Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lightning and Finn: Part 5- Yum!

After a few heavy posts, it seemed time to lighten things up a bit again.  The next 2 posts will show Lightning and Finn as they experienced food in India, Spain, and Palestine.  Mind you, Lightning and Finn don't eat people food, but they like to look at it and pose with it or just hang with me while I'm taking the pictures.  You've already seen them experiencing some of the food in India.  Here are a few more pictures of what they've seen and, often, what I've eaten!

It seems only appropriate to start with rice.  When we arrived in India, all the rice paddies were green and beautiful.  Here you can see the paddies growing near the SCN convent. And when we went from place to place, we passed field after field of this beauty.  Usually there were other things growing, too.

Not ready for harvest...

I was especially keen to see squash plants which grew up and cascaded over homes.  It seemed like a good use of limited space!
Ready for harvest...

The rice fields were equally beautiful to drive or walk by when they were ready for harvest...

Lots of back-breaking work to get the rice cut, gathered, and thrashed (to get the grain).  Then the stalks were stacked and the form of stacking seemed to vary from region to region.  The stalks were used to feed the animals.  They were also cut and mixed with dung, shaped into disks and dried to burn in fires, for those who didn't have access to the rapidly depleting wood supply.

Around the time the rice was being harvested, there were also beautiful fields of mustard.  In the Jharkhand and Bihar provinces of India, mustard seed and mustard oil are used in nearly all dishes.

Fruit trees seem to be growing everywhere around India, Spain, Morocco, Palestine, and Israel.  This banana tree is growing just outside the house of the SCN novices in Mokama, India.  With so much fruit available, it's no wonder fruit is eaten after every meal.

In Nablus, Palestine we have a lemon tree and a pomelo tree growing right outside our house.  The lemons sometimes come in odd shapes and are often much bigger than the ones we buy at home

I'm not sure how I got through India without taking millions of pictures of the fresh foods in the markets.  Luckily, there are plenty of such markets in Palestine, too.  I walked through this market in Bethlehem.

OK, maybe I got a few pictures of food markets in India.  Walking through Jaipur, India, we passed an area where lots of grains were being sold- chickpeas, corn, lentils, and other things I didn't recognize.

Often fruits and veggies don't arrive to markets in big trucks.  They may be transported in small vehicles, on the backs of animals, in carts pulled by animals, or in carts pulled or pushed by a person, like these papayas in Jaipur, India.

Some foods were new to us, like the custard apple in India.  We had some custard apple trees in the compound and I ate as many as I possibly could.  They were so delicious!  When I did a teacher training, I used custard apple seeds to do a lesson demonstration on using manipulatives in math lessons.  In a later teacher training, chickpeas were the manipulative of choice.

I can only assume that the chirimoyas (whose name I don't know in English but found in Spanish once we returned from Morocco) that we were given in Morocco are related to the custard apple.  They were pretty delicious, but not quite as delicious as my beloved custard apples! I have also found custard apples in Nablus, but again, they're not quite the same as the ones in India!

There were other foods that were new to us, like these water fruit, which, as you can guess, are gathered from ponds... I never actually tasted them.  They came out of the water black and were peeled to look like what you see... These were being sold at the Sonepur Mela near Patna, India.

Food is prepared fresh daily.  Chili peppers seem to always be a part of Indian cooking.  I think my tolerance for spicy food went up while I was in India.  Like you see here, a lot of food prep is done on the ground in India, not at a table...Meals are also often eaten sitting on the ground.

I learned that tumeric is made from the root of a plant.
I'm not quite sure of the process from root to powder, but grinding comes in somewhere along the way!

There is so much more that could be shown and said.  However, I think I'll leave that for the next post about prepared foods...where Finn and Lightning will have a much more prominent role in the pictures!

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