Last week, we ate like people in Uganda. I planned out the meals and made three different soups/stews that fed us for the week. I made a traditional meatless Groundnut stew (the favorite of the week,) an Ugandan Matoke (the middle) and an Ugandan Chicken Stew over Mashed Plantains (the least favorite due to the texture of the plantains.) The Matoke had chunked plantains in it and we found that we liked them that way much better than served in the style of rice. I’ve made fried plantains before, so it’s odd that we didn’t liked the mashed. Oh, well. Total spent on the items for dinner only: $55. My grocery bill last week was $85 (out of my budgeted $90.) Not bad!
This week, we will be learning about Afghanistan:
[Afghanistan] officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked sovereign state located in the centre of Asia, forming part of South Asia, Central Asia and Western Asia. It is bordered by Pakistan in the southeast, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan,Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far northeast. The territory of Afghanistan has been an ancient focal point of the Silk Road and human migration. Archaeologists have found evidence of human habitation from as far back as 50,000 B.C. Urban civilization may have begun in the area as early as 3,000 to 2,000 BC.
The decades of war made Afghanistan the world’s most dangerous country, including the largest producer of refugees and asylum seekers. While the international community is rebuilding war-torn Afghanistan, terrorist groups such as the Haqqani network and Hezbi Islam are actively involved in a nationwide Taliban-led insurgency which includes hundreds of assassinations and suicide attacks. According to the United Nations, the insurgents were responsible for 75% of civilian casualties in 2010 and 80% in 2011.
Afghanistan is an impoverished and least developed country, one of the world’s poorest due to the decades of war and nearly complete lack of foreign investment. About 42 percent of the population live on less than $1 a day, according to a 2009 report.
The average life expectancy [in Afghanistan] is anywhere between 47 to 64 years. It is the most dangerous place for a child to be born, with the highest infant mortality rates in the world.
Afghans display pride in their culture, nation, ancestry, and above all, their religion and independence. Like other highlanders, they are regarded with mingled apprehension and condescension, for their high regard for personal honor, for their tribe loyalty and for their readiness to use force to settle disputes.
My plan for this week is to follow some of the recipes I found here. I am planning on making: Korma Sabze with Rice, Mourgh with Pita Bread and Taboulleh, Lentil Stuffed Pepper with Sabse Borani, and Chakha Eggplant, plus we’ll have two left-overs nights.
I have found that I’ve begun to alter my Lenten personal fast in that I’ve joined my family in eating the dinner meals… primarily because they end up smelling so good! I figure the spirit of the penance is there, during the day still.