Thursday, December 03, 2009

Keita accompanied me back to Djenné after Tabaski, just for the day’s journey in our new car. He has not been back since the terrible events of early last March when he left with Mai in the Djenné ambulance bound for Bamako. The idea of returning to Djenné , where he is a hugely popular figure, while he was still in a wheel chair was too difficult. But now he is well enough to have attempted to put his toe in the water so to speak, and his brief visit was perhaps symbolically important, a sort of van-guard action in preparation for his eventual return to Djenné.
And finally, to continue my recent self-congratulatory trend, I feel compelled to tell you that Ann-Marie, a recent Dutch visitor, was so enarmoured of Djenné Djenno cuisine that she suggested I write a Djenné Djenno cookbook! (yes, Jeremiah and David, I do think the food has improved since your visit..) And then there was the group of French guests the other day who enthused about the hors d’oeuvres of the day: sweet and sour okra with olives and sweet potato leaves in yogurt, which they said was merveilleuse. I , of course, had to ruin everything by naively gushing that I had found it in an English cookery book on Middle eastern cooking (Claudia Roden). This had the effect of visibly and instantly dampening their enthusiasm. Of course one should never reveal to the French that anything to do with food has anything to do with England! And furthermore, no self respecting restaurateur should reveal that they use recipe books!


Blogger David said...

I'm afraid it doesn't take much to freeze your haughtily exclusive French tourists, or so we found.

The French in Africa would seem to be the unfriendliest visitors anywhere. On the other hand, we loved the Belgian archaeologists we met in the Maison Rouge...and those English people in Djenne Djenno, Cazelets, I believe, were charm itself...


6:32 PM  
Blogger alanna rose said...

I would love for you to share some recipes!

11:46 PM  
Blogger kj999 said...

This is a great Blog site about yourself and Mali's history in Africa. Keep up the great work.
Bless you and I am looking one day to come visit the area.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Pieter said...

Being Dutch (father of Birgit) I live for the most time in France. When I have my French friends for diner I usually prepare food from different English cookery books. Always somethiung new that they don't know. They certainly think that I am a bit "fada" in this way, but they don't look for excuses not to come. They say that they like the food very much and that I am a good cook.

3:47 PM  

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