Kaleidoscope~An ode to nature and to groceries: little collaborative project between my sister and me.~
Picture credit: Wangari Mungai.
Before we begin:
I just found this out, but a “costermonger” is a street seller of fruits and vegetables. ie. Mama mboga. It sounds so pretentious though. Imagine saying that to people: “I’m going to get some dhania from the costermonger at the corner.”
This weekend, Wangari and I planned and hosted a dinner party for a few friends. She was hoping for a mellow night with candles and Asa playing in the background. I was hoping that it would lead to a wonderful night of well fed people painting the town red.
Speaking of paint and color, fresh groceries are probably the best part of hosting a dinner party. No, that’s a lie. Eating is the best part. But fresh groceries are a close second. For me, there’s something very soothing– almost therapeutic– about the color and the smell and the sight of fresh vegetables (and fruit) together. It’s such a testament to the beauty and nourishing power of nature.
Usually, I’ll say that avocados are my favorite fruit/vegetable (Once you go avocado, you can never go backward-o¬†haha!). Of late, however, the sweet potato has been stealing my heart. Decided on a whim to bake sweet potato fries in addition to regular fries and it was really surprising how hard it is when raw, so much more difficult to cut than Irish potatoes. Side: you know what tastes really good? Mukimo made using sweet potatoes instead of Irish potatoes.yummmm

Oh, so Mary is the lady who sold us veggies, aka mama mboga. A few days ago, city council officers tore down her stall and the stalls of the two other mama mbogas at that corner. I’m not quite sure why; when I asked Mary said something like: “you know, when the city council comes they will always find something that you’re doing wrong.” The three of them have put their stalls back together but are being really careful to have only a small selection of vegetables out. You can see the texture of unfinishedness in their construction; for instance, the vegetables are held up by broken rocks stacked one upon the other.

By the way, despite my every effort to up the evening’s rachetness via very deliberately and insistently played Rihanna, most of us ended up spending the evening in a food coma: listening to a lot of mellow music, playing Mafia and falling asleep. Not the night I’d been hoping for but it’s all right– I’m hoping that my well fed people ended up painting the town red in their dreams.