This blog is for all who desire to create with words and images.
You are encouraged to participate in any way that is meaningful to you.

~
All prompts beneath the photos are only suggestions.
You are free to use the photo to be inspired to write any way you desire.
~
There is no deadline on posting,
you may offer your writing to any prompt anytime.
~
Write and you are a writer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Meal

Photo by Rachel Cotterill
More of her photos can be found on her
Flickr Photostream and visit her Rachel's Ramblings blog
~
Suggested prompt...
~
Include eating or sharing a meal in your writing today.
Perhaps something to do with family, a dinner out with your darling,
a meal that you never thought you would have with your inlaws... etc...



_____________________

1994 in the Central African Republic. Our team of sociolinguistic surveyors arrived in a remote village planning to do a group interview on language use. We were told that the men were all out in the field drinking palm wine. So we had to wait for the next day. In the late afternoon the other female team member and I got the crazy idea to cook a local dish - Gozo (manioc/cassava foufou). Our guide organized all the necessities - Manioc flour, stones for a stove, fire wood, a sieve, a large cooking pot, and a large wooden spoon. We did not need to pound the flour, but we nearly forgot to sieve it. We had quite a few spectators - two white women cooking on an open fire? Most village women had never seen a white person before. Can white women cook? They did not think so. When the Foufou was nearly ready, we decided to open two tins of lentil soup to accompany it, instead of a local sauce that would have taken several hours to prepare. Suddenly we had the even crazier idea to invite the village chief (who was present and not drinking palm wine) to eat with us. In an African context a very normal matter of politeness and hospitality - except when you are not even sure how your meal will turn out. To our own surprise he accepted. So our team, our guide and the village chief sat down together and ate as is normal there - from one big bowl with our hands. It tasted quite good but the lentil soup must have been unusual for the village chief.

The next day in the morning we were finally ready to start our group interview. The village chief gave a moving introduction speech concluding it with the words: "Formerly white people came and treated us like monkeys. Today another type of white people has come. They are white people with whom we can put our hands in the same bowl (which is an important sign of friendship)." We were all deeply touched.

~ malianta





One week after the photo or picture is posted I will pick one offering to put beneath the image. This is a way of celebrating exceptional creativity. Any and all posts are available for your creative mind to make an offering at any time (even ones where a writing has been placed on the front page like this one). If you are new here and want to offer to every image here, feel free. We are writers, WRITE! If this is your exceptional writing posted here on the Front Page Pictures, Poetry & Prose invites you to include the Exceptional Writing Award Button on your blog. Visit the
Exceptional Writing Award post for the details and the button to download.

13 comments:

Louise said...

Hello, I'm Karl and this is my wife, Anja. Our son's told us so much about you. Sit down. We've made you your favourite dish. Blood pudding. [Anja pierces the skin, it seeps blood and cream into a fetid pool on the porcelain...]. What? Black pudding, not blood pudding? Ah. [My appetite, lost in translation.]

Dan Felstead said...

Wow Louise...great descriptive language! I was going to have breakfast after this post...I think I will pass! Love your example...just kidding about breakfast.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Special meals were an important part of my college days. Had a part time job for food and spending but the food...due to lack of funds was usually fast, sodium ridden, msg loaded, fat dripping versions of a hamburger or coney dog.

However once every two months...that special time would come around again. My roommates and I would go to the local plasma center and give blood. For that "charitable" act, we would receive $25.00. We would head directly from the plasma center to the best buffet in town...donate our two hours "pay" and eat as much steak, crab legs, salad, pickled herring,
shrimp and other assorted goodies as humanly possible. This was all in the interest of health mind you... the nurse would always tell us with a knowing faint grin to be sure to get something to eat to build back the red blood cells. We were just following doctor's orders like any good patient should.

With the meal finished we would revert back to the former menu until the next 2 months had passed and begin the ritual all over again. This solved two societal issues:

The need to improve one's diet

The need to give one's self for the greater good.

Self justification is wonderful thing.

Dan

Dani and Jimmy said...

The singles all got together for a dinner party. The hostess instructed each man to remove his tie and hang it on this coat hanger when they entered the room. Before being seated at each table, the females were instructed to choose a tie from the coat hanger. The owner of the tie was their date, and each couple was seated together at big round tables holding 4 couples each. That night was filled with echoes of laughter coming from a single table as the others around wondered what could possibly be so funny. Well, randomly a guy's tie had been chosen by his sister. In keeping this fact a secret, they were exchanging all kinds of flirtatious banter that the whole table found hilarious- then it was even more hilarious when they discovered they were siblings.

Sarah said...

There are no words in me today. I want to go to Dani and Jimmy's party. :)

Ian Buchan said...

Flash back to 1962, or thereabouts; a group of students from the University had an irregular -- which means, when they had some pocket money -- date at the Matador Coffee Bar, in downtown Durban. The Matador was fairly upmarket, not your usual sort of student dive, but after all, we were seniors and would soon be out in that big, wide world, earning a living. Boy, were we naive. The attraction at the Matador was the chef's magnificent omelettes; he must have spent some time in France, I have never eaten such delicious, fluffy omelettes. They were perfect, just a lttle brown underneath, and you had a choice of toppings, all so good! I've since done my own omelettes, and I thought I did a mean dish, but never quite up to the heavenly ones at the Matador. It was worth saving a couple of months' pocket money for that. I often wonder if, and when, the Matador closed it's doors; I never went there again -- I WAS out in that big, wide world after all......

Marianna said...

I remember our walk through Chinatown...our quest to find "the best quality and price" as you said. After an hour we finally found it.

I don't think you realised that I didn't care about the quality, the food or the money. All I cared about was the time I would get to spend with you, my friend.

I remember your dissapointment when you saw the dumplings..."this is not the best. In Hong Kong the food is much better".

I remember me laughing at you for photographing the vegetable soup and the sweet and sour sauce. "I wanna remember it all when we are miles apart" you said.

I still got the pictures from that day but I never look at them. I don't need to. The images are there, in my mind and heart...more vivid than ever.

malianta said...

The photo looks like a Chinese New Year celebration to me. :-)

But let me share another flashback: 1994 in the Central African Republic. Our team of sociolinguistic surveyors arrived in a remote village planning to do a group interview on language use. We were told that the men were all out in the field drinking palm wine. So we had to wait for the next day. In the late afternoon the other female team member and I got the crazy idea to cook a local dish - Gozo (manioc/cassava foufou). Our guide organized all the necessities - Manioc flour, stones for a stove, fire wood, a sieve, a large cooking pot, and a large wooden spoon. We did not need to pound the flour, but we nearly forgot to sieve it. We had quite a few spectators - two white women cooking on an open fire? Most village women had never seen a white person before. Can white women cook? They did not think so. When the Foufou was nearly ready, we decided to open two tins of lentil soup to accompany it, instead of a local sauce that would have taken several hours to prepare. Suddenly we had the even crazier idea to invite the village chief (who was present and not drinking palm wine) to eat with us. In an African context a very normal matter of politeness and hospitality - except when you are not even sure how your meal will turn out. To our own surprise he accepted. So our team, our guide and the village chief sat down together and ate as is normal there - from one big bowl with our hands. It tasted quite good but the lentil soup must have been unusual for the village chief.

The next day in the morning we were finally ready to start our group interview. The village chief gave a moving introduction speech concluding it with the words: "Formerly white people came and treated us like monkeys. Today another type of white people has come. They are white people with whom we can put our hands in the same bowl (which is an important sign of friendship)." We were all deeply touched.

Marc said...

The food is fine,
The company finer;
I really like
This roadside diner.

The waitress hums
The jukebox single,
While our fingers
Intermingle.

I crack a joke
Just to see your smile.
"It's getting late..."
Can't we stay a while?

The bill is here
But we are not;
We've gone missing
In each other's thoughts.

Hedgie said...

No, you cannot get chopsticks for Christmas; you'll put your eye out. You're getting a nice BB gun instead.

Simply Heather said...

This reminds me of the many Sunday's my mother and father would come to our house, excited and ready for take-out.

My mom loved Chinese food. I know it probably is not the traditionally made Chinese food, just the basic American sytle take out version...but she loved it.

General Tsou's was her favorite dish. She'd look at me with those eyes of excitement and ask me to make the call, she'd pay.

I still miss her, probably always will but it's the little things like this that keep her face and memory alive in my mind's heart.

Pra said...

I had posted a blog once on a meal which is what I would like to share here...
http://sensiblegibberish.blogspot.com/2008/06/one-meal-is-what-i-need.html

Louise said...

@Marc - wonderful!! I love it.