Posted tagged ‘Jollof rice’

“And falling’s just another way to fly.”

October 18, 2016

The morning is cloudy and damp. I could smell the ocean when I went to get the papers so I lingered outside a while. It was quiet. I knew my neighbors were awake as their shades were up, and their paper was gone. I don’t see them much. Thinking about it, I don’t see many of my neighbors. When I do, we always wave.

My groceries arrived right on time yesterday. My fridge is now filled. I bought some plantain hoping to make kelewele. I’m also going to try my hand at jollof rice. It’s fun making something new, especially dishes filled with memories.

I left my windows open last night. I had thought them closed for the season, but yesterday was warm. Today will be even warmer. I got to hear the birds sing when I woke up. They were far less intrusive than that Ghanaian rooster. It doesn’t really matter where I am. I love mornings the best. My dad used to switch to storm windows around this time of year. It took him the whole day. He had to get each window on hooks, and it wasn’t easy because he also had to lean on the ladder for balance. We all watched.

It is from my dad I inherited the gene associated with all my falls. His falls were sometimes spectacular. They were also sometimes funny like the sawing himself out of the tree fall I have mentioned before. He didn’t fall far. He did break his hip on a fall from a high ladder when he was painting his house. He always limped after that. I have been luckier with only a broken bone in my shoulder, and no after effects because of physical therapy. I just accept falls as a fact of life.

“He who puts stew with jollof rice has trust issues.”

October 14, 2016

Getting up before the sun appears is getting annoying. Getting up before my papers arrive is also annoying. The only thing saving the morning is my first cup of coffee.

Yesterday was warm. Today it will be much cooler, in the high 50’s. Right now it is windy and damp and quite chilly. I’m glad I put the storm pane on the back door.

Today I am having breakfast out, and I have a dentist appointment, my six-month cleaning. Gracie and I will do the dump later in the afternoon. I’m also thinking Chinese food for dinner. I have a hankering.

My friends and I ate jollof rice just about every evening in Ghana. Think jambalaya. I even got to have it on the plane ride home. It was served with chicken curry. The hotel restaurant served the biggest mound of jollof, and we seldom left any on our plates. We never tired of eating it. I’m thinking I might just have to learn to make it. I do have several recipes. I just ordered my Halloween candy.

I just ordered my Halloween candy, what we used to call nickel bars. I remember how excited we were to get a bar instead of loose candy. Usually it was a Hershey’s. Last year one kid yelled to his father standing by my gate, “It’s a whole big bar!” He’ll be able to yell the same thing this year.

Gracie just scared me. She fell into the table from the couch. I grabbed her and held on for all I am worth. My first thought was she had collapsed. I was set to take her to the 24-hour vet, but she left my arms and got off the couch. She seemed to walk fine. The final test was a treat. She wouldn’t eat the first three choices but took the fourth and then went back for the other three. I figure out she had been too close to the edge of the couch and lost her footing. I have begun to breath.

I haven’t decorated my house yet for Halloween, but I did finish unpacking and putting everything away. I only have one wash left to do. The cloth I bought is in this room in a tall pile. The colors are vivid. My favorite is the black and red tie and dye. It will make a great shirt. The 12 yard bolt is for tablecloths, Christmas presents. I also have a 6 yard bolt of a beautiful blue and black pattern. It too will be used for presents. I brought back a tablecloth for myself. Peg found the material and had it cut in half and hemmed so it wouldn’t fray. Now I just need to have some dinner guests so they can ooh and ah.

“Visitor’s footfalls are like medicine; they heal the sick.”

November 1, 2011

This morning it was dark when I heard the blasted alarm ring. All of a sudden I flashed back to those working days when I got up at 5 or 5:15 every day. It was a daymare. This morning, though, it was so I could get Francisca to the bus stop to catch the bus to the airport. Her five-day visit finished in a flash.

Last night I had more trick or treaters than I can remember in years, and Francisca came to the door every time so she could see all the costumes. She was also the official dog holder as Gracie was more than willing to join any of the groups of kids. Gracie was sporting her new Halloween collar, a gift from my friend Clare. She looked quite festive in orange and black with a row of pumpkins, ghosts and witches circling her neck. I wore my wizard’s hat which played Ghouls Just Want to Have fun as the tip of the cap moved back and forth in time. I had bought Francisca a small witch’s hat as a surprise and she wore it all evening.

The house still smells of last night’s dinner, the leftover FraFra meal from Sunday. It was even more delicious last night than the first time. Watching Francisca eat was like being back in Ghana. She used her hand and scooped everything including the rice. I’m good with the t-zed, but I’m not so good with the jollof rice. I don’t tend to get it in enough of a ball, and it all falls apart before I can eat it. Ghanaians eat the bones, and Francisca finished off the Guinea fowl bones while I ate more than my share of the leftover meat. Gracie got the skin and, believe me, giving it to her was a sacrifice on my part.

The day is dark and cloudy and has nothing whatsoever to commend it. It feels damp. I sat and waited with Francisca until the bus came as Africans are not lovers of the cold. She bundles up for any temperature below 70°.

It seemed so wonderfully strange to have one of my students here. Never would I have envisioned it when last I saw them in 1971. Francisca’s elder sister Bea will be in Canada soon for her daughter’s wedding, and Francisca is helping Bea to get a visa to visit the US after the wedding and is hoping that she and Bea can visit. What an amazing gift that would be for me.