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Haitian Food

photo                    water closet 2

Digging the Water Closet                                                                      Stalls Under Construction

photowc                                                                                                        99% complete and ready for use

 

600_lunch_provided_for_during_school_year

School children with Diri Ak Pwa

Before we get into the nitty gritty of fine Haitian Food just an update on how things are going in the parish.  As you can see by the pictures the children are back in school and the water closet or as we know it the rest rooms are nearly 100% complete and are available for use – just minor last minute details to finish up.  You may not think this is such a big deal, but believe me it is.  We take sanitation for granted, in Haiti nothing is taken for granted and to have a proper place to take care of your business and a place to wash your hands is a very big deal.  It’s one of the most important things they can do to prevent disease.

We are also in the planning stages of spending a couple of weeks in late February to early March at the parish doing a little work.  We will be painting the inside of the classrooms, trying to improve the environment for both students and teachers.  We will not only as a group from the states work on this project but will employ parents of the children to help us.  As always when we have projects we try to get the parents or others in the parish involved to let them know we are a helping hand and not a hand out.  We want them to own and be proud of what is going on in their families and parish.

Now – take a second look at the photo above of the little one with the delicious looking plate of rice and beans, in Haitian Creole – Diri-ak-pwa.  Take some time and try making a batch – it’s quite tasty and filling; add a little goat meat and some veggies and you’ve got a very satisfying meal.  Okay, so maybe goat meat is out of the question – it is a little expensive here in the states, but some nice grilled chicken also goes very well; unfortunately for these children and their families; most of the time the meal consists only of the rice and beans.

Here is the recipe for this staple of Haitian life – want to experience just a slight taste of their diet – make enough to last the week and eat it every day.  Of course, you’ll have the luxury of keeping the left overs in the fridge and reheating them in the microwave instead of having to make a new pot each day.

Oh yeah, when your family. Friends or co-workers want to know why you are eating Diri-ak-pwa every day tell them about us and ask them to join our family in support of the poorest of the poor in Haiti; better yet, invite them over for a meal of Diri Ak Pwa and grilled poul (chicken).  It’ll give you a great chance to sit and chat about why you feel serving the poor is such a wonderful opportunity and blessing.

God Bless

Art

Haitian Diri Ak Pwa

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter

1 onion, finely chopped

1 bell pepper, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup tomato sauce

2 cups red kidney beans, cooked (canned okay, drain first)

1 teaspoon thyme

2 teaspoons oregano

1 bay leaf

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 3/4 cups water (or stock)

Directions

1.  Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and bell pepper, sauté until the onion is translucent.  Add the garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.  Add tomato sauce, beans, and herbs.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes to meld flavors.

2.  Stir in the rice, sock or water, and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for 15-18 minutes.

3.  Remove from heat and let set covered for another 5-10 minutes.  Then stir lightly with a fork and serve.

Bon Apeti !