The College of Saint Elizabeth's Literary Magazine
When I was a child I used to walk around in the various houses with other children to enjoy celebration’s food. I grew up from village. The food we ate for Christmas, Easter, and Id- Islam’s celebration is different from the city’s dinner. My mother prepared corn with beans, ugali with vegetables, and chickens. The preparation of makande is as follow: take corn without comb wash with cold water, put into big pot, take beans wash with cold water put in the container aside, put fire on, put enough in the pot where there is corn boil for 15 minutes then add beans. Boil when you taste you feel that it okay. Put out of the fire. Take onions slice, tomatoes, and garlic. Put cooking oil into the pot fry onion and garlic until brown then add tomatoes stir them until the mixture become brown, add salt and mix into the corn and beans pot stir until they mixed up. Makande is ready for meal.
After Christmas prayers we children come at home on the way we sing songs which we were singing in the church. We asked each other, which house are we going to start? We agreed then we start walking while singing, when we reach the house, the parents were there welcoming children. We say prayer to bless our dinner, we eat, when we finish we dance for about half an hour, then we start our journey to go to another house we do the same thing which we did in the first house until we complete our trip. Unfortunately, when visited tenth’s house we go home with full of joy. Makande is the food which grew in my village. The parents and the other older people ate ugali. Ugali is made of corn flour and hot water and can be served with chicken, vegetable such as cabbage, spinach, and cassava, sour milk and meat. They drink local beer made of millet.
When I entered the convent I found that I was eating various kinds of food than I used to eat at home. Before celebrations the sisters have to plan what they want to eat as a celebration meal. Pilao is the first meal to be mentioned. The local superior of the convent have given money to one sister who is the expert to make pilao: here are the pilao’s ingredients: rice, cooking oil, onions, garlic, tomatoes, ginger, cardamom, salt, clove, cinnamon, and skinless chicken. The first step is to boil chicken mix with all recipes I mentioned above. Stir well and cook for 30 to 40 minutes on medium heat till the chicken is well cooked. Separate the meat from the stock and keep aside. Heat cooking oil in a large pot, when oil is hot add onions, fry till light golden. A chicken pieces, chopped tomatoes, green chill, red chill, and cumin seed stir well cook on medium flame till it is in light golden. Add stock cook till the mixture comes to a boil, then add rice add and cover for 10 minutes, stir gently to mix all ingredients. Cover with tight fitting lid. Lower heat and allow cooking until rice tender. Serve in the large tray ready for meal.
As I said in the introduction during celebrations, children have to go house to house in the village, and eat in each home. In the town the children do the same but they eat different recipe which is pilao. Pilao is now Tanzanian’s cultural food in both the villages and the towns.
Sister Elizabeth Lima, Class of 2014