Curiosity is the key to knowledge.

Established 2008 Chic African Culture teaches the history of African-food recipes and African-cultures, art, music, and oral literature.

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The person who is not patient cannot eat well-cooked dishes. -African Proverb

Sunday, July 30, 2017

First female elected president in Africa Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Politician and economist, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first female elected president in Africa.



Madame President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf


Politician and economist, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first female elected president in Africa. After two years of rule by a transitional government, democratic elections in late 2005 brought President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to power. She subsequently won reelection in 2011 and remains challenged to rebuild Liberia's economy, particularly following the 2014-15 Ebola epidemic, and to reconcile a nation still recovering from 14 years of fighting.


Ellen Johnson Sirleaf stated “If asked to describe my homeland in a sentence, I might say something like this: Liberia is a wonderful, beautiful, mixed-up country struggling mightily to find itself.”

Liberia Madame President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf 10 Fast Facts

Born October 29, 1938 in Monrovia, Liberia

Studied economics at Harvard University and other institutions.

Johnson Sirleaf began her political career in the 1970s as her nation's first female minister of finance. Worked within the banking industry at Citibank and the United Nations.

She was imprisoned in the 1980s for criticizing the government and she has gone into exile twice to escape persecution. First ran in the Liberian presidential election of 1997 but was defeated.

She was later elected as president in 2005 and then re-elected in 2011.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first female head of state ever to be democratically elected in Africa.

She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 or their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf delivered her Nobel Lecture on December 10, 2011 at the Oslo City Hall, Norway.

In 2016, she was named the 83rd-most powerful woman in the world by Forbes Magazine. She has been called the Iron Lady due to her strong will and political persistence.

Under the 1986 Liberian Constitution, the president is democratically elected by voters to a six-year term, which may be renewed once. On January 16, 2006, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was sworn in as the twenty-fourth and current president, making her the first elected female president in Africa.


Liberia

Settlement of freed slaves from the US in what is today Liberia began in 1822. Liberia is some 43,000 square miles of lush, well-watered land on the bulge of West Africa, a country slightly larger than the state of Ohio, a very small nation with a giant history. It has a population of 3.5 million people from some sixteen ethnic groups speaking some sixteen indigenous languages plus English.


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South African Strawberry Tart Hertzoggies Recipe

South African classic teatime dessert, strawberry tart hertzoggies were named after J.B.M. Hertzog who served as South Africa's prime minister from 1924 -1939. Hertzoggies were his favorite teatime dessert and his supporters baked and served strawberry hertzoggies at every function J.B.M. Hertzog attended.


African Recipes by the African Gourmet


Hertzoggies are sweet and delicious tartlets filled with strawberry jam and decadent coconut topped with baked meringue.





























Prep time: 45 min Cook time: 10 min Total time: 55 min

Classic South African Strawberry Tart Hertzoggies Recipe


Ingredients:
For the Dough
2 cups self-rising flour
¼ cup castor sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Meringue
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar


Directions:
For the dough, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined. Chill the dough for at least 15 minutes.

For the filling, beat together all ingredients until well combined.
To assemble tartlet, take a golf ball sized chunk of dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten the dough into a disc between your hands and place into prepared muffin pans. Place a teaspoonful of filling into the center of each.

For the meringue, in large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture forms stiff peaks. Top each stuffed cookie with a dollop of meringue. Bake tartlets at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until the lightly golden.

Chic African Culture

Growing strawberries

In South Africa, April is the best time to plant strawberries.
In South Africa strawberries were introduced in 1656.
Strawberries were cultivated by the Romans as early as 234 BC and in mediaeval times strawberries were regarded as an aphrodisiac.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

South Sudan Biological Supermarket

The Sudd is a huge swampy biological supermarket in South Sudan, formed by the White Nile, comprising more than 15% of the country's total area; it is one of the world's largest wetlands.


The Sudd Biological Supermarket


The Sudd of South Sudan is a large swampy area of more than 38,610 sq miles or 100,000 sq km fed by the waters of the White Nile. The Sudd dominates the center of Africa’s newest country, South Sudan.

The Sudd of South Sudan is a large swampy area of more than 38,610 sq miles or 100,000 sq km fed by the waters of the White Nile.
The Sudd
The Sudd is one of the largest flood plains in Africa, and one of the largest tropical wetlands in the world. The Sudd region has countless wetlands, a maze of channels, lakes, and swamps, and which receives water from the Bahr el Gazal River. One of the most extraordinary physical features of the Sudd is its flatness and the soils of the whole area are generally clayish and poor in nutrients.

The idea behind the construction of the Jonglei Canal was to bypass the Sudd region and to direct a downstream a proportion of the water available for irrigation and other uses downstream in Sudan and Egypt.

The Jonglei Canal had been planned for construction in1978 but work stopped in November 1983 because of civil war. When Sudan gained its independence in 1956, it was with the understanding that the southerners would be able to participate fully in the political system.

When the Arab Khartoum government reneged on its promises, a mutiny began that led to two prolonged periods of conflict from 1955-1972 and 1983-2005 in which possibly 2.5 million people died. The canal would have provided a straight channel for the Al-Jabal River to flow northward until its junction with the White Nile. However, the project would have drained the swamplands of the Sudd.
The Sudd wetlands provide fish and wildlife habitats, storing floodwaters and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods in South Sudan.
Sudd location


The Sudd wetlands provide fish and wildlife habitats, storing floodwaters and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods in South Sudan. The Sudd is also an important place for biodiversity because of an immense variety of species of microbes, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish and mammals, some of which are only found in the region.

The ecological issue today is if water is drained from the Sudd through the construction of the Jonglei Canal can serious or irreparable damage to the Sudd environment be avoided.


Sudd Africa Biological Supermarket

Sudd Swamp Biological Supermarket 3 facts

Papyrus reeds which grow prolifically in the Sudd is a native plant of Africa

Sudd is the world's largest wetlands in the Nile basin

In the wet season, the Sudd covers an area nearly 1 1/2 times the size of Texas.


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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Inspirational whispers of guidance from your ancestors


Inspirational whispers of guidance from your ancestors that will encourage and uplift you.


Being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you do not have.


Sometimes you do not realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.

A little axe can cut down a big tree.

A clear conscience is more valuable than wealth.


The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.

~ with love from your ancestors

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Zulu African Beer Making

Zulu tribes people have a long steeped tradition of beer making. For generations homemade beer or Ubhiya in the Zulu language has played an essential role in Zulu rituals and traditions.



Enjoying a drink with friends
Enjoying a drink with friends

Zulu Beer Making


Drink beer in africa
Drink beer in africa
Home brewing beer is a labor-intensive process as well as an exact science. Zulu Beer is an age-old brewing practice used to bring people together to share at weddings, funerals, and traditional occasions or relaxing at home with family and neighbors.

Women in a special hut that is not completely covered by a roof so smoke can escape brew traditional Zulu beer. Zulu beer strainer and skimmer also known as Isikhetho is a cone shaped basket made of grass, some are tightly weaved in texture as to be capable of holding liquids. Traditional Zulu beer strainers and skimmers are usually handmade by women of beer making households or as a means of income to sell in local markets.

To obtain malt for beer, the grain, either maize or millet is soaked, wrapped in a mat, and left to sprout. It is then ground into meal and added to hot water, then is placed into a large pot, boiled for about 30 minutes and removed from the fire.

Zulu tribes people have a long steeped tradition of beer making. For generations homemade beer or Ubhiya in the Zulu language has played an essential role in Zulu rituals and traditions.
Making beer
During the fermentation, which continues for many days, the scum is removed with an instrument called a beer-skimmer or Isikrini sebheya which is made for this purpose, today many people use a spoon to remove the scum. The scum is not thrown away but used later on in other batches of home the craft beer making process. The malt is then added and beer is left to ferment.

When poured out for drinking, beer passes through a beer-strainer or Umsizi weBhiya for filtration; modern tools may include netting or cheesecloth. As in most African cultures, paying homage to your ancestors is an import part of the beer making process. Ancestors are given the first sip of beer by pouring the beer into a clay pot in a special room in the house.

Zulu beer has a very low alcohol content of about 2-3% and is made up by as much as 90% water and many beer-brewing households became famous for their particular type of beer, and the individual flavors of their beer strongly influenced by the brewing water’s pH and mineral content.

Zulu beer glossary translations


Alcohol – Utshwala

Beer- Ubhiya

Beer-strainer - Umsizi weBhiya

Beer-skimmer  - Isikrini sebheya

Beer- vessel  - Ubhiya – isitsha

Sorghum – Isihlahla

Wheat or Corn - Ukolweni

Fermentation – Ukuvutha

Water – Amanzi

Yeast – Ingwebu


African beer

Three Zulu African beer facts

Zulu beer brewing is a three-day brewing process.

On the third day the beer brew is filtered and can be consumed the same day.

Homemade Zulu beer is a traditional beverage with a low alcohol content of about 2-3%.


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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Fried Obuunu Plantains Recipe

Fried Obuunu Plantains Recipe

Fried Nigerian Obuunu plantains are served as a savory appetizer, snack or side dish recipe and is a favorite street food of Nigeria.
African Recipes by Chic African Culture


Have you ever tried frying plantains at home? Fried Nigerian Obuunu plantains are served as a snack or side dish recipe and is a favorite street food of Nigeria.


Prep time: 5 Cook time: 15 Total time: 2

Ingredients:    
2 ripe yellow plantains    
1 teaspoon ground garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
Oil for frying


Directions:

In a large deep frying pan, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil on medium heat. Peel and slice the plantains and fry until golden brown. Fry about 1 ½ -2 minutes on each side. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel, sprinkle with garlic, salt and red pepper and serve.


Chic African Culture

African food did you know?

Plantains are a major staple food in Africa, and are more important in the humid lowlands of West and Central Africa. One hundred or more different varieties of plantain grow deep in the African rainforests. Plantains are high in fiber and are a good source of vitamins A and C, some of the B-vitamins and potassium. ♥



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Thursday, July 20, 2017

How Rice is Made in Madagascar

Rice is a major source of calories for half of the world's population. In Madagascar, rice markets have always been important, since rice is the most important staple in the country. Many families eat rice three times a day, and most of it is homegrown.



Grounding rice in Madagascar
Grounding rice in Madagascar
In the 1970s, Madagascar was a rice exporter but has since become a rice importer making Madagascar’s economy very fragile; the country imports significant amounts of rice from international markets for everyday consumption, around 51%. The average household income in Madagascar is less than $1.25 making Madagascar an extreme low-income African country according the World Bank Standards.

Rice production is a major source of income and employment for many households in Madagascar. But, as prices increase for rice as well as other major staples of cassava and maize, most small farmers benefit little or not at all from price increases.

The rice production technologies used in Madagascar are still largely traditional, however many rice farmers are using the System of Rice Intensification or SRI. Nevertheless, rice production is still largely highly labor intensive.

Working rice fields in Madagascar
Working rice fields in Madagascar
The French Jesuit priest Henri de Laulanié, developed the SRI method in the 1980s. Traditional Madagascar farmers flood their rice fields and plant bunches of mature rice plants, while SRI farmers transplant young seedlings with greater spacing on soil that is moist but not flooded. 

Better U Foundation, funded by actor Jim Carrey, has assisted in SRI’s rice growing implementation in Madagascar. SRI cultivators claim the system uses 25% -50% less water, requires 80% -90% fewer seeds, and can sometimes double or even triple the rice yields.

Rice cultivation is found almost everywhere in Madagascar however, the central and northern regions of the country is where nearly 80% of Madagascar’s rice is grown. Lowland rice production structures are well developed and rice terraces are regularly found along the roads between the capital and largest city in Madagascar Antananarivo and the third largest city in Madagascar Antsirabe. 


Mother and daughter pound rice in Madagascar
Mother and daughter pound rice in Madagascar
Cyclone Enawo, equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane hit in early March 2017 and crossed the length of the country, causing rice production in 2017 to be below average. Approximately 434,000 people were affected by Cyclone Enawo and were in need of food assistance. 

Cyclone Enawo was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike Madagascar since Gafilo in 2004. The damage is enormous wherever the cyclone hit and damage to Madagascar’s rice production was immediately felt since another natural disaster, severe drought 2015, affected the county with the southern region the worst affected.



Chic African Culture

Did you know?

Almost 80% of the Malagasy population derives its income from the agriculture which contributes to 30% of the GDP.


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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pickled Lemon Seasoning

Fresh lemons are washed, sliced covered in salt for 24 hours, then drained and mixed with spices to cook in Tajines.



Making Msir is easy and adds a unique flavor to meals but careful, just a small amount of the North African pickled lemon seasoning goes a long way.

Msir North African Pickled Lemon Seasoning



Ingredients:
1/2 cup sea salt
4 large lemons
Water

Directions:

Cut four slits on equal sides into the lemons, but do not slice all the way through. Pack the sea salt into the lemon segments and pack the lemons as tightly as possible into a quart size mason jar. Fill with water and seal jar properly.


Chic African Culture

African food did you know?

African countries which lemons are exported are Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia; around 75% of the lemons grown are locally consumed. ♥


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Sunday, July 16, 2017

The one who travels knows more than the one who studies

Life lessons Cameroonian proverbs

Cameroon is slightly larger than the US state of California with a large youth population, more than 60% under the age of 25. Despite its youth, Cameroonians believe ancestral proverbs are the expression of ancestors that contain time-tested wisdom, truth, lessons, and advice.


Life lessons Cameroonian proverbs
The one who travels knows more than the one who studies.
The weight of something is felt by the one carrying it.
Cameroon is slightly larger than the US state of California with a large youth population, more than 60% under the age of 25.
Going for a walk in Cameroon 
A chicken is heavy when the journey is long.
A person that does not listen to advice will be left alone to find their own solution to where they are going.
A child who is destined to lead will walk with his ancestors.
Never spoil the air where you sleep.
A village is good when one is passing by.
A child who is destined to lead will walk with his ancestors.
Selling food in Cameroon 
A flexible hand cannot easily break.
A lion that wants to eat you does not look at your size.
The sweetness of something depends on the eater.
A man turns in his bed but not on his words.
A lazy man has the energy to eat but not to work.
Chic African Culture

Did you know?

Cameroon is home to 24 major African language groups with English and French being the official languages. ♥


African Proverbs

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Four most effective medicinal plants to grow in your garden

Amaranth, Calendulas, dandelions and stinging nettles are the 4 most effective plants used in herbal remedies throughout Africa to grow in your home or neighborhood garden.  


Four most effective African medicinal plants to grow in your garden


Harvest these 4 natural herbal remedies for simple, homegrown medicine.

Stinging nettles is a plant used in herbal remedies that is found in your garden or in the wild.
Stinging Nettles are easy to grow; the root is also used for joint ailments, as a diuretic, and as an astringent. Stinging nettle above ground parts are used for anemia, poor circulation, urinary tract infections, allergies, kidney stones or as a general tonic. 

In foods, young stinging nettle leaves are eaten as a cooked vegetable. Do not forget to wear gloves when harvesting. Nettles have a harmless but unpleasant sting, if brushed. Stinging nettle leaf has a long history of use. It was used primarily as a diuretic and laxative in ancient Greek times.


Amaranth is a broad-leafed, bushy plant that grows about six feet tall. Tanzanian Mchicha amaranth healing African green tea may provide a unique traditional health benefit reducing blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. 
Amaranth is a plant used in herbal remedies that is found in your garden or in the wild.
Amaranth is a plant used in herbal remedies
that is found in your garden or in the wild.

Amaranth is an important plant to the nutrition of Southern Africa. Cooked Amaranth leaves are eaten as vegetables, soups, stews and relishes. 

Leaves and young plant stems are cooked as spinach and have a mild flavor and the seeds of the Amaranth plant are ground into flour. Amaranth produces a brightly colored flower that can contain up to 60,000 seeds.

Dandelion is often considered a weed and a problematic to lawn care workers. Dandelions are one of the most multipurpose herbs. 

Dandelions are used for loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas, gallstones, joint pain, muscle aches, eczema, and bruises. 
Dandelions is a plant used in herbal remedies that is found in your garden or in the wild.
Dandelions is a plant used in herbal remedies
that is found in your garden or in the wild.

Dandelion is also used to increase urine production and as a laxative to increase bowel movements. Dandelions are also used as skin toner, blood tonic, and digestive tonic. In foods, dandelion is used as salad greens, and in soups, wine, and teas. The root is also used, dried and ground as a substitute for coffee.

Calendula is an important addition to a healer's garden. The flower petals of the calendula plant have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. 

Calendula has been used to treat stomach upset and ulcers, as well as relieve menstrual cramps, and an ointment applied to the skin. 
Calendulas is a plant used in herbal remedies that is found in your garden or in the wild.
Calendulas is a plant used in herbal
remedies that is found in your garden or in the wild.

It is believed Calendula helps, wounds heal faster, improve skin hydration and firmness. It's orange flowers are used as a tea and edible pretty addition to a salad as well

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Senegalese Sombi Sweet Milk Pudding

Senegalese Sombi Sweet Milk Pudding

Sweet Milk Pudding
The local porridge or pudding for the foodie in Senegal is called sombi sweet milk pudding.

Senegalese Sombi Sweet Milk Pudding

Senegalese Sombi Sweet Milk Pudding


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




What is Sombi Sweet Milk Pudding?


·        Sombi is a popular sweet milk pudding food dish with the Senegalese communities of the Toucouleur, Wollof, and Jakhanke.

·        Sombi Sweet Milk Rice Pudding is usually eaten at breakfast, but sometimes as dinner because it is light and very easy to digest.

·        Sombi is one of the easiest dishes to prepare and can be made from rice, millet or finely crushed corn. 

·        Another variant of the sombi is prepared from local red rice; this recipe of sombi is especially prepared for the occasion of the wedding ceremonies.


Sombi Sweet Milk Pudding

Senegalese Sombi Sweet Milk Rice Pudding
Senegalese Sombi Sweet Milk Rice Pudding

Ingredients -
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups buttermilk
½ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon salt

Directions -

Add all ingredients into a medium pot on high heat boil 3 minutes stirring well. Pour sombi into the container and let cool or serve warm.


African food recipes

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Breadfruit Buttermilk Honey Cake Recipe

Breadfruit Buttermilk Honey Cake Recipe

Breadfruit Cake Recipe
After learning all about breadfruit make a very simple frosted breadfruit honey cake recipe anyone can make. There are as many ways to cook breadfruit but a few breadfruit basics are important for making breadfruit recipes. Follow these basic breadfruit usage tips any time you prepare your fresh breadfruit.

Strawberries and whipped cream Breadfruit Buttermilk Honey Cake Recipe

Easy Breadfruit Recipe



Frosted Breadfruit Buttermilk Honey Cake Recipe
Frosted Breadfruit Buttermilk Honey Cake Recipe
Breadfruit is a multipurpose tree and all parts of the tree are used. The leaves of the breadfruit trees are used as fans sandpaper for fine woodwork, to wrap foods, and as plates. Breadfruit is cooked and eaten green, mature or ripe. Do not overcook or breadfruit will become mushy and waterlogged.

Breadfruit Basics


Wash
Washing breadfruit before cooking removes sap. Breadfruit contains a small amount of white sap, which can stick to knives, pots and steamers. If fruit oozes sap upon cutting, a piece of cardboard placed over the cutting board keeps it clean. Utensils resist sticky sap when sprayed with a non-stick oil or rubbed with cooking oil. Sap that sticks to kitchen equipment can be removed with oil and a scrub brush followed by washing with dish soap in hot water.

Remove Stem
Twist or snap off the stem and turn the fruit upside down will allow any sticky sap to drain out.

Cut
Breadfruit is a multipurpose tree and all parts of the tree are used
Breadfruit is a multipurpose tree
and all parts of the tree are used
Cutting the off the top of the fruit where the stem sticks out makes a flat spot to stand the fruit on end, and prevents rolling or slipping when making the next cut. Quartering or cutting to smaller chunks makes the fruit makes it easier to steam and boil.

Core
Coring the fruit means removing the fruit’s hard central core. This can be done before or after cooking.

Peel
Peeling the skin can be done before or after cooking, but skin will be much easier to remove post-cooking with a paring knife or peeler.


Stages of Breadfruit ripeness


The stages of a breadfruit are commonly referred to as immature, mature or ripe.

Immature breadfruit
An immature breadfruit is small, bright green in color with white-green flesh, and will leak a sticky, whitish sap when cut. Immature breadfruit is boiled, pickled or marinated. However, immature breadfruit is rubbery and watery even when cooked, lacking the rich ­flavor and texture of mature fruit. An immature breadfruit will not mature or ripen after picking.
Ripe breadfruit is soft to the touch, with an aromatic smell.
Ripe breadfruit is soft to the touch, with an aromatic smell. 

Mature breadfruit
Mature breadfruit is starchy and firm. Depending on the variety, the skin will change from the bright green of an immature fruit to darker green, golden yellow, and even a rusty orange color. The flesh will be firm, with color from white to pale, creamy yellow. In the mature stage, breadfruit is the perfect substitute for any starchy root vegetable, and can be made into recipes such as French Fries. A  firm, mature breadfruit will ripen and become soft in 1–3 days at room temperature.

Ripe breadfruit
Ripe breadfruit is soft to the touch, with an aromatic smell. The creamy, sweet flesh can be made into beverages, pies, cakes, and other desserts, and is great food for babies. The peel is yellow-green to yellow-brown in color. This is the only stage where the fruit can be eaten raw, and the taste and texture is similar to custard.

Easy Breadfruit Recipe


Breadfruit Buttermilk Honey Cake


Ingredients:
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Breadfruit Buttermilk Honey Cake
Breadfruit Buttermilk Honey Cake
1 cup ripe breadfruit mashed
1 cup honey
½ cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground all-spice
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk

Directions:
Cream butter and honey add breadfruit, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Sift together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to creamy mixture; add buttermilk until well blended. Pour into buttered or sprayed 8-inch x 8-inch cake pan. Bake at 350º for 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack and frost with vanilla frosting.

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Chic African Culture Featured Articles

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.
Be the good

Mental Discovery

The eye never forgets what the heart has seen - African Proverb

Wise Words


A wise person does not fall down on the same hill twice.