:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mazoto Homana (Becky)

Several years ago, I think 2006, I had a party for Malagasy Independence Day, which is June 26. I made vary miarka tsaramaso (beans & rice), ravitoto (ground cassava leaves), and ranovola (burnt rice water, trust me, it’s delicious). I found fresh lychees to serve for desert, cranked some salegy music and made people look at my pictures from the two years I spent in Madagascar in the Peace Corps. It was great fun!

I had planned to make it an annual fety (party), but the next year I had a family reunion that weekend, and the two years after that I was in Iowa City in grad school, and last year, I was just lame and not in the party mood, I guess. But this year, I hope the party will return as a powerful force. Saturday night I had a trial run.

One of my friends who attended the first annual and so far only vingt-six party, as it's called in French, is a big fan of ravitoto. It was my favorite loaky (anything served with rice) in Madagascar. Also known as ravibalahazoo, it has a unique smell and flavor, is usually cooked with onions and garlic, beef if you have it, and is delicious! It also turns your poop green, in case you were wondering. I apologize for that, but the color and consistency of our bowels was a hot topic among my fellow Peace Corps volunteers.

Anyway, said friend has been requesting that I make ravitoto for the past 5 years and I have disappointed. This friend is also a master at hosting dinner parties and a fabulous cook. Same with the other two friends I had over Saturday night for a Malagasy feast. I often show up at their houses for yummy meals either empty handed or with spicy peanut dip, which I have brought to practically every social gathering I’ve attended since I stole the recipe from the other Becky and co-opted it as my own.

So my little dinner gathering was a good way to return the favor to these culinary friends, fulfill Sara’s request for ravitoto, fulfill a COFFEE goal of inviting people over for dinner (and a theme dinner at that, as suggested by a COFFEE-mate) and see if I still remember how to make Malagasy food in preparation for my Malagasy Day fety. I think it was a success... not only because the food turned out pretty good (it tastes better than it looks)...

but because I convinced my guests to wear malagasy hats :)


amy said...

Becky! This party looks like fabulous fun. And there were HATS! Really, it's just not a party without hats.

I would love to try some vary miarka tsaramaso. I can't think of two foods that go together better than beans & rice (okay, fine: peanut butter & chocolate). And that ground cassava leaves stuff sounds yummy too (I have a niece who would appreciate the green poop part--I will be sure to tell her about this).

Good for you and yay for successful completion of a COFFEE goal! Themed dinners are FUN. I expect an invitation to your next fety. ;-)

blj said...

Amy- you and anyone else reading this have an open invitation to my fety, which will most likely be Saturday, June 25. Save the date!

patresa said...

YUM! that looks great, becky! and it sounds fun! i want to come! i want to wear a hat and eat food i can't pronounce that turns my poop funny colors!


Tanner May (Tanya) said...

Your party looks and sounds terrifico! I also just love the SOUND of ravitoto, and I can only imagine the deliciousness of this. ....And man, fun hats too! Rock on COFFEEmate. :)

Holly said...

Bring back the June Malagasy party!! You know I love a themed party:) Those leches were delicious and you know it's a good party when there are Mangoes!! So glad you did this and had fun doing it. Cooking and food has definitely been a theme of our dear COFFEE Mates...and why not? It's life sustaining, delicious, and CREATIVE. I like the idea of an annual Malagasy Independence Day by Becky. I think it's important for you to incorporate those two years into your life in a meaningful way. This is a great, full-on, yet subtle way to do that. You know I'll be there:)
PS. Your stand-by dip is fab and everybody always loves it!!

Steph said...

ATTAGAL, Becky!!! A dinner party and the rebirth of a "tradition" - a super cool combo!!! UP TOPS! Lucky, lucky friends, I say!
I'm game for one of those hats & some interesting and exotic food, too! Maybe we can incorporate some of this stuff into our Happy Fest! weekend fun!!!! Hint, hint... nudge... nudge... Whattayasay? Huh? Huh? HUUUUUH?????????
P.S. I'm glad to know that other people are obsessed (okay, maybe not OBSESSED) with poop. As a Mom, poop is just one of those topics that comes up way too often, WAY. TOO. OFTEN!!! :)

Tawni said...

Oh my. That food looks SO good to me! I will eat dinner with you, ANYTIME, Becky.

I love the Malagasy hats, and I also love that you had a theme night. More dinners and gatherings should have a theme. How much fun are you? Awesome. :)

Katie said...

You know, anything with onions, garlic and beef has me hooked instantly. Rice is the icing on the cake! It sounds like you know how to throw a party!! I love the hats, and it looks like it was a great time!!

And anything that turns my poop funny colors instantly has my vote for what-the-heck-try-it-out-ness.

Good on ya, COFFEE mate!!!