(sent at 11:00 AM Saturday morning)
How to eat like a Peace Corps Volunteer ( and enjoy yourself doing it.)
OK, so I know I talk a lot about porridge and goat head and all of those really spectacular Namibian foods, but the truth is that I only eat traditional Namibian foods at tea time (which is like a meal between breakfast and lunch. Really it's elevensies.) and when I'm visiting friends (maybe two or three times a week.) Most of the meals I make for myself are American, partially because I like American food and partially because I don't really know how to cook Namibian food. About the only Namibian food to have made it into my regular diet, sans tea time, is this amazing ginger carrot dish and I'm not even sure I make it the way the Namibians do (I know for sure that I cook the carrots a lot less, because my version doesn't end up almost the consistency of baby food.) Basically I peel and cut the carrots into coins and put them in a metal cup with some water. Then I grate some whole dried ginger root into the water and I boil it for maybe half an hour to 45 minutes (I don't really know for sure, my alarm clock is the only clock in the house.) Then I cover the whole thing in lots of butter and brown sugar. Who says that vegetables can't be tasty?
Mostly I eat food like grilled cheese sandwiches, spaghetti, pizza, soups, oatmeal, peanut butter sandwiches, rice, pancakes, baked chicken, French toast and French fries. The main difference between cooking here and in America is that I have access to basically no convenience foods. The extent of my convenience foods is custard powder (which is like cook and serve pudding mix.) and some dried soup mixes. If I want to eat pizza, first I make a dough out of flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and oil. Then, I mix some canned, pureed tomatoes with "Mixed Spice" (an Italian blend of spices), sugar, salt and oil. Then, I grate some cheese on the top, bake the whole thing and voila… Pizza. French fries mean I will be julienne-ing potatoes and heating sunflower oil over the stove. Even spaghetti means mixing my own sauce mixture.