Tag Archives: Philadelphia

how does your garden grow

This afternoon, Karen and I ventured out to Chestnut Hill to the Morris Arboretum—a beautiful escape from the noise and hustle of the city, and a completely green and lush sanctuary. pictures below (after playing around with the various settings on http://www.picnik.com. it’s like instagram for your computer!)


that last picture might just be my favorite.

Morris Arboretum

100 Northwestern Ave

Philadelphia, PA

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Ghanian Adventure

My good friend and former co-worker Karen is from Ghana. Her father was Ghanian and her mother is British….come to think of it, she didn’t come to the states until she was much older. …..I forget this until I hear her talking to people in the dialect she grew up speaking.

At any rate, we live in the same apartment complex, and she mentioned that she would like to take me to eat Ghanian food if I was interested. Which of course, I was. We made a little jaunt out to Northern Philadelphia, to a place that will remain cloaked in anonymity because I cannot remember the name and didn’t write it down.

It is a little mom and pop establishment, slow cooking things throughout the day, so if  a dish runs out, it is gone until the next day.

Below are a few dishes.

Before I share them, one thing. You eat with your hands. Actually, your right hand (to be culturally sensitive). So they even give you a bowl of warm water with soap, to wash your hands prior to eating. I’m a leftie, through and through…..so I didn’t succumb to social pressures. 🙂

that is Kelewele– fried plaintains seasoned with pepper and citrus. quite yummy.

that is an entire tilapia. grilled. complete with its head attached. messy to eat without utensils. but oh so satisfying.

that is Kenkey- cassava that is boiled, then mashed into a paste, and then I believe baked in a corn husk (kind of like a tamale). It has a sour-ish taste, reminscent of Ethiopian injera. the sauce next to it is tomato, pepper, onion, and lime. you’re supposed to break off pieces, mold it into a ball in your hand and then dip it into the sauce.

that is Karen’s meal- Omo Tuo and peanut butter soup. that is sticky rice to the right, and then a savory soup with unsweetened peanut butter as a base….it’s very earthy and has meat in it…i believe it’s beef? I’m not sure.

All in all a very yummy and educational experience. I would go back!

The ladies at the restaurant tried to convince me not to get the kenkey because they thought I wouldn’t like it. (oh the assumptions about American palates!) They were very impressed that I liked it.

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a garden and a penitentiary

this weekend was enjoyable and full despite being on call saturday.

Friday night my friend Karen took me to eat Ghanian food (she is from Ghana) in Northern Philly. Stay tuned for a few pictures from dinner.

This post is about the Eastern State Penitentiary, which I went to see with my friend Ayschia, and a brief intro to my church’s garden.

there is my group’s plot above. and me holding a collard green leaf.

The Pen: apparently the first of its kind ever to exist—-the idea of prisoner reform and being “repentant” or paying “penance” for their crimes. It was designed by a young architect to instill fear in the general public (i.e. the fake castle facade), while being solitary confinement for the inmates complete with their own personal exercise garden.

….these lofty ideas went out of the window when the prison overcrowded…..but I digress. It has been out of use since 1971, when it was realized that the prison was too small and also in the middle of a nervous city, seeing as it was maximum security.

They have Halloween events, are open daily for tours, and even have an annual reunion with ex-prisoners and ex-guards.

There are lots of other fun facts too—Al Capone was imprisoned here for a short time, etc. But I’ll stop while I’m ahead.

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