Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dining for Women - Uganda

Lots of hands dipping into a bounty of beads.
Our latest Dining for Women event will benefit BeadforLife in Uganda.

So, at this particular DFW event, we could purchase beads, with the proceeds benefitting this chosen organization, or simply make an outright donation without making a purchase. Buying the beads is much more fun! According to the BeadforLife website:

"Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful bead jewelry, and people who care open their hearts, homes, and communitites to buy and sell the beads. The beads become income, food, medicine, school fees, and hope. All net profits from BeadforLife are invested in community development projects that help people work their way out of poverty."

This also means, of course, that our meal was Ugandan! Our loaded Ugandan buffet.

I must admit, I have never cooked anything remotely Ugandan, nor do I know what is generally eaten in that country. As with any DFW event, participants are provided with recipe ideas, which is really helpful, and just one more example of the terrific organization exhibited by the DFW group.

In reviewing the available recipes, I decided I'd try Ugandan Kabobs with a yogurt dipping sauce. It turns out that in Uganda, a kabob is a meatball. After tasting my results, I can't say I'm a fan of these and wouldn't make them again, but it was fun to try for tonight's dinner. Here's what we had on our buffet table:
  • Beef Kabobs with Yogurt Dipping Sauce (my offering)
  • Kale with Leeks
  • Curried PotatoesOur hostess has such cool trinkets like this from her travels.
  • Paella
  • Couscous Salad with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, & Feta
  • Pineapple Peanut Bread with Cream Cheese (2 different recipes made with different types of flour)
  • Coffee, Tea and Amarula (liqueur made from the African Marula plant)

This time around, we didn't have the usual non-ethnic options for those not interested in venturing into the world of Ugandan cuisine...looks like people are getting more daring!

While enjoying our fabulous and adventurous meal, we looked at bead and jewelry options and made our selections. (Jewelry, pricing cards, and brochures had been sent in advance of the event.) The beads are beautiful - it's unbelievable what a clever hand can do with a few pieces of recycled paper. It was really fun to get to buy their actual products, and many of us did our gift shopping for upcoming birthdays and holidays. Over the course of the evening, we raised over $500 to send to BeadforLife!! And, we had a pleasant time socializing and chatting with other like-minded people who want to help the world in some way.

Can't wait until next month's dinner...


Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

The whole menu sounds great. I had a squidge at the kabob recipe and the only thing I'dve done differently would be to add some roasted garlic to the yogurt sauce. But that's just me.

Did the lady making the paella actually use saffron? That stuff is EXPENSIVE!

Loveanewidea said...

Good thought on the garlic addition - especially the roasted kind, when the flavor is nice and mellowed. Making these was my first foray into deep-frying beef!

As far as the paella, I've never tried making it or eating it, although I've read many recipes for it and have watched it being made on cooking shows. I'm guessing no saffron in this one - I think it was a "mock" paella (it didn't have some of the ingredients I've seen included), but was still quite tasty. Wonder if Amazon sells saffron....I'll have to check...will let you know!

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Hmmmmm, just deep-fried some ginger beef balls last night. Very easy and tasty.

Saffron: I'd be surprised if you couldn't get it in a store local to you. But it's very expensive no matter how you get it. If I find a recipe calling for saffron, I substitute a bit of turmeric powder.

Turmeric has loads of anti-cancer goodies in it. Bowel cancer is unknown in Sri Lanka and they use turmeric more than the Indians do.

Be careful if you are just using it for colouring a sauce as a little goes a very long way.

Did you get your cardamon?

Loveanewidea said...

Good tip on the turmeric/saffron swap - I never knew that! I've seen saffron in the grocery store, but just can't get over the price. At Amazon, I found 2 grams for $19.00 - I'll have to do a price comparison next time I'm at the grocery store. And, got my cardamom pods from Amazon...thanks for suggesting them!!! I had purchased from their gourmet shop in the past, but had totally forgotten about it.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

kudos for raising such a nice sum for a good cause.

the menu looks yummy!!

if you have a local middle eastern or indian market you may be able to find saffron at a much lower price - we have lots of such markets in the cleveland area and I know the price for spices are always a big bargain compared to other places....

Loveanewidea said...

Thanks for the ideas about saffron - I think I'll see if our favorite Northampton World Food Market has some on our next trip.
And, kudos to you for raising awareness about the underground railroad home restoration project on YOUR blog!


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