This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Following Elder Kabwe's directions we went to his village to take him home from the bus station.

This is Elder Kabwe with his mother.  She was as happy to see him as he was to see her.  He showed her many of the photos he had taken on a borrowed camera.  She was not quite as impressed as her young son who shared the wonders and possibilities he had seen.

His sister was also there.  She was in the process of cooking nshima.
That is the national dish I told you about in the "restaurant" blog.

We were offered some and since it is impolite to refuse we accepted.  Nadra, the sister, finished cooking the batch in boiling water and stirring until it looked like perfect mashed potatoes.

She then used a ladle and scooped big chunks about the size of a large baked potato into a serving dish.  She dipped the ladle into water after each scoop to not have the nshima stick.

I said we had never eaten nshima before and didn't know how so she would have to teach us.
She said, "first we must start with a blessing on the food", which was offered.
Next a scoop of nshima was placed on a plate along with some fried egg and tomato mixed up.

Next she presented us with a bowl of water to rinse our hands.  You can see it on the floor below. This size and type of aluminum bowl is also used on the Sacrament table to wash hands before breaking bread.  These wasn't a towel available.

Next, I was told to take a little piece of nshima and roll it into a ball.  Well, have you ever put your pink tender little fingers into hot mashed potatoes and held on?  It was HOT, and I jumped, plopped it in my mouth, and made them laugh in the photo below that Emmanuel took.

We started over and Nadra took the first bit and rolled it into a nice ball so it wasn't just hot lava sticking to your fingers that needed licking to cool off.

I, of course, needed to wash again as I had licked all my fingers getting them cooler.

The proper technique is to take the ball, maybe just smaller than a tootsie roll pop, along with what ever is served with the nshima, in this case, eggs and tomatoes, and pop it into your mouth without touching your mouth with your fingers.

It was warm, but quite tasteless without the egg and tomato which made it quite good.
The Elders tell us that in about a half hour it hits bottom and you feel really full.

I asked a lot of questions and Emmanuel showed us the bags it comes in.
Nadra showed us the brand she likes, then showed us the corn or maize that it is made from.

She demonstrated with the large mortar and pestle grinding it.  The mortar is from an ironwood tree.

Emmanuel loved to be in the picture and I teased him that he had probably never ground maize in his life.

He took our photo again before we left.
You got to see most of the kitchen, which had many nice items.  A two-burner cooktop, a toaster oven, a refrigerator and running water.  The pit toilet was just outside the door along with a clothesline which Sister Kabwe shared with the front neighbor.  Sister Kabwe's home is in the back of a very small house.  The neighbor is in the front.  The metal gate was open for a person to walk through but closed at night.

I have no idea where their family gets money for daily living.  Sister Kabwe is the local branch Relief Society President.

Today, when leaving our compound, Moses the guard had been cooking up some nshima.  We usually chat while the gate is opening (automatically) and he offered me some nshima from his bowl.  I thought  well, I am a pro now so why not be friendly.  Then I had a peek at his small portion of nshima and the grey chicken feet in there and graciously declined as best I could.  Maybe in a year or so I will be a better neighbor.