This is the time of year for reflection, generosity, and blahblahblah, etc., but most importantly, ‘tis the season for EATING. That’s right, folks. This is when the honey-baked hams, tender turkeys, decadent ducks, or even ridiculous turduckens (a duck stuffed in a turkey—I think we’re going to try that this year) are unleashed along with ginger bread, eggnog, pecan pies, mulled wine, pumpkin pies…. I could go on, but you get the idea.
Really, though, thinking about food brings me back to those first, quickly skipped over things on my list of what this season is about—reflection, generosity, blahblahblah, etc., in case you skipped them, too—because it reminds me of all the people I’ve seen during my travels without such delectable delicacies on constant parade beneath their noses.
So here’s the deal. I’ll give you food—a Cameroonian peanut sauce recipe that I learned to make in, surprise, Cameroon—and you pass it on. Not my recipe… I mean, actual food for actually starving families. Nobody starving wants a recipe—as coveted as it is—when you can give them, say, a goat or a flock of chicks.
Now here’s where you say, How the heck do I give someone a goat? Just pack it up and ship it?
There’s a much easier way: WORLDBUILDERS!
In a nutshell, Worldbuilders is a charity started by an amazing author, Patrick Rothfuss, when he realized he could impact people’s lives through Heifer International, which raises money for goats, chickens, ducks, etc., to go to starving families. The families are taught how to keep the animals, and then, rather than a one-time gift of food, they have continual fresh milk and eggs for their children, and the ability to sell any extra. And Patrick Rothfuss is so cool; not only does he run a fundraiser every year during the holiday season, he matches half of all donations. Even when that means writing a 50k-100k check.
If you don’t really want to read about everything, you can go straight here to donate.
Or, if you’d rather buy some cool stuff and have the money still go to Worldbuilders, you can check out The Tinker’s Packs store, which has lots of great geek-gifts.
I’ve given directly, and I’ve “given” in other ways, like directing my dad to these pages and asking him to donate the money he would have spent on giving me a Christmas present. So really, whether it’s $20 for a flock of chicks that you would otherwise spend on Starbucks, or $120 for a goat, please give. After all, ‘tis the season for eating! (And maybe giving, too.) So let’s share the love.
And now, for my Cameroonian peanut sauce recipe (and may you not have a large cockroach fall on your head from the ceiling of your cook-shack while you make this, as might have happened to me):
1-1 1/2 C raw peanuts
1 smaller chicken or 2 large chicken breasts, pieced or cubed (or whatever meat you fancy)
1 large onion, chopped
4 oz of tomato paste (2/3 of a can)
For spice paste:
½-1 whole cluster of garlic cloves, depending on how much you love garlic
5-10 small dried red peppers, depending on how much you like spice
Little pile of peppercorns
2 chicken bouillon cubes or equivalent
Grated piece of fresh ginger, about the size of your thumb
Toast the peanuts in a pan until they brown and their skins loosen. If you want, you can try to peel off all the skins (once the peanuts have cooled!) or you can leave them on… or you can cheat and just buy roasted and peeled peanuts in the first place, but that’s not Cameroonian-style. Blend the roasted peanuts in a food processor, or pound in a mortar and pestle (again, Cameroonian-style) until crumbled and almost paste-like, then set aside.
Process the ingredients for the spice paste, again, either with a pounding rock and a piece of slate or with a food processor, until they make… well, a paste.
Lightly brown the chopped onion and chicken cubes with a few tablespoons of oil (in Cameroon they would use palm oil, but if you can’t use that, olive or vegetable oil of some sort is fine) in a wok or a pot.
Add the spice paste and let cook into the chicken and onions for a couple minutes, then add the tomato paste with about 3 cups of water or until rather soupy. Then add the peanut paste. Cook down for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is a thick/curry-like consistency and the chicken is tender. If you need to add more water as it cooks, feel free. Salt to taste.
Once done, add the juice from a full lime, or even a lime and half, and slice the rest for people to juice over their dishes individually, according to their taste. I like it limey.
Serve with/over rice or fufu, if you can find it! Feeds about 4. Enjoy!
P.S. All pictures courtesy of my awesomely talented husband.
P.P.S. If you donate, it would be terribly cool if you could leave a comment and let me know.