Walking through grocery store earlier this week, I was about to grab a bunch of green grapes, when I saw the price 40 botswana pula - which is roughly $6 for one bunch of grapes. Yes, $6 for one bunch of grapes. It made me realize how drastically my diet has changed since arriving in Botswana a year ago. Things that were my standard purchase in the US because they were relatively inexpensive like; grapes, strawberries, and whole chicken are prohibitively expensive here. On the other hand things that are quite expensive in the states like; avocado, pineapple, steak and ribs are very affordable here. I have quite a bit of difficulty making an inexpensive meal; because the foods that are inexpensive I'm much less familiar with using as ingredients like cans of corned beef - I don't know how to work with that.
Then there are other things, like fresh pumpkin and green tomatoes, which are available year round. I'd never actually cooked with fresh pumpkin before moving to Botswana. Canned pumpkin was always my method, but now it's pretty common for me to make pumpkin bread and occassionaly even a pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkin. Fresh pumpkin makes pumpkin bread amazing, by the way. And green tomatoes are available even in the spring and summer here.
This week has been ridicuolously hectic, so I've eaten out quite a bit, but I actually cook for myself a lot more here then I did in Seattle. Unfortunately, I haven't actually learned how to make any Southern African dishes, maybe I'll make a New Year's Resolution on that one and learn how to make seswaa- the national dish of boiled pounded beef cooked with salt for flavoring. You'd think overcooked beef flavored only with salt wouldn't be appetizing, but it's actually delicious.