twice a week alfonsine comes to my house to help out. some would say she’s my “domestique” and i’m her “madame,” but we’d say we’re sisters. alfonsine is a congolese refugee. she had to flee because of her husband’s political connections. he fled before her, 11 days after their now 7 year old son was born; they’ve not been reunited since. we share stories about what it’s like to be an outsider, we help each other with languages, we share our eating habits too.
monday i taught alfonsine how to eat cereal and milk.
that same day she taught me how to make patte and liver.
now, i don’t even like liver… but i don’t dare say no to a cultural dish lesson, so i put on my best smile when alfonsine brought intestines back from the market. mmm… delicious!
but, er, actually… it was! yum yum! and at least now i know how to make patte, the quintessential west african starch. (that would be the white stuff in the picture… a bit like creamed wheat, but stiff).
and in case you’re thinking alfonsine is getting the short end of the stick with her cereal lesson, i taught her how to make ice cubes as well!