A to Z Blogging Challenge

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Today is  the beginning of my A to Z Challenge Adventure part 2!!  I can’t believe it but I am going to join the blogging fun again.   My apologies to you for not  giving any updates here for so long but  my life as mother wife and more has been unrelenting lately.  But I have missed my blogging moments and have decided to use the A to Z challenge as a  wonderful opportunity to rededicate myself to the primary focus here   Ananse Adventures ….. Ananse is the Adinkra symbol for Creativity.  I hope to be tremendously inspired as I reach out creatively throughout this Challenge and the rest of the year.  

So stay tuned for more Ananse Adventures right here in the Mocha Life !!

 

Ananse is the Adinkra symbol for creativity and wisdom

Ananse is the Adinkra symbol for creativity and wisdom

 

 

Empowerment thru creativity

1000 Shillings

Around the globe there are many who sell their creative work to support themselves.  Many times in third world countries the artisans do not receive adequate monetary compensation for their beautiful work.   It is unfortunate that some large corporate organizations who can afford to pay higher sums, purchase the artistic work at very low prices and re-sell the work for quite large profits.

The organization 1000 shillings is working to highlight and showcase  the beautiful bead work of several  Ugandan woman  at fair trade values.   This wonderful organization  was established to offer these women a platform to sell their beautiful products on the world market.  Each sale will help the artisan to build towards establishing their own local business.  This in turn will improve the life of the children and families of each woman.  These sales also will improve the local economy thereby benefiting the entire community.  With an improved local economy there is bound to more access to education/schools, improved infrastructure and more healthcare.

Ananse is the Adinkra symbol for creativity and wisdom

Ananse is the Adinkra symbol for creativity and wisdom

The beads being sold are all limited edition unique pieces of jewelry.  With this being a season of giving we all should consider purchasing gifts that can truly make an impact!!  You can learn more about the artisans, their beautiful jewelry and the great work being done at  the 1000 Shillings webpage. 

1000 Shillings

Creativity is a huge part of our family life .  From the

Adinkra Symbol Ananse NTONTAN

Ananse represents creativity

tallest to the smallest, we are always working to add our own unique spin on EVERYTHING!!  It is not uncommon to hear someone walking through the house announcing “I have a great idea….you are gonna LOVE this!!”  It is just what we do and I am truly happy to be raising two creative children.

My creativity always extends into the kitchen too.   Finding new items to  cook  or new ways to prepare a food we love makes me quite happy.

I have never been a fan of American sweet potatoes ( I know that is hard to believe!) so when my friend offered me her Caribbean version several years ago I was hesitant to accept.  Being a true friend she encouraged me to try them ….”they are much better than the ones you are used to” she offered.  And to my surprise they were DELICIOUS!!   I fell in love with the Boniato.  This funny looking potato is sometimes called a Caribbean sweet potato , tropical sweet potato or Cuban sweet potato.  It  is so pleasant and sweet that I am always trying to find new ways to cook with them.

Cuban sweet potato

Boniato potatoes have a unique appearance

So here is an original recipe  developed for a potato contest I entered.   I am not really sure if it should be a dessert or side dish.  Let me know what you think please.    The Boniato can usually be found in  your local Hispanic or Caribbean grocery stores.

Sweet Potato Treasure Bites
3 medium  boniato  sweet potatoes, peeled 
1/3 c  sweetened condensed  milk 
2 tbsp butter 
2 Tbsp brown sugar
 1/8 tsp cinnamon
 Mini  marshmallows
 2/3 C cornflakes crumbs
 2 egg whites
 Canola oil 
Cover potatoes in water and boil   until tender.  Drain potatoes , 
return to pot  and cut into 2 inch chunks. Add milk and butter.  
 Mash until smooth.  Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Cover and
 place in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to cool. Separate 2 eggs
 whites into a bowl. Place cornflake crumbs in shallow bowl.  
Set these two bowls aside.  Remove potato mixture from refrigerator.
 Using a round Tablespoon size measuring spoon scoop a full  portion
 of  potato mixture   Place  1 mini marshmallow into center of 
scooped potato . Roll  potato mixture around marshmallow forming 
a ball.  Roll balls in egg white then in cornflake crumbs . Place 
on platter ready to be fried.
  In large skillet  heat ½ inch canola oil.  Add sweet potato balls,   fry until golden brown approximately 30 seconds to each side.  Remove with slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels.  Serve warm.

Do you have any adventures with cooking potatoes or yams?  Tell me about them please!

A Halloween Alternative with ANANSI

ANANSI

Anansi  folk tales originated in Ghana, West Africa.   Parents have used the humorous stories to teach their children life lessons for many, many generations.    Today we can find Anansi, his wife Aso and their  children,  happily tucked  into the memories of folks all across the African Diaspora.  From Ghana, to the Caribbean, to the South  Eastern  US,  you will get a wide smile and pleasant reminiscing eyes upon the mention of the  humorous trickster  named Anansi.
During the fall months of October and November, we  see many exhibitions  and inclusion of  spiders.   This is in part because spiders  become more active and visible to us.     It is also a great time to  re-tell and celebrate the adventures of the original Spiderman – Anansi !   Many people  today are looking to find alternatives to  scary,  shadow filled  Halloween parties.    An Anansi  celebration  can provide families   with a fun and healthy  alternative  that even includes stories that teach  life lessons.
There are many activities that you can include in an Anansi  celebration.    My first suggestion is to obtain  a book of Anansi stories.   This will allow you to choose several Anansi folk tales to  read and enjoy during the celebration.   The stories are easy to  read and share,  and they offer plenty of room for  embellishment .  You can  keep the celebration  a simple family affair  or invite friends and  extended family to join in the fun.
Including a karamu  (feast)  will make your celebration extra special.   Because the  Tricky spider is known throughout the  African Diaspora,   there are  a wide range of  foods you can  include.    Black Beans with rice (Anansi LOVES beans) ,  sweet potato biscuits,   and gumbo are just a few yummy ideas that come to mind.   On the sweeter side of things,  you can help the kids to create  Anansi  cupcake pops,  design  spider web cupcakes  or cookies.   Of course  the focus should be on the  FUN so be sure to  use all the creativity you can muster!
Crafting might also be a great way to celebrate the tricky little arachnid.    Girls can create an Anasi/Aso hair clips while the boys  work on  Anansi  knapsack  clasps.   Placemats featuring Ananai  are quite inexpensive when you use  recycled/up cycled materials.

Click here to get your Anansi T-shirt

Our Anansi t-shirt featuring Ananse Adinkra symbol

Last but not least be sure to take loads of pictures to remember all the beautiful smiles this little spider will bring you.  Be sure to share them with us via email or face book!  His antics are a really fun way to spend  one evening this fall.