Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Ifisashi (Zambian Peanut Stew) #CooktheBooks

Our book selection for this session of Cook the Books, is Life from Scratch.  This memoir by Sasha Martin was chosen by Debra of Eliot's Eats.  This year seems to be the year of memoirs.

We started the year off with Stir a memoir that inspired these delicious Poached Apple-Pears and followed that up with Dinner with Edward which  prompted these lovely Coquilles St. Jacques. Following this memoir we are going to be reading Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking.  I can't wait.

Should you wish to join us for Life from Scratch it is still early enough to join in the fun.  Get yourself a copy of this touching memoir and stop by Debra's Invitation Post for further submission information.

You won't be sorry you decided to join.  I loved Sasha's story of the flawed mother that she loved unceasingly.  Of her struggles trying to adapt and accept her "new family". Of her tragic losses in life and finally of her discovering her self-worth with the assistance of a good man, the demands of motherhood and the solace of the kitchen.

I especially enjoyed that Sasha started as a food blogger.  Her goal was to cook from every country in the world.  Posting from one country each week until she covered 196 countries alphabetically. I liked how she portrayed that the family of a food blogger is just as involved as the cook and writer, not always willingly and happily, but involved nonetheless.

My meals are often met with Frank sticking his fork around the dinner I serve, trying to identify the ingredients before looking up and saying "What is this?".  I will start on a long dissertation of all the ingredients and how good they are and he will say "Oh, it's a blog thing".  I guess that just about says it all.

Our families learn never to eat anything without asking if we have already taken photos.  Once, not knowing if I had already photographed a cake that I made and since I wasn't home to ask, they photographed it for me so that they could have a piece.  Oh, the sacrifices they make LOL.

This meal I made, was one of those meals that was met with a look from Frank.  I told him it was a traditional dish from Zambia and he responded with "you're blogging about Zambia?".  This led to an entire discussion about this memoir and made wonderful dinner discussion as we enjoyed the dish.

I got the recipe from a Lenten handout from CRS that I got with my rice bowl for donations, and knew it was perfect for this memoir about cooking around the globe.  I adapted it slightly by using mixed greens instead of spinach because that was what I had in my refrigerator.  The following day, I cut up some Citrus Marinated Chicken Thighs and added it to these leftovers and it was a wonderful lunch.

Ifisashi (Peanut Stew)
adapted from CRS

2 c. water
1 c. peanuts
1 onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
5 oz. mixed Spring Greens
salt and pepper to taste

Bring water to boil in a medium pot.  Add the peanuts, onion and tomatoes.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the greens.  Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and peanuts are softened, 15-20 minutes.  Serve over steamed brown rice.  Print Recipe

I am also linking up with Foodies Read 2017


  1. We were just talking about what we're going to make when we get to Zambia in our cooking around the world adventure. I'll suggest this.

  2. This book has been on my TBR pile for a year- I always read her blog- she has a very interesting story and I love the premise of the blog and book. I love what this link-up seems to read!

    1. Please join us for the next selection. We would love to have you.

  3. You definitely got in early with this, and it sounds very adventurous and yummy as well.

    1. Yes, I read the book before the assignment so was just waiting for April to happen LOL. Thanks for hosting Claudia.

  4. The poor families of bloggers. They get pulled into so many strange adventures.

    1. I know....doesn't your heart just bleed for them? LOL


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