Food - a thing most people are afraid of when they come to the mission field; food - a familiar thing that brings us comfort when nothing else can; food - a thing that people hold onto tightly when they go to a new place; food - a familiar, specific thing that we think we cannot live without!
When people in America find out that I'm a missionary, one of the first things they ask me is, "What do you eat there?" When they find out that I'm a missionary in Africa, they then start to ask if I eat bugs, or monkeys, or any other strange creatures.
When I first came to Ghana as a missionary I was certain that a miracle would occur on the plane. I was sure that my tastebuds would automatically become Ghanaian - I would love the food here simply because I was here. Well...I was wrong. Nothing miraculous happened. When I got here, I found that nothing tasted like home; nothing tasted like normal. What was I to do? We hadn't shipped a container full of food, and there wasn't even a Wal-Mart on this continent! Well...I did all I could do...first, I learned to tolerate it, then, I learned to eat it, then, I learned to like it, and now, I not only love it, but I cook it, too! I've learned that new food is just a matter of attitude and time. Sure, I like some foods here better than others, but that's no different than when I lived in the States!
Now, after saying all of that, I couldn't leave you without a recipe to try! This has been modified a little to fit what is available to you. Coming into the fall season, the pumpkin should be fairly easy to find.
Be brave - you might like it!
Chicken Pumpkin Stew
1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cubed
1 med. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red or green pepper, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans chicken broth
2 tsp. paprika or chili powder
salt, to taste
2 c. fresh cooking pumpkin or butternut squash, cut in 1-in. pieces
1 c. fresh green beans, snapped in half
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter (natural peanut butter is best)
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, saute 4 min. or until browned. Remove to plate. Reduce heat to medium and saute onion, garlic, and pepper until softened. Add broth, tomatoes, paprika, and salt and bring to a boil.
Return chicken to pot, along with green beans and pumpkin. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for approximately 15 min. or until chicken is cooked through and pumpkin is soft. Add peanut butter to pot and stir until mixed well. Add more paprika and salt, to taste.