Cappuccino Soul

Cappuccino Soul

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gigi the Snow Angel

Gigi enjoyed all the snow she found in Delaware!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Plantains: A Taste of Ghana in My Kitchen

One of my students from Ghana recently reminded me that plantains, a nutritious and delicious treat, can be cooked in a variety of ways. She likes to boil her plantains, but I like to fry mine. I prefer to wait until the plantains are very soft and almost black before I cut them in circular pieces and fry them until they are dark brown and slightly crispy. (Yummy!) My student, B, likes to boil her plantains when they are greenish yellow. But I do know another woman from Ghana who cuts her plantains in large pieces and fries them. I guess the phrase "to each, his own" applies to the ways people like to eat this exotic banana.

My friend Annette, who is from Jamaica, taught me how to make porridge with very green bananas when my daughter was still an infant. It was one of the few things Gigi would eat when she was very young. To make the porridge, you peel a very green plantain and cut it into pieces. Blend the slices in a blender, along with a bit of water. Pour the pureed liquid in a pot and add sweetened condense milk, a touch of vanilla, and a bit of nutmeg (first test to see if your child's stomach can handle the nutmeg.) Bring the ingredients to a slow boil on your stovetop, stirring occasionally. When the liquid thickens, remove the pot from the heat. Place the plantain porridge in a bowl for your child and serve when it has cooled a bit. I'm sure your baby will love this concoction as much as Gigi did. It's a great way to give your child the necessary iron and potassium he or she needs. (I ate a lot of it myself and was quite satisfied!)

Plantains are very popular in various parts of Africa, Asia, India and Latin American countries. They are close relatives of bananas, but are longer, have thicker skins, and are typically eaten cooked instead of raw. The skin of plantains ranges in color from green and yellow to brownish black, while their flesh varies from cream to salmon-colored. South American Indians boiled the plantain peels and drank this liquid as a remedy for colds.

Pick up a few the next time you go to your grocery store (or the nearest International food store.) The sweet, exotic taste of this delicious fruit is sure to grow on you!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Despite Harsh Conditions

Every being that lives, grows.
Each will grow despite harsh
conditions and beautify its

Like a tundra bloom,
the most striking and beautiful
flower is the one that blossoms
despite frigid, brutal conditions.

-- Judith Garrett Garrison and
Scott Sheperd

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Respect Your Hair

"Trust the universe and respect your hair." -- Bob Marley

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Hair Braiders at Work

Two school boys plait the hair of a school girl in Kijabe, Kenya.

This shot is priceless! Oh, to see this scene on an American playground or park with African-American girls and boys. We not only need to pass down this African tradition of hair braiding to our girls, let's teach our boys to do it too! Think of the value this would add to the lives of little girls who would have the privilege of getting their hair braided (plaited) by their brothers and fathers.

Talk about the love of a brother!

Photo Source: Africa Knows