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Friday, January 13, 2012

.Melkam Gena ~Merry Ethiopian Christmas .

This past Saturday was Gena - Ethiopia's Christmas. Because I am that all or nothing kind of girl, that I frequently talk of here, I wanted to celebrate this day in a big way. I want Gena to be as special as our American Christmas. Last January (it's almost been a year!!) when we stood in front of that beautiful Ethiopian judge, in the small {stinky} court room, Jim and I made a promise to her that we would raise our son knowing that he is Ethiopian and raise him knowing his culture and heritage. We take this promise extremely seriously. It was a covenant that we want to honor, and that we see the great value in. So one of the ways we do this is by celebrating some of Ethiopian's holidays here in our home.

Well, Jim became very sick on Saturday, with flu-like symptoms. He was in bed for most of the day, but did manage to eat our Gena meal with us. (Although he could taste nothing!) So our Gena ended up being smaller than I had planned, but perhaps that is best and closer to a real representation of an Ethiopian celebration.

We celebrated how our family does best - with food! Each of our children have brought different things to our family. Jamesy has brought so much culture and an awareness of a country so different from our own. Without him, we never would try these foods, or know what we now know about his beloved birth country. I cannot imagine that now. Our life is so much richer.

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The first recipe I made was Yemarina Yewotet Dabo -  Ethiopian Honey Spice bread. This is an amazing recipe for those of you who are scared of ethnic recipes! It is a nice way to ease in. {grin} The bread is light and fluffy and made our whole home smell like Christmas. I really do not think you will regret trying this. I made the dough in my Kitchen Aid, but I think the dough could easily be made in a bread maker with great results. Here is the recipe.

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The main dish recipe I made was Yemiser W'et (or Wat) - Spicy Lentil Stew. This was absolutely fantastic! We had it with injera (Ethiopians main staple bread. It is a sour, spongy textured bread that balances the spicy dishes so well. Ethiopians use this bread in place of utensils. We have tried to make it here, but finally decided to order batches of it and freeze it.) and a dallop of sour cream. The stew recipe is here.


Our little Ethiopian went wild for the stew!


I am so thankful that God chose him for us. Be on the look out next week for some special posts about meeting Jamesy one year ago! Thanks for taking this journey with us. So many of you were such a huge part of bringing Jamesy into our family. We are so grateful.


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