Alongside our work making gardens (which are now all complete) and teaching English and Exercise classes, the group has also run Cooking Workshops.
While some of our work has really been affected by the language barrier (my Spanish has come on loads but I still end up scratching my head on a daily basis), food really did prove itself as an international language. The Workshops have been a real success: we’ve had really big attendance to both (especially from the women of the community, who don’t really come to English Classes). The Cooking Workshops have also been run using utensils, stoves, and ingredients provided almost entirely by the community, which is especially great as our recipes were intended to use ingredients that will grow in the gardens we’ve created.
The community of La Bendicion de Dios has been totally welcoming the whole time we’ve been working here over the previous 6 weeks, but I feel like these cooking workshops - where so many women and children (with the odd man trying to look cool and distant) have attended and mucked in - is the most integrated I have felt with the community. It’s a cliché but food does bring people together: everyone likes a free lunch, wherever in the world.
At the first workshop we had only planned to show everyone how to make chicken and vegetable shish kebabs (which tasted gorgeous barbequed over a wood fire) along with rice and a tomato salsa; and to have marshmallows for after. Once we’d finished making our food though, the women in attendance felt enthusiastic and comfortable enough to teach us a Salvadoran recipe: the wonderfully named Frijoles Borrachos or ‘Drunken Beans’. This impromptu lesson was really touching - it was a truly genuine taste of Salvadoran culture and the recipe made a delicious dish.
Here is the recipe should you feel like tasting a little bit of El Salvador…
Frijoles Borrachos (Drunken Beans)
Please note we made this with leftovers from our own cooking, so the measurements are not totally fixed, but we used roughly:
- 3 Cloves of Garlic (Ajo)
- 1 Onion (Cebolla)
- 2-3 Spicy Chilies (Chile Picantes)
- 1 ½ Green Peppers (Chili Verdes)
- A bunch of coriander (Cilantro)
- A large bowl of Kidney Beans: roughly 3 tins (Frijoles)
- 1 cube of chicken stock (Sabrosador de Pollo)
- 10 Frankfurter-style sausages (Salchichas)
- 6 Tomatoes (Tomates)
- 100ml of Cooking Vinegar (Vinegrede Cocina)
1. Firstly, chop the vegetables and sausages and mix into bowl
2. Fry the above in oil and season
3. Stir in the vinegar, beans (including the juice) and stock
4. Cook until boiling and serve (we served it with rice and salsa): RICO!
We only condone the beans being drunk. Cook responsibly.
Blog: Jonjo Warrick
Photo: Jonjo offering Don Jorge a kebab