Sunday, September 06, 2009

Moving on swiftly from Philosophy to Gastronomy...

The arrival of a constant municipal electricity supply at Djenne Djenno has opened up a whole spectrum of culinary possibilities: we are now able to make ice cream, for instance. And here are Papa and Fatou in the kitchen doing just that. They are using a recipe for banana ice cream from my tried and trusted 'Carribbean Cooking' by Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz. But we are adding our own invention, the crucial ingredient cinnamon.
When I was a little girl in Sweden, my mother kindly allowed me to have a party for my class mates in our house. On the menu was ice cream of course. 'You can have as much ice cream as you like' said my mother excitedly. OK, fine, I replied, modestly impressed. My mother was raised in a small Swedish town during the war years. Ice cream was known, and had perhaps even been tasted, but was regarded as a delectable distant mirage. 25 years on in the Sweden of my childhood, ice cream was still nice, but no longer possessed the qualities of the Holy Grail.

But in Djenne, Mali, it is safe to say that ice cream made its first triumphal entry yesterday . The French for for ice cream 'Glace' meant only 'ice' here until last night. The new Djenne Djenno 'Glace de banane a la cannelle' was fit for kings, it was agreed by the whole staff, who all got to taste it.
Move over and tremble Amandine's of Bamako!


Blogger David said...

Is that Fatou in the foreground looking so proud and beautiful?


7:44 AM  
Blogger David said...

My fault - I read too quickly. It is. But never did a cook look more aristocratic.

7:45 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

Yes indeed our Fatou is not only a great cook, but a very beautiful woman!
We have now started a progamme of introducing Malian dishes into the Djenne Djenno repertoire. She and Papa tries tem out on me on evening when there is noone her, then I decide whether we will serve them to the guests or not.
The Malian millet and sour milk dessert called Degue has got the thumbs up- it is REALLY good. Tigadegue, on the other hand, the traditional Malenke peanut sauce meat stew got the thumbs down- it is just a bit strange, and most importantly, I don't like it, and I am a megalomaniac in the kitchen and nothing is served that I don't like...

2:39 PM  
Blogger David said...

A certain friend of Keita - don't explete! we like him - served up degue at his Malian fest in his Hampstead digs. Interesting, I liked that too.

I sometimes dream of your breakfasts.

9:51 PM  
Blogger David said...

PS - just in the kitchen? Only a joke. Though I'm told there's no such thing as 'only a joke'.

9:53 PM  

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