Getting Married in Zambia | Step 2 (Ichilangamulilo)

Your dad and uncles have done their part and now it’s mum and your aunts time to shine at the ‘showing of the fire’.

This part of the getting married process is fun for the aunties but can be the source of nightmares for you for days to come. They gather around camp like fires (mbaulas or braziers; portable cooking stoves that use charcoal) the night before this event prepping vegetables and telling stories late in the night. You are taught a few things but retire early for a long sleepless night.  The aunties are up very early the next morning and the cooking begins. You on the other hand; wake up with a running tummy, having had nightmares about the “Big Pot”.

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Mother of the Bride

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The Drummers and the Aunties

Its time for you to come out of the room you have been sitting in for hours. Your hour of reckoning is upon you, its time to face the BIG POT. You are led by the aunties, hidden underneath a chitenge (traditional cloth of about 6m long) crawling to the BIG POT (this is where the scraped knees come in). There are drums playing and the aunties are happy, singing their traditional songs, money exchanges hands and you, the bride, are unveiled.

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About to be unveiled

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"Uku Kunkula" - a sign of respect/humility

The BIG POT isn’t as bad as you thought…its actually quite fun once you get the hang of it. Plus, seeing your friends having a go at it after you is entertaining. (The BIG POT is where the Nshima (Zambian staple dish made from maizemeal) is cooked, to go with all the other yummy traditional dishes that have been prepared).

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The Bride and THE BIG POT

The food has been cooked, the uncles have blessed it and off it goes, escorted by the drummers and singing aunties and friends, to be delivered to hunk of a man and his family.

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A multitude of pots

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Praying of the food. Prayer is everything

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Food being taken to the grooms family


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Food

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The friends that helped you get through it

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The uncles

The purpose of the Ichilanga Mulilo- Your hunk of a man hubby-to-be and his family have been introduced to the foods from your family; a gesture that they are now welcome to dine with your family during your courtship and into your marriage.

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Washing of the Grooms hands

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The groom being treated to a traditional drink

Events such as this, though perhaps intimidating, are quite valuable in moulding you into you future husbands help- mate.

Stay tuned for more ….

Photocredit: Maynarj

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Destination Germany: The Turkish Connection

Berlin, as well as other regions in Germany,  has quite a large population of Turkish immigrants who live, work and run various businesses.  From my research (Wikipedia), this relationship goes as far back as before the 1950’s when Germany experienced a shortage of workers and Turkish workers were brought in for what wss meant to be a temporary period.

Today,  Germany and Turkey continue to have a strong economic,  social and cultural tie…..but this isn’t a history lesson..

I have always wanted to go to Turkey and proir to my mums accident we had planned to make a trip on my next trip to Berlin but as our big shopping trip has been postponed,  mum suggested I go down to the Turkish Market.

The Turkish Market (much like the Pakati Market on Sunday’s at Arcades for my Zambian readers) allows Turkish traders to display their goods to the public. Here’s a snippet of what was on display:

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Entrance

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Sweet Corn, yum!

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My sister and her sweet corn

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Love these brooms

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Bed slippers anyone?

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Someone is happy to see all those greens

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Freshly made Turkish Bread

I would recommend the market as a must see and do, just be prepared for the foot traffic and noise as traders shout out their products and very fair prices (I needed a pain killer afterwards but it was worth it for all the goodies I got).

Don’t forget to try the sweetcorn!

Chooz! 🙂

Destination Germany: The Neighborhood (Pankow, Berlin)

I have only been in Berlin a couple of days and haven’t seen much yet.

My touring so far has just been around the neighbourhood, running errands for my mum who isn’t mobile at the moment as she waits to have surgery (I believe God heals all our diseases and my mum will be walking and dancing me down the aisle one day soon…I digress…)

So anyway I thought I’d share in pictures what I have seen so far on my walks to the local grocery store and shops.

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The mandatory selfie

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Houses and apartments

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Statues and green grass! Oh how I love green grass

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Flowers. Look at all the bright colours

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Fresh and colourful fruit and veggies

Guten tag. 

😀

Health Journey: Week One

Yay! I have made it through one week and I am over the moon. Its been a good week and I managed to keep to my eating plan (almost perfectly…almost)

My chosen eating plan is something i picked up whilst i was on Jenny Craig and consists of me eating 7000 kilojoules a day; 5 fruit, 5 vegetables, 7 grain, 6 meat, 2 milk and 3 fat serves. I like this plan because it means I don’t have to starve myself or deprive myself of foods such as bread (one bread roll = one grain serve) and this is something i can keep up with even after I have reached my goal weight (which is 75kgs btw).

So here a few snapshots of what my meals were like this week:

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Breakfast. Muesli and low fat milk with yoghurt and or fruit for variety

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Lunch: mainly a garden salad and a sandwich. Or a roast chicken salad or a wrap...something light

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Snacks: mainly fruit

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Dinner: whatever goes as long as it's within my servings. For my fat serves I use 1tbsp of olive oil for cooking

I had one slip-up though….hubby and I went out for dinner at Mugg and Bean last night and I ordered a chicken sandwich which came out with melted mozzarella (hides face) and on top of that I had a coke zero..well half of one anyways because I felt guilty about the sandwich (I was too guilty to even take a picture of it).

My week also included some exercise. I joined an aerobics class that meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for one hour of fun, sweat and fellowship (its Christian based and I just love that about it). Apart from that, I challenged myself to walk from Levy Park to my house which took me about  17 mins and I have stopped taking the lift at the office (every little bit helps)! Oh and lets not forget the dance rehearsals for my friends Koni and Jane’s wedding on Sunday afternoons! 

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So how did I do? *drumroll please* Week One results: 2kgs lost 😀

Plan for Week 2
1. Plan my meals because if you fail to plan, you plan to fail (its true)
2. Step up my exercise. Walk whenever I can, start the 30 day squat challenge
3. More water!

Week 2, I got this!

Love,
Team Curvy and Fit

Ps: You can do all things through Christ who gives you the strength (Phillipians 4:13)…and so can I and the great support sysyem I have is a Blessing (hubby is buying me a fish to celebrate my week 1 loss hahaha)

Chocolate and Orange? Really?

Its been a busy long weekend of baking for me and I deciswd to focus on variations of chocolate cakes.

For baking Saturday I decided to do an orange flavoured chocolate cake.

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour (I only had self raising so ignored the baking powder but I understand all purpose flour is best)
2 cups sugar
3/4cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 orange
1 cup milk
1/2cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Method
Preheat oven to 180•C
Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt to a large bowl. Stir through flour mixture until combined well.

Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, orange zest and vanilla to flour mixture and mix then add boiling water and mix. Pour into tin and sprinkle chocolate chips on top.

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Sptinkling the chocolate chips

 Bake for 30-35 minutes. You can use tooth pick to test by inserting, if it comes out clean, its done.

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Finished product

This cake was a hit at church (if I do say so myself).

Using the same basic recipe I made a plain chocolate cake for Tea Break at a leadership seminar yesterday and have since received 3 personal orders! Phew!

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Chocolate cake

Its going to be a busy week!

Stay Blessed 🙂

Baking Saturday: Strawberry Cake Dessert

This weeks recipe of the week was a Strawberry Cake dessert that can be served warm with vanilla ice cream or custard.

Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tin of strawberries (fresh berries are always better and you can miz it up with different or a combonation of berries)

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Ingredients

Glaze (Optional)
1-1/2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together the first three ingredients; set aside. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in egg, milk and vanilla. Add dry ingredients.

Spread mixture in baking tin and sprinkle berries over top

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Ready to bake

Bake at 185° for approx 30-35 mins

Cool 5 minutes

For the glaze, Combine ingredients and spread over cake, leaving berries exposed. Though I opted not to make it to minimise the sweetness.

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Tada!

Helpfil Hint: do not get carried away watching TV otherwise your cake may end up too crispy like mine did..all part of the learning process.

Enjoy 🙂

Recipe of the Week: Lemon Drizzle Cake

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A few days ago I posted about renewing old passions,  one of which is my love for baking.

I have decided that Saturdays will now be known as ‘Baking Saturdays’ with me trying out a new recipe every week.

This weeks recipe was a Lemon Drizzle Cake which I found on Nigella Lawsons website.

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Ingredients

Cake:
175g self raising flour
125g unsalted butter
175g castor sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt
4 tbs of milk

Icing:
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
150g icing sugar

Process

Preheat oven to 180C
Cream butter and sugar then add eggs, zest and beat. Add pinch of salt to flour and fold dry mixture into butter mix. Add milk.  Bake for approx 40 mins.

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I was quite happy with how it came out.
Enjoy 🙂