Saturday, February 28, 2009

Eight teen children home soon!

Good news! In the past 2 weeks 14 families have passed court and coming home in March are 18 children from Ethiopia. This is just from our agency alone and there are more from other agencies. This movement is somewhat refreshing as there has been some long spans of inactivity for everyone in the adoption community. Many of these parents I know from local events. I am thrilled to be part of their good news.

I am sure they are anxious to get them home. Due to the big shortage of formula in Ethiopia, many parents are concerned about the health of the children. The reason for the shortage is not fully clear. Some say it is do to the falling value of the burr (Ethiopian dollar) other say it is due to issues in China with Contamination, and some believe it is due to theft and black market sales. Who really knows?

Friday, March 6
one of the adoptive fathers and one of the members of the Ethiopian team at our agency will be traveling for Ethiopia with suitcases of formula, arriving on Sunday, March
. If your interested in making a donation of powdered formula, more high nutrition formulas, or even some cash to buy some bulk formula, let me know. This will surely make it straight in the hands of the orphans!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fund raiser for Adoption Associates

Join Adoption Associates, Inc. for a fundraiser on March 19 at the Culver's Restaurant in Jenison, Michigan.

West Michigan area families are encouraged to join Adoption Associates, Inc. on March 19, 2009 from 4-9pm at Culver's restaurant in Jenison, Michigan. Culver's restaurant of Jenison will give a generous donation to Adoption Associates, Inc. of 10% of the sales made during that time. Adoption Associates, Inc. staff will be present at the restaurant throughout the evening.

Please consider attending and helping us spread the word by inviting your friends, families, churches, and neighbors to join us! Culver's restaurant is located near the corner of Chicago Drive and Cottonwood in Jenison, near Meijer.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Some like it hot

Well the cooking class was fantastic! I would go again in a heart beat even if we made the same thing. Everyone who attended had all good things to say about it. Big thanks to a girl named Cindy for planning the whole thing and Sam the Chef for teaching us. He had his wife and daughter helping and they were wonderful! It was fabulous seeing all the ladies again who are adopting. What a great group of vivacious and inspired women. We even had one curious hubby join in too. The chatter was non-stop of adoption updates and photos floated constantly around the room. Everyone sharing tips and experiences with out reservation. We all helped prepare the basics, chop onions, crush garlic, seed jalapeno peppers and skin chickens. I am sure most of the girls went home and gave their loved one's a big spicy kiss! Mmmm, nothing like garlic onion breath with a burning hot jalapeno fingers! My favorite spice was Berbere. Sam got his from his sister in Ethiopia and says there is a big difference between true Ethiopian Berbere and American counterfeit. For Ethiopian cooking the Berbere is like red gold. Here is the recipe for the impostor just so you can see what it would be similar too.

Berbere is a hot pepper seasoning essential for most Ethiopian dishes.

You can buy it at some African and Middle Eastern Stores
2 tsp cumin seeds
4 whole cloves
6 cardamon pods
1/2 tsp. whole black pepper
1/4 tsp. whole allspice
1 tsp. whole fenugreek seeds
1/2 cup dried shallots
3 oz. long red dried chilies
3-6 small, dried hot chili peppers
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. salt

In a small frying pan, combine cumin seeds, cloves, cardammon pods, black
pepper, allspice and fenugreek. Cook for about 1 minute over medium heat,
until lighted toasted. Put mixture in a blender and add shallots. Grind
finely. Discard the stems and seeds from the chilies. Break up the pods
and process until ground. combine with the toasted mixture and the rest
of the spices.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ethiopian Cooking class

This week I have the luxury of attending an Ethiopian cooking calls. The class will have several other parents from the West Michigan area of Ethiopian children. The instructor owns an Ethiopian restaurant called GoJos. The owner and his staff has offered to host the class for us. We are going to learn how to make Tibbs Wat and Dora Wat. He will demonstrate how to make mesir. He will also bring injera and tea so we can sample our cooking as we go. We will also be able to take home injera, Tibbs and Dora Wat for our family to sample.Well at first these foods sounded like gibersish, so I had to look them up to know exactly what they are.

Ethiopian cuisine (Ethiopian Food) characteristically consists of spicy vegetable and meat dishes, usually in the form of wat, a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is about 50 centimeters (20 inches) in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour.

Ethiopians eat with their right hands, using pieces of injera to pick up bites of entrées and side dishes. No utensils are used.


A meal, consisting of injera and several kinds of wat (stew), is typical of Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine.Wat stews all begin with a large amount of chopped red onions, which the cook simmers in a pot.


Alternatively, rather than being prepared as a stew, meat or vegetables may be sautéed to make tibs (also tebs, t’ibs, tibbs, etc., Ge’ez ṭibs). Tibs is served normal or special, “special tibs” is served on a hot dish with vegetables (salad) mixed in.

The mid-18th century European visitor to Ethiopia, Remedius Prutky, describes tibs as a portion of grilled meat served “to pay a particular compliment or show especial respect to someone.”


Injera (Ge'ez , pronounced [ɨndʒǝra], sometimes transliterated enjera) or taita is a pancake-like bread made out of teff flour.It is traditionally eaten in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia (where it is also called laxoox and canjeero), Yemen, Northern Kenya and by the Nuer people of Sudan.

In making injera, flour is mixed with water and allowed to ferment for several days, as with sourdough starter. Because of this process, injera has a slight sour taste. The injera is then ready to bake into large flat pancakes, done either on a specialized electric stove or more commonly, on a clay plate (mogogo) placed over a fire. In terms of shape, Injera compares to the French crepe and the South Indian dosa as a flatbread cooked in a circle and used as a base for other foods. The taste and texture however, are quite unique and unlike the crepe and dosa.

Doro Wat (dora wat)

Doro wat (Ethiopian chicken in red pepper paste) is perhaps the best known food from Ethiopia and is often referred to as the Ethiopian national dish. It has a deep, rich flavor and tender chicken pieces. Doro wat is traditionally very spicy, but you can adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to your liking.


Mesir, or lentil, (Ethiopian red lentil puree) wat is one of several types of bean or lentil stews that are served with Ethiopian meals. They are especially popular during fasting days and the meatless period of Lent.