Friday, January 25, 2013

Big Mac Tanzanian Style

This blog entry was written by Jessica, one of our medical students from VCOM.  Jessica and her husband Stephen are here rotating with us this month.   

It takes a whole village to make…

…A hamburger!

We came home from church today to find a large chunk of meat sitting on the counter, which is a treat in and of itself. However, we became even more animated as J decided that we should make hamburgers out it! Cooking here is, of course, a wee bit different from home. 

We began by putting our “Hamburger Helpers” to work…Meat was chopped into chunks, and then Pete and Stephen took turns grinding it. When I asked what I could do, I was sent on a quest to see if I could find tomatoes. We had none in the garden, so I went to ask the matron of the children’s home if she knew where we could find/buy some. After locating her in the school room, she assured me that there would be some at the local market in the village. Keep in mind that this “market” is NOT like your neighborhood Walmart Market- it is a few stands made out of branches in a wide spot by the road. She assigned one of the older boys the job of going into the village to get the tomatoes. Pete, a volunteer from North Carolina, decided to join him on the journey. Meanwhile, back at the children’s home, J was kneading homemade dough into rolls, letting them rise on the awning for the porch swing!

With Stephen still grinding meat, some of the girls began to form and cook patties on the griddle that traveled across the sea for just such a purpose! The guys soon returned from their quest, having been to 2 neighboring villages to find and buy tomatoes. I played search and rescue with trucks in the “sandbox” with the kids so that everyone else could finish their part in preparing the meal.

Several hours after beginning, we were finally ready to enjoy our not-so-fast food- freshly ground beef turned into yummy hamburgers, local avocadoes and tomatoes sliced up, and rolls cooked to perfection! We even had local perfectly ripe watermelon! Trust me, we savored every single bite of it all!

Hamburger Helper grinding the meat. 

The cast iron griddle we brought with us came in handy.

The fruit of our labors - long sought-after tomatoes.

Not quite fast food.

Big Mac Tanzanian Style

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