Monday, January 18, 2010

MPM, MLK, and a Family Favorite

Wow, the weeks are already starting to fly by! I simply cannot believe it's already the last half of January! I wonder if the February "time warp" will start (that weird way that February always seems to d-r-a-g on forever, even though it's the shortest month, because by that time I'm really ready for March, and spring, and Spring Break, and sunshine, and Easter... I'm a flip flop girl at heart, stuck in my Ugg boots for another few weeks!

Today in the U.S. it's Martin Luther King Day. I love this holiday, I really do. Each year we read about him, discuss the Civil Rights Movement and watch footage of the "I Have A Dream" speech, but if I'm honest, last year and this year it's harder for me. Now I have a black son. And truthfully, he has no idea that there was a time in this country where he couldn't have taken a drink out of the same water fountain or gone to the same school as his brother and sister or have us as parents. I know it's time to begin talking about it, and we will. Up until now I haven't discussed it with him simply because he lacked the English necessary to have it fully explained to him. Now he's got the English, only I don't have the words. I'm praying they will come.

I'm so glad that Ethiopian culture is now interwoven with our family's traditions. Just this weekend we took down the last of our Christmas decorations because we left them up for Genna (Ethiopian Christmas) which was on Jan. 7. This week we will celebrate "Timkat", another Ethiopian holiday! This celebration commemorates Christ's baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. I want to talk more with Minte this week about his own baptism. He's been showing an interest at church and has mentioned in the past that he would like to be baptized. Along with our weekly Ethiopian meal, we will hopefully have some meaningful discussions.

Speaking of family traditions, here's a recipe that means so much to our family. Laura asked us to share (and link) some of our "Family Favorite Recipes." Here is one of my very favorites, and was in fact the subject of my first-ever blog post, where I shared about my grandmother's tube pan going on an interesting journey and making its way back to me.

Nana's Banana Nut Bread

3 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. baking soda
4 cups flour
3 mashed ripe bananas
1 cup chopped nuts (I usually use walnuts, but frequently leave them out or just sprinkle them on top right before I put it in the oven, in case someone is allergic or doesn't prefer nuts)

Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs one at a time. Mix well. Add vanilla. In a separate measuring cup, combine baking soda and buttermilk. Add flour and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Add bananas and nuts. Bake in a well-greased and floured tube pan or large bundt pan at 300 degrees for 1 hour 55 min. or two 8" loaf pans for 1 hour 15 min.


So here's what we've got cookin' for dinner this week:

Monday: YO-YO (You're On Your Own)- I actually cooked over the weekend, so we have plenty of leftovers and a basketball game. Mom's out of the kitchen. :)

Tuesday: Chicken n' Dumplings, carrots, and (don't judge me) fried okra

Wednesday: Ethiopian food night! Yekik Wet Besiga (spicy beef with split peas) Yebesele Dinich (potatoes), injera bread

Thursday: YO-YO again... another basketball game

Friday: Savory Cheese Soup, salad, wheat rolls

To read more recipes or to link your own, visit

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