Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Injera and Ice Cream


My sister-in-law, Amanda, has been kind enough to share some good Ethiopian recipes with me. Amanda lived in Ethiopia for a short time, and in Eritrea for a few years with my brother, Jonathan (and an Ethiopian house worker). A little intimidated by the idea of cooking unfamiliar food, we decided we should take a trip to St. Louis to an Ethiopian restaurant!!

It was a quick trip (no time for sight-seeing), but we had a great time at Meskarem on S. Grand. We told our waitress about the adoption (and that they should go easy on the spices for us!) and she asked all kinds of questions....she helped us on the pronunciation of Peanut's Ethiopian name, let us practice our Amharic (Ah-meh-seh-guh-NAH-loh is Thank-you) and even gave me her phone number in case we need someone to communicate with Peanut when she gets home.

Ethiopian food is generally served with no silverware and is very communal - we all shared a big plate. The staple is Injera - a large, spongey pancake/tortilla that is torn into pieces and used to scoop up dishes made with lentils, greens, chicpeas, and a spice called Berbere. The girls had Mango juice to drink, and I tried the Ethiopian coffee - - a special coffee that's roasted from green coffee beans. Lets just say that I've got a LONG way to go until I'll be able to handle that. I tried a teaspoon of coffee : 1/2 c. milk/2 packets of sugar ratio, and couldn't get more than a sip down...Do they also serve tea in Ethiopia?!

I was so proud of our girls (and Todd!) for trying everything on the plate. Now, I can't imagine that I'd ever crave ethiopian food, but I'm relieved to know that we will be able to survive our trip without having to pack any cheeseburgers in our suitcases!

We rewarded the girls with Ice Cream on the way home...not Ethiopian, but they deserved it!!

11 comments:

Lisa said...

Gretchen,

I am so so so happy for your family that you're going to be adopting!!! Thats very exciting!!! I hope that you'll keep us all updated about life with an Ethiopian daughter (how did you get Todd to agree to a 4 to 1 ratio anyway???)

I'll be praying for your family regularly. God Bless!

(I had to log in as my fiancee to be able to post a comment)

~Clayton

Gretchen Magruder said...

haha...although we'd love a boy, we know how to do girls. They get plenty of football and belching training despite gender....

Steph H. said...

Gretchen-
I ate at an Ethiopian restaurant in Chicago called, "Adis Ababa." It's been several years ago, but I remember how delicious it was and how we used our little "pancakes" to eat with. How fun to have a little taste of what you may experience on your trip when you go to bring your daughter home. Blessings!

Meg DeZutti said...

We love Ethiopian Diamond in Chicago and go there as often as possible. If you like spice (which can be addictive because of the endorphine rush) then you DO learn to crave ETH food. In the meantime, I need to find that recipe for Injera (it used club soda to make the spongy-bubbles!) When I find it I'll send it to you. You could make up a large batch and freeze them, then put in microwave/over whenever Princess Peanut craves ETH food. I think in the meantime, she'll be so happy with french fries, that you'll be good!
Ooops, I jinxed myself and now want french fries and ice cream for lunch.

Deanna said...

We are going to try a Ethiopian restaurant after court goes through to celebrate and acclimate our palate. Glad you enjoyed it!

Jill said...

I'm not a big fan of Ethiopian food. There is a pizzeria in the Hilton in Addis (some strange toppings but also some normal ones) and don't forget Burger Queen (major yummy burgers and fries). I survived on those and on lots of granola bars, rice krispie treats, etc. that I took with me.

The coffee...the best advice I can give you is to learn to gulp it down. It is served in very small cups (we're talking less than 2-3 ounces I would guess) and I still couldn't do it. We were served the coffee ceremony everywhere we went...luckily I had a baby to "distract" me so no one thought much of me not finishing. And they serve popcorn with the coffee ceremony so I was able to throw a handleful of popcorn in my mouth to keep the gagging to a minimum. (Can you tell I really hate coffee?). You will find lots of soda over there (especially orange pop) but I'm not sure about tea. I'd take some teabags with you.

Erin and Keith Sager said...

I am a huge fan of Ethiopian food, but I took my niece and nephew and they had a little bit of a harder time, as you can imagine...Just wanted to tell you I am sending your decal to you today, so enjoy!!!! I can't wait to be driving on the road and see someone with one, we have sold quiet a few....Have a great day

Bethany W. said...

Y'all are doing such a great job preparing the girls (and yourselves) for every bit of this journey. I am learning a lot from reading your blog and I am hoping all the more that God will bless us with an international adoption some day!
Bethany

Annie said...

I am actually one of those people that DOES crave Ethiopian food. If staying at the HOH, I think there is only one traditional ETH meal (on Saturday.)

good job, girls, for trying something different :)

emily welch said...

Sounds like it was a fun time! Maybe you should try your hand in an Ethiopian dish for Monday nights! Lay on the spices! YUM! :)

legalmo said...

Gretchen- You NEVER would try such foods when you were younger. Think your taste buds are maturing?

Dad