It’s 1:30p and we’re hungry.  Wonder what’s for lunch?  Don’t bother.  It’s one of two choices, cassava over rice or groundnut over rice, both containing pulverized fish and bones.  Yummy!  After seven days of heaping bowls of rice and fish sauce that comes in only two colors, some of us decided to get creative in the kitchen.  My favorite lunch modification was peeled cucumber over rice with lime juice and salt.  Sounds pretty bland now but it was absolutely divine a week ago.

ground nut stew

A varied diet is not something for which Sierra Leoneans are known.  They eat the same thing over and over which is due to food availability.  How spoiled we are to have so many choices in our supermarkets back here in the US.  Cally and I spent an afternoon going through the pantry to see what items we had on hand, took a trip to the market in Waterloo to see what items were readily available there and started to come up with some different recipes to introduce to Elijah.  A touchy thing to do without offending, but, in the long run, I think it will be a big morale booster, especially for those working at Tribewanted for months.

fish, fish, fish

Cally and I made curried chicken with coconut rice one evening and also tried making bruschetta out of tomatoe paste, onions and giant hamburger-like rolls.  One morning, Cally made crepes with lemon juice and sugar that were a huge hit.  Popcorn went over well, too, however the British and Americans could not reach an agreement as how to flavor it –with sugar or salt?  Americans prefer salt.  As for French toast, or rather eggy bread to my British friends, it’s meant to have syrup or confectioner’s sugar, definitely not ketchup. What’s with ketchup and beans for breakfast?

During our trip to the market we found the offerings there are  limited; however, there are some things we can do to vary chop.  Once I have some time on my hands, I hope to come up with some recipes to bring along in February when Cally and I make a return trip.

prep work

2 thoughts on “WHAT’S FOR CHOP?

  1. Salone titi

    Which bush hut did you stay? Sierra Leone has so much food I only get to eat cassava leaves once a month cos I cant survive more than a month with out it. You should have been more adventurous to ask for other thing, funde, rice papa, achekeh, pemahun, cassava, beans (prepared in different ways of course), local salads, krain karain, potato leaves, sokotor yokortor, payla, mushrooms, gbontoh soup, porche, kankanka (best meat kebab ever), yam and stew, plantains (prepared in different ways again), potatoes, cakes,yebeh etc….cant sit to least everything. did you have fruits??????? In short supply?????? girl am sure you had never seen so much organic stuff in your life!!! You spend 2 days in a place and expect expect to eat the globe. Please do your home work well. Go into the interior to get proper food not some stupid city or beach lodge. Try my mama’s cooking.

    1. Susan Hale Thomas

      This is a remote fishing village on the Western Peninsula with very limited resources. At the time of the blog post, it certainly wasn’t a tourist attraction, had no water, no electricity, no health clinic and is currently being inundated by sand mining and illegal fishing. I have worked in this community now for four years and am well aware better food is available elsewhere. It wasn’t and still isn’t there. The post certainly wasn’t meant to insult Sierra Leone. You’ve taken the post rather personally and I’m sorry that you feel that way. I love the country. That’s why I continue to work there and intend to continue working on stories that benefit the coastal communities.


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