The Sprouts: West Africa

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Last Wednesday as we were driving across the John A. Blatnik Bridge from to Duluth, MN to Superior, WI for swimming, O asked, “Are we in Africa yet?”  I chuckled inside thinking of the inevitable question every parent has heard…. “Are we there yet?”

With my ankle injury, lots of things have been put on hold, one of them being our exploration of Africa.   Before I fell, we had started making a paper maché African mask… but then O quickly lost interest and I didn’t have the energy to try and re-engage the activity. So it sat. But this week as we read Africa for Kids we learned that the Baoule people in Ivory Coast and Cameroon make elephant masks- a symbol of power and social stability.

O LOVES animals, but his favorite by FAR is the elephant! His ears perked up and he was ready to revisit the mask….an ELEPHANT MASK!

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Paper-Maché Mask

Mix ½ cup flour with ¾ cup water

Tear newspaper strips

Form a mask to the shape desired on an inflated balloon

For the trunk we used a recycled toilet paper tube and the ears were constructed with cardstock. Eventually we will paint the mask after finishing the paper-maché.

As we were exploring some of the Western African countries at http://www.uen.org/general_learner/ourworld/africa.shtml, we discovered that peanuts are grown in the region. We decided to create our own version of West African Peanut Soup adapting a recipe from Chef Marcus Samuelson.

Chicken Peanut Stew

Peanut stew is a popular dish in West Africa. We replaced soy butter and toasted soy nuts for a little crunch. It was very good!

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-Peanut-Stew-354649

Forgot the spinach...

Just realized that we left out the spinach when making the stew! Maybe that is ok since O gobbled his down (Skoogie thought about it)... we'll add one more vegetable next time!!

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