African and African American Recipes and Cultural Traditions

Overview

A compendium of foods, feasts, and festivities, Mother Africa's Table brings to life the history of a people, the survival and evolution of their culture, and the spirit that has sustained them for centuries. Like the folk stories passed on from one generation to the next, some of the recipes here are presented in their original African form, while others have their roots in Africa but reflect the creative adaptations of generations of African Americans. Descriptions of the history and cultural significance of ...
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1998-04-13 Hardcover New FREE TRACKING NUMBER EMAILED TO YOU-Exact ISBN match, spiral bound book exactly as shown; mint condition, gift quality, NEW---Alaska, Hawaii and APO ... addresses PLEASE NOTE: The post office gives a 3-5 week window for Standard Media (surface) mail to reach your regions. If time is of the essence, click Priority service! Read more Show Less

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1998 Hardcover New 0385477333. New. No remainder marks. Display copy; light shelf wear. Professional service from a Main street bookstore.; 8.90 X 6.80 X 0.70 inches; 224 pages.

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Overview

A compendium of foods, feasts, and festivities, Mother Africa's Table brings to life the history of a people, the survival and evolution of their culture, and the spirit that has sustained them for centuries. Like the folk stories passed on from one generation to the next, some of the recipes here are presented in their original African form, while others have their roots in Africa but reflect the creative adaptations of generations of African Americans. Descriptions of the history and cultural significance of various celebrations - ranging from an age-old African naming ceremony to Kwanzaa, a harvest festival created in America in 1996 - provide the entertaining, informative background for a culinary adventure rich in flavor, texture, and tradition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385477338
  • Publisher: Broadway Books
  • Publication date: 4/13/1998
  • Edition description: SPIRAL
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.79 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The Naming Ceremony

A male child has been born into this world and is now eight days old, so a time has been set for the Yoruba ritual naming ceremony. The ceremony's purpose is threefold: to establish the child's character traits, to make a link between the child and community, and to affirm and assure. The community affirms its responsibility in the upbringing of the child; the child is assured that he will be welcome and will be cared for by his family and the community. The Baba Lawo, or high priest, will officiate at the joyous event. The child's aunt has gathered the ritual items to place on his tongue: hot pepper sauce, honey, water, salt, gin, and a piece of coconut. They are crucial in helping to establish desirable character traits for this new life. The child's grandmothers are preparing the celebration dishes for this great day. The child's aunt will wear a golden buba and matching knife, along with her best amber jewelry. The Naming Ceremony is among the most joyous of all because it welcomes a new, sweet spirit into the world.

Jollof Rice
Chachanga (Spicy Meat Kabobs)
Akara (Shrimp and Black-Eyed Pea Fritters)
Sweet Pepper Salad
Ginger-Roasted Fish
Chicken Groundnut Stew With Vegetables
Jamma Jamma (Spiced Greens)
Chile Sambal (Dark Chile Shrimp Condiment)
Ginger-Citrus Sparkler


Jollof Rice

2 medium ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 medium onion, quartered
3 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into large pieces (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 1/4 teaspoons red chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 teaspoonsdried thyme leaves, crushed
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste (optional)
4 cups uncooked long-grain rice, rinsed
4 cups hot water
Tomato and onion slices

1. Place the tomatoes in a blender container followed by the onion and bell peppers and blend for 10 seconds, until ground into a coarse puree, adding up to 1/4 cup of water if necessary.

2. In a heavy pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the blended pepper pure, curry powder, chili powder, salt, white pepper, and thyme. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir the tomato paste into the puree until well blended. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Add the rice and hot water. Return to a boil; lower the heat and simmer covered for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Remove from the heat, uncover, and top with tomato and onion slices. Allow to steam covered for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 8


Chachanga (Spicy Meat Kabobs)

1 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne) or paprika
1 tablespoon Mixed Spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup roasted groundouts (peanuts), ground into powder
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 pound mutton, liver, or beef, sliced into 3/8 x 8-inch strips or cubed
1 onion, cut into pieces for skewering
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup crushed roasted groundnuts (optional)

1. In a small bowl, mix together the cayenne, mixed spice, salt, powdered groundnuts, and vinegar to make a paste. Place the meat and paste in a sealable plastic bag and massage the paste into the meat until evenly covered. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

2. Prepare a hot charcoal fire. Soak twelve 6-inch bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. Thread the meat and onion on skewers. Sprinkle the meat with oil and grill over hot coals for approximately 3 to 5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the meat and the desired degree of doneness. Roll the cooked skewers in crushed groundnuts before serving, if desired.

Serving suggestion: Serve with Jollof Rice and Red Pepper Dipping Sauce or enjoy as an appetizer with relish or hot pepper sauce or as an entree with a salad, rice, and bread.

Hint: To prepare groundnut powder, place roasted peanuts in a cleaned coffee grinder and pulverize.

Makes 8 kabobs


Sweet Pepper Salad

2 (6-ounce) bags spinach leaves
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced into short strips (about 1 cup)
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced into short strips (about 1 cup)
1 small yellow onion, sliced thin (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Mixed Spice or garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced lengthwise
3 hard-cooked eggs, quartered
1 cup Kuli-Kuli, broken into pieces, or 1 cup crushed roasted peanuts

1. Prepare the salad ingredients: Rinse, drain, spin dry, and destem the spinach leaves. Coarsely tear them into bite-size pieces and place in a mixing bowl with the peppers and onion. Cover and refrigerate.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, chili powder, mixed spice, and salt. Let the dressing stand for at least 1 hour.

3. Before serving, pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss. Arrange the avocado and egg slices over the salad and top with kuli (peanut "croutons"). Serve immediately.

Serves 6


Red Pepper Dipping Sauce

1 to 2 red jalapeo chile peppers, stems and seeds removed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large cloves garlic
l red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut up
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated fresh gingerroot

1. In a mortar, grind the chile peppers, salt, and garlic to a pastelike consistency.

2. In a blender container, pure the bell pepper, vinegar, and ginger with the chili-garlic paste until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. Pour the pepper sauce into a small bowl and serve at room temperature.

Serving suggestion: Offer Red Pepper Dipping Sauce with Fried Plantains.

Variation: For a simpler version of this recipe, combine the red bell pepper with 1 to 4 red chile peppers (based on your spice preference) in a blender container. Puree until smooth and add salt to taste.

Makes about 1 cup


Ginger-Citrus Sparkler

1 cup grated fresh gingerroot
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon or grapefruit juice (about 3 lemons)
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice, prepared from frozen concentrate
1 cup orange juice, prepared from frozen concentrate
4 cups water
Sugar to taste (about 1/3 cup)
Lemon-lime-flavored soft drink or sparkling water
Orange or lemon spices (optional)

1. In a pitcher, combine the ginger with the lemon, pineapple, and orange juices. Stir in the water and refrigerate until chilled.

2. Before serving, add the sugar to taste, stirring to dissolve completely. To serve, fill a tall beverage glass with ice cubes. Pour the sparkler halfway up the glass. Fill and top off with soda or sparkling water. Garnish with a fresh orange or lemon slice, if desired.

Variation: Omit the soda, reduce the ginger to 2 tablespoons, and serve as a citrus juice blend over crushed ice.

Makes 2 quarts



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Table of Contents

The Voice of Mother Africa
Introduction: The Story and the Journey
Ch. 1 Menus for African Ceremonies 1
The Naming Ceremony 2
Bone House 3
An Everyday Celebration of the Family 4
Watch Night 5
Memorial Service 6
Ch. 2 African American Celebrations 7
Kwanzaa 9
New Year's Day 11
The Baptism 12
Rites of Passage 13
Graduation 14
The Wedding 15
Family Reunion 16
The Wake 17
Knowledge 18
Ch. 3 Beverages and Openers 19
Memory 32
Ch. 4 Salads, Soups, and Breads 33
Family 56
Ch. 5 Hearty Stews 57
Dignity 82
Ch. 6 Fish, Seafood, Poultry, and Meat Entrees 83
Respect 118
Ch. 7 Rice, Legumes, Porridges, Dumplings, and Starchy Vegetables 119
Faith 142
Ch. 8 Vegetables and Accents 143
Tradition 166
Ch. 9 Finishing Touches 167
Empathy 190
Ch. 10 West African Food, Culture, and History at a Glance 191
Epilogue: The Welcome Table 196
The National Center for African American Women 197
Contributors 199
Index 200
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