Three Christmases in One Package.

1786 in the southern region of Judea, Bethlehem

the stars became cardinal points of the earth and a compass for 3 wise men

during a time, war raged in the heart of a mere mortal,

for a king was born and a gift given to the world.

People travelled from all poles of the earth to the manger

where a miracle laid shinning of a glory the world was yet to comprehend.

Halleluiah! Halleluiah!! A king was born and his reign forever.

Continue reading “Three Christmases in One Package.”

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Aphrodisiacs and the African Culture

What is an Aphrodisiac?

An Aphrodisiac is a food or drink or even a fruit that stimulates sexual desire/libido in a man or woman.

In the African culture, it’s almost a taboo to openly talk about sex. We believe the issues or conversations about the bedroom should remain in the bedroom and amongst couples.

On this post, I’ll be talking lightly about some African foods/fruits that are aphrodisiacs that can help in stimulating sexual excitement between African couples.

Ose i.e. chili pepper: Most Africans love all kinds of chili peppers. Who would have thought that it could stimulate sexual excitement. Chili peppers A.k.A Ose Nsukka are known to stimulate endorphins which causes one to sweat and gives that feeling of sexual arousal.

There is also the watermelon which contains Lycopene. It is known to be the master of all aphrodisiacs.

Continue reading “Aphrodisiacs and the African Culture”

The Myths & Truths of Iboga.

“In Church, they speak of God. With Iboga, you live God”.

It all comes down to when the Bantu tribes in Gabon ran away into the depths of the jungle in Gabon to escape persecution from French missionaries in the 19th century as it was during this period that they got to know about the “Iboga plant”. It was also from this that the Bwiti religion was given birth to and it is now one of the widely accepted religion in Gabon, as well as practised by both Bantu & Pygmy communities.

Iboga is native to the rainforest of Gabon. It is a perennial ordinary-looking shrub found in small areas of West Africa, which produces simple yellow blossoms and edible orange-colored citrus fruit that is tasteless and oddly sticky. Iboga can grow into a tree rising as high as 35 feet under conducive conditions. In the West, the psychedelic (Iboga) is being given publicity to as a potential one-shot cure for treating addiction. the Pygmies were the first set of people to find Iboga in the interior part of the jungle.

Iboga emphasises the importance of direct communion with the ancestors and spirit through community building. It is made available in small quantities at the weekly mass ceremonies known as “Ngoze” that takes place from every Saturday night into Sunday morning while higher doses of Iboga are reserved for initiation ceremonies in which the new member joins the Bwiti community or a member of the community is struggling with trauma and this can lead to complete disassociation with reality for very long periods of time thereby causing the individual to have powerful revelations as well as speak with the ancestors.

Originally, the practice of the initiatory rite included the death of humans and eating of human flesh by human beings until it purged itself of such cruel characteristics and it their places, sacrificed chickens. The Bwitists consider themselves the “real Christians”. The Iboga use was and is still acting as a thorn in the Catholic mission, however, it is still gaining ground in the fight for religious boundaries.

Photo Credit: Liliana Usvat.

Bibiana Ossai © 2016.

Okw’o Oji(Spicy peanut butter paste)

They say the only language the Kola nut understands is the Igbo language. It was often chewed by laborers during the time of our ancestors to help decrease the feeling of hunger. There is no Igbo ceremony with out the breaking of the Kolanut. Usually prayers are said over the Kolanut and the closest family member to the one who prayed over the kolanut cuts the remaining Kola and passes it around along side some garden eggs (i.e egg plants) with a paste the Igbo’s call okwo’ oj’i. Okw’o oj’i is usually made with blended and whipped peanut paste. It is then mixed with some some aromatic ingredients in a small mortar.

Growing up, I loved the smokey taste of okwo’ oj’i. I used to sit right by my dad and mother during family functions and nibble on the egg plants and lick the peanut paste. Okw’o oji gets it’s distinctive name from the use of Okwa ie the small mortar in making/serving it. As we have different Igbo dialects, so does the name for this appetizer vary. Some Igbos call it Okwa Ose. I am from Imo state and some parts call it Okwo’oji. God truly blessed my ancestors.

For my spicy paste, I used peanut butter. You may use unsalted and dry roasted peanuts as it is the usual. You could use raw peanuts and the only work there is; is the frying of the raw peanuts until done; which after wards you peel off the skin, run through a food processor; then mix in the ingredients. The peanut has its own oil, so no need to add plenty to the blending process(a little goes a long way). Although I have a slight allergy to peanuts, for some reason it never really bugs me when I eat peanut butter. So due to it’s milder reaction, I decided to go with the with the peanut butter as opposed to using peanuts. It tasted just as the same as when I was younger . I did not have a mortar either so I used the closest bowl to a mortar that I had. I also served mine with some Thai egg plants because I had no kola in hand. In any case, I was able to bring back the fond memories of my father, the Igbo community parties, and my siblings…Nostalgia!

Now,  a quick lesson on how to make this paste, so you can wow your folks on your next family gathering :). You may even eat it with some apples during Christmas (My ancestors forgive me:))

For the ingredients, you may visit our shop at http://www.motherlandsfinest.com

Ingredients:

  • I lb peanut butter paste or grinded peanuts(not the boiled ones)
  • ½ tbsp of dry grinded Cameroon pepper or 1tbsp dry chili pepper powder(add more or less according to your heat tolerance)
  • half to one small bouillon cube. You may use salt if you prefer(if using salted peanuts, or peanut butter, always taste before seasoning)
  • 8-10 ehuru seeds(roasted and grinded into a fluffy powder)
  • Note…Ehuru seeds are also known as calabash nutmeg

 

  1. in a small bowl or small mortar, thoroughly mix your spices and peanut butter. Serve with kolanuts or garden eggs. Apples and pears would work too. I served mine with Thai egg plants

Note

  1. If using peanuts, blend until smooth. Gradually add a very small amount of oil and keep whipping until very smooth; then mix in the ingredients. The consistency may be a little different from the one made with the creamy peanut butter…refrigerate and enjoy
  1. in a small bowl or small mortar, thoroughly mix your spices and peanut butter. Serve with kolanuts or garden eggs. Apples and pears would work too. I served mine with Thai egg plants
  2. Note
  3. If using peanuts, blend until smooth. Gradually add a very small amount of oil and keep whipping until very smooth; then mix in the ingredients. The consistency may be a little different from the one made with the creamy peanut butter…refrigerate and enjoy 😊