Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Delivery Day

We try to buy from local farmers whenever we can, but after 3 straight months of eating rice we were dying for a slice of bread! Something as simple as a favorite staple food can be the taste of home. We have African friends who have moved from a 'sweet potato' staple area to a 'plantain' staple area and craved their 'home foods'.

So we've discovered that wheat is Kent's home food (not shocking since his great-grandfather was a wheat farmer). I will never forget the day early in our marriage when I found his delight in freshly-baked bread still warm from the oven. The problem is that no one can grow wheat here because of the climate. In case you were wondering this is officially in the sweet-potato region, and their cousins: potatoes are my home food (there must have been a potato farmer in the family). You can bake 'em, fry 'em, boil mash or steam - I will be a happy lady. I'm so thankful good potatoes are grown here locally!

And today is a very exciting day because we are getting our second sack of wheat berries delivered from Uganda. Each month we get a few sacks of goodies purchased in Uganda on our behalf. These are things that can't be found locally, or that aren't even imported by merchants, and I thought you might like to know some of the things we look forward to on delivery day:

100 lb. wheat berries (after sorting out chaff, freezing the weevils, and grinding - we bake!!)

2 containers 'American Garden' Iodized Salt (don't take yours for granted!)

3 lb. raisins

1 lb. broccoli

6 semi-sweet chocolate bars (chopped finely for 'chocolate chips' or eaten straight)

2 containers cinnamon (local spices are: chili, nutmeg, salt - they flavor foods other ways)

2 containers sage (for Kent's Thanksgiving stuffing)

4 lbs. popcorn

10 apples (for my Thanksgiving sweet potatoes)

1 lb. butter (for the holiday, usually we get by with the 1/2 lb. we can make from fresh milk)

It's definitely different shopping for a month or two at a time, and buying everything in bulk. Because of all the foreigners coming through here we buy other staples here in bulk too:

5 liters olive oil

50 lb. sugar

50 lb. rice

100 lb. flour

16 lb. oats

No it's not Mr. Olsen's General Store on Little House on the Prairie, but we shop like it is. With the boys eating more than I do already, our grocery lists are only going up from here! What staple is your home food?


Brittany Martin said...

My younger boy, Ryle, will have to pack his own food with him if he ever visits the Congo--he is violently allergic to sweet potatoes! Thankfully, around here, I only have to worry about it at this time of year, I can't imagine what it would be like in a sweet potato staple place!

Michelle said...

That's a good question. Lately I've been into apples. I especially love them cold from the fridge. Mmm... apples...

kimom said...

Brittany, I wonder if he would even react at all. The sweet potatoes here are super dry, skinny and light yellow. Also, nothing is prepared ahead of time in factories and packages, so it's easy to avoid things. People eat soy and soy powder all the time and my friend here allergic to soy still doesn't have trouble avoiding it. Is that really all he reacts to? Tree nuts in France were a bit of a nightmare for me...

Job 77 said...

I agree with you on the potatoes! I'm glad for you that they are pretty hardy and grow in a variety of climates. I must have also had a dairy farmer in my background, because I love dairy products.

It's amazing how even a little bit of deprivation can make me crave things, even things I don't love, just because I can't have them. When I was backpacking for a week at a time, I would fantasize about ice cream, pizza, and beer. And I didn't even like beer at that point in my life.

BTW--I liked the comment on FB about you running through the jungle, hunting for your supplies that were parachuted down to you. It made me laugh!