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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mutomboko

Every year in July our village celebrates its history by holding a ceremony called the Mutomboko. You can learn all about this event by visiting Tom's website. He goes into great detail about all the parts of the two day event and has great photos. Here's a sneak peak:
















The
Mutomboko takes place in the last weekend of July and is a huge boost to the economy of this little village as 10,000 visitors swarm in. Preparations start early in the month as roads are repaired, the main arena has roofs and walls added to it, and businesses receive face lifts.

Our property happens to be located right next to the main arena which gives us an excellent vantage point and a really grea
t place to host visitors to this annual event. The first year we were here we had 30 people camp out with us and 40 people were with us for dinner. Along with our family and visiting volunteers that brought our dinner crowd to 50!
Since I am a highly social person that happens to despise crowds, staying at home and prepa
ring the feast makes perfect sense to me. Therefore, if you want to learn more about the Mutomboko visit Tom's official site but here you can see a different perspective.


Preparations start early here as well as we work hard to get the property ship shape for all our visitors. We give numerous tours of the orphanage and Tom's 'safari'. --More about this in future blogs.
I like to keep things simple in the food department. For three years running we've had the same menu. I like to call it tradition but it's really laziness. I don't want to have to think too hard so I do the same thing year after year. KISS is my philosophy in life: Keep It Simple, Sweetheart!

Here is my Friday and Saturday to-do list. Lest you think I work really hard and pity me or something, one of those entries says: Watch ER at 10 AM. I have priorities!

I'll write more about Saturday's meals tomorrow.

Friday night is all about Tom's secret chili recipe. He reluctantly gave it to me 3 years ago so I could serve it for Mutomboko. He created this recipe in 2005 and has only given it to one other person. She had to bribe him with a cake and another recipe.

What's that? No, I can't share it with you. I can serve it to you if you happen to come over here one fine July weekend. I'll tell you this much. It's worth the trip!

Making chili here in Zambia means starting out with dried beans. We bought these in the local market. They sell them by the handful, cup or gallon. For the crowd I was expecting we bought a gallon which worked out to be more than 10 pounds. I ended up using 7 pounds.



Buying them at the market means having to sort them so that we don't end up with rocks, bugs or moldy beans in our final dish. It's time consuming work but necessary.


We also bought enough drinks for an army. Here in Zambia, while you can buy sodas in cans it is cheaper to buy reusable bottles. And, hey, it's better for the environment.


I spent Sunday going around our property collecting discarded bottles. I love cleaning up after parties. That's a little known fact about me. Picking up debris left by a night (or day) of fun is one of the joys of my life.

Tomorrow: Roast Pork Zam style

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