NOTE: Scroll past the recipes to see a surprise – a contest sponsored by me!
Kwanzaa, to me is a very under-rated holiday. I think it is a beautifully thought out holiday and I hope that in the years to come it is more widely celebrated. I hope someday I get invited to share in this holiday. Although Kwanzaa is a very new holiday, being inaugurated in 1966, I would have thought it would become much more popularly celebrated. Kwanzaa is an African-American, Pan-American holiday that is celebrated from December 26th through January 1st. Like Chanukah, candles are lit and are the main symbol of Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is based on sound principles and each principle is given it’s own day of celebration as follows:
Each day, a principle of Kwanzaa is celebrated:
The Seven Principles
Principle in English
Principle in Swahili
|December 28||Collective Work & Responsibility||Ujima|
|December 29||Cooperative Economics||Ujamaa|
I think that these principles should be celebrated by everyone. They are good, solid principles that could create stronger more stable communities and more respect for one another. Because I respect this holiday so much, I would like to offer my sincerest wishes for a Happy, Healthy Kwanzaa. No, I’m not ending on this note. I’d like to tell you about the seven symbols of Kwanzaa.
The Seven Symbols
Celebrants decorate with red, black, and green as well as African-style textiles and art. At the heart of Kwanzaa imagery, however, are the seven symbols.
The Seven Symbols of Kwanzaa
kikombe cha umoja
Meaning: the unity cup
Action: Celebrants drink from this cup in honor of their African ancestors. Before drinking, each person says “harambee,” or “let’s pull together.”
Meaning: the candleholder, which holds seven candles
Action: It said to symbolize stalks of corn that branch off to form new stalks, much as the human family is created.
Meaning: fruits, nuts, and vegetables
Action: These remind celebrants of the harvest fruits that nourished the people of Africa.
Meaning: the seven candles that represent the seven principles
Action: A different candle is lit each day. Three candles on the left are green; three on the right are red; and in the middle is a black candle.
Action: The symbols of Kwanzaa are arranged on the mkeka, which may be made of straw or African cloth. It symbolizes the foundation upon which communities are built.
vibunzi (plural, muhindi)
Meaning: ear of corn
Action: Traditionally, one ear of corn is placed on the mkeka for each child present.
Action: Traditionally, educational and cultural gifts are given to children on January 1, the last day of Kwanzaa.
Here are some suggested foods to serve for a Kwanzaa celebration:
Koki (or Ekoki, Haricots Koki, Koki de Niébé, Gâteau de haricots, or Bean Cake) is popular all over Cameroon. It is made from cowpeas (niébé or black-eyed peas) or other beans (haricots). It is similar to the Moyin-Moyin of western Africa in that the beans are mashed into a paste which is wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.
What you need
two to four cups (one to two pounds) dry cowpeas (black-eyed peas), kidney beans, white beans, or similar
one or two sweet peppers (red, green, or in between) and/or chile pepper, cleaned and finely chopped
one cup palm oil
banana leaves (or aluminum foil) and string
What you do
Clean the black-eyed peas in water in a large pot. Cover them with boiling water and soak them for at least an hour or overnight. After soaking them, rub them together between your hands to remove the skins, if need be. Rinse to wash away the skins and any other debris. Drain them in a colander. If the beans have soaked only a short time, they may be cooked in water over a low heat until they are partially tender. (Modern adaptation: start with canned beans, drained and rinsed.)
Crush, grind, or mash the black-eyed peas into a thick paste. Put the crushed beans in a large bowl. Slowly stir in enough water to make the paste smooth. Beat with a wire whisk or wooden spoon for a few minutes or more. It is important to incorporate small air bubbles into the paste.
Heat the oil in a skillet for a few minutes, when warmed, add half the oil to the bean paste.
Fry the chopped pepper in the remaining oil for a few minutes, then add pepper and oil to the bean paste. Add salt to taste and mix well.
Warm the banana leaves for a half-minute in a hot oven, or on a grill, or in a pot of boiling water. This makes them easier to fold. Remove the center rib of each leaf by cutting across it with a knife and pulling it off. Cut the ends off each leaf to form a large rectangle. Fold the banana leaves to completely enclose the ingredients in a packet two or three layers thick. (Use something like the burrito folding technique. How many leaves and how much koki you are cooking will determine how many packets to make. Use oven-proof string to tie them closed.)
Place sticks or a wire basket on the bottom of a large pot. (A stovetop steamer can be used.) Carefully stack the packets on the sticks, add enough water to steam-cook them (the water level should be below the packets). Cover tightly and boil for one to three hours. Cooking time depends on the size of the packet. The finished Koki should be cooked to the center, like a cake.
Koki can be eaten hot or cold and is often served with boiled Yam or sweet potato.
To make the most authentic Koki, red palm oil is essential as it gives the beans the right flavor and color. In rural areas of Africa fresh palm nut sauce (similar to Moambé Sauce / Nyembwe Sauce) is often used instead of the refined red palm oil which is available in cities. Outside of Africa canned palm soup base, also called sauce graine or noix de palme can be found in speciality grocery stores and can be used in place of the red palm oil.
Koki can also be made from cocoyam (taro) tubers which are cleaned, peeled and grated and substituted for the beans. Crushed dried fish or shrimp are often added along with the red palm oil.
SOUP: Peanut Soup
Various peanut soups are common throughout Africa. Some are very simple, others more elaborate. They are often eaten as a main course along with Rice, or one of the Fufu-like staples:Baton de Manioc, Fufu, or Ugali.
What you need
two or three cups chicken broth or chicken stock
one small onion, minced
one small sweet green pepper (or bell pepper), minced
one clove of garlic, crushed (optional)
salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper or red pepper (to taste)
one hot chile pepper, minced (optional)
one carrot, chopped fine or one sweet potato or yams, boiled and mashed (optional)
one or two tomatoes, chopped or canned tomatoes (optional)
one cup natural unsweetened peanut butter (or make your own peanut paste, see the simple peanut soup recipe below)
What you do
If using homemade peanut paste, simmer it with the broth for fifteen minutes, then add all other ingredients and simmer over low heat until everything is thoroughly cooked. Stir often. Soup should be thick and smooth.
If using peanut butter: Combine all ingredients except the peanut butter and simmer over medium heat until everything is tender. Reduce heat, add the peanut butter and simmer for a few minutes more. Stir often. Soup should be thick and smooth.
Simplest Peanut Soup
The simplest Peanut Soup recipe calls for two parts chicken stock, two parts shelled peanuts, and one part milk or cream. Start by roasting the peanuts in a baking pan in a hot oven, or on the stove in a large skillet, turning often. Remove the skins from the peanuts and mash them with a mortar and pestle, mince them with a knife, crush them with a rolling pin, or use a food-processor. (Or you could use one part peanut butter, preferably natural and unsweetened.) Combine the peanut paste with the chicken stock in a saucepan and simmer for thirty minutes to an hour. Season with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and sugar to taste. Stir in milk before serving.
Colonial American Peanut Soup
Make a roux by heating a spoonful of butter in a saucepan and slowly stirring in a spoonful of flour, then add the other ingredients (as above). Consider including a chopped celery stalk and a chopped leek along with the other vegetables. Also add some milk or cream just before serving.
Round off the meal with a nice roast, collard greens, a corn dish, black-eyed peas, mashed sweet potatoes and of course dessert, I would say. Here are a couple of dessert ideas:
Home Cookin Chapter: KWANZAA RECIPES
Mango Pound Cake
Mango Pound Cake recipe photo by:kraft
It’s hard to believe that just one peeled, finely chopped Mango
can give a homemade pound cake this much flavor (but it’s true!).
Prep: 15 min
Total: 2 hr 25 min
What you need:
2 cups plus 2 tsp. flour, divided
1-1/2 tsp. CALUMET Baking Powder
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 mango, peeled, finely chopped
2 tsp. powdered sugar
HEAT oven to 325ºF.
MIX 2 cups flour and baking powder; set aside. Beat cream cheese,
butter, granulated sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer
until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each until
blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until
POUR 1/3 of the cake batter into 12-cup fluted tube pan sprayed
with cooking spray. Toss mangos with remaining flour; stir into
remaining cake batter. Pour over batter in pan.
BAKE 1 hour 10 min. or until toothpick inserted near center comes
out clean. Cool cake in pan 10 min. Loosen cake from sides of pan
with knife. Invert cake onto wire rack; gently remove pan. Cool
cake completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.
kraft kitchens tips:
SIZE WISE: The mangos provide a refreshing flavor twist to this
classic cake that’s the perfect dessert to serve at your next
SPECIAL EXTRA: Serve topped with additional chopped fresh mangos.
VARIATION: Substitute a 10-inch tube pan for the fluted tube
Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)
Home Cookin Chapter: KWANZAA RECIPES
Chocolate & Fruit Cake For Kwanzaa
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1-3/4 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
4 cups fresh, sweetened fruit (sliced peaches, nectarine,
strawberries, blueberries, kiwi fruit, sweet
Cherries – halved)
1/2 cup green grapes, halved
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking
2. Stir together cocoa, 1/2 cup sugar, water and shortening in
small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until
shortening is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat;
3. Beat butter, remaining 1-1/4 cups sugar and vanilla in large
bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after
each addition. Add cocoa mixture, beating until blended. Stir
together flour, baking soda and salt; add alternately with milk to
butter mixture. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center
comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks.
5. Prepare CITRUS FILLING (instructions are below). With a long
serrated knife, using a sawing motion, split each cake layer in
half horizontally, forming 4 layers.
Place 1 layer on serving plate; spread about 1/3 cup filling over
layer. Top with about 1 cup assorted fruit. Top with second cake
layer; repeat procedure until all layers are stacked.
Arrange fruit on top layer in a decorative design. Top with
remaining filling, if desired. Garnish with grapes. Refrigerate
until serving time. Cover; refrigerate leftover cake.
Makes 12 servings.
Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, orange juice, lemon juice and
water in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring
constantly, until mixture boils; boil and stir 1 minute. Remove
from heat; stir in butter, orange and lemon peel. Refrigerate
until cool. About 1-2/3 cups filling.
Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)
I had a thought when I woke up. I thought I would like to have a contest for a giveaway. I would like to offer a book or a gift certificate for one. This contest is at my own expense. To enter, you need to subscribe, share this post on Facebook, and leave a comment here about the highlight of your holiday. I will randomly draw a name from the qualifying subscribers on January 2, 2015. Let me think what I want to offer for a moment…be right back…ok, I’ve decided that I will give one lucky person a $20.00 gift certificate to Amazon.com. This way the winner can choose the type of book they most enjoy. Good luck everyone! Here is the entry form from Rafflecopter. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the subscribe option, so when Rafflecopter randomly chooses a winner, I will check to make sure the winner is a subscriber. Otherwise, I will have Rafflecopter choose another winner. So remember, to enter you need to subscribe to A Tzimmes Revived, mention this link on Facebook, leave a comment about the highlight of your holiday celebration and fill out the Rafflecopter entry form by clicking on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below .
If this is a successful contest, I may run more in the future, so join in the fun! Winners will be announced on the post of Jan. 3, 2015 and will be notified by email.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE:
Happy Kwanzaa clip art – http://clipartmountain.com/clip5/kwan5.htm
Cowpeas photo – http://www.onlyfoods.net/cowpea.html
The Seven Principles’ chart – http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/kwanzaa/about.html
Contest Entry – http://www.rafflecopter.com
The Seven Symbols – http://www.infoplease.com/spot/kwanzaa1.html
Kwanzaa Recipes and Graphic of African or African-American Woman – http://congocookbook.com/soup_and_stew_recipes/peanut_soup.html