Peanut Butter Stew

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Soup version of Peanut Butter Stew
Soup version of Peanut Butter Stew

White rice, chicken, bell pepper, onions, a mixture of almost all the seasonings we have in the cupboard, peanut butter, and potatoes. This is my dad’s variation on our family dish originating from West Africa. When we were young, we had no money nor fancy meals. Most of our meals came from a box. We would all come together whenever my dad had the time and help make this stew:  even my brother who never makes anything besides PB&J’s. It was a craft, magic. We would not have to worry about where to get food even a week after it was made. We would make so much that it would get tiring to eat. Even then it was sustenance, the hope that bonded our divided family together. When we weren’t arguing at the dinner table we were laughing. My Nana has her own variation too. She is a strong-willed intelligent woman; a retired nurse who was married to an amazing professor, who I never met. We are a family bonded by love but not by blood. Her variation was always better with red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, spinach. Potatoes, and the other ingredients. She was always so elegant in the kitchen compared to my dad. Although he did teach me to always clean your dishes as you go in order to keep clean. The warmth from the stew was like the warmth from a hug. I miss when we cooked together. I miss it when we all sat together and ate together; when we laughed at the craziness in our lives. Like the ingredients before the stew. We are all divided now, not reaching our fullest potentials as we would be if we were together. I wish for these days again.

Place(s): Sierra Leone West Africa, California

– Elenore

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant