Homemakers showcase international cuisine

Published 11:05 am Wednesday, March 18, 2009

PROCTORVILLE — Except for a couple of slippery burkas that occasionally frustrated their wearers another International Foods Day for the Lawrence County Homemakers clubs went off without a hitch.

The burkas, the traditional outer garb of women in Islamic countries, were the outfit of choice for the club representing the United Arab Emirates, and were just one of many costumes the homemakers donned on Tuesday.

Every other year all the homemakers’ clubs get together for a cooking fest that salutes the different and sometimes offbeat sounding cuisine of other countries. The event alternates with the organization’s biennial quilt show.

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“You have to study and it’s surprising what you learn,” Ann Lemley of South Point said as she dished up her club’s Greek dinner of spinach yogurt dip, tiropites or feta and cottage cheese triangles, meatballs and kouramniethes or Greek wedding cookies.

Tables were set up in the parish hall of First Baptist Church of Proctorville and were covered with foods and artifacts from Mexico, Japan, England, UAE, Greece, Italy, France and Africa.

Before the tastings began, a representative from each club gave a brief synopsis of the history, geography and culture of the chosen country.

Foods ranged from jalapeno appetizers to shepherd’s pie to sukuma wiki or collard greens with chili peppers and stewed tomatoes that is a speciality in Africa.

It’s an event that combines homemaking skills with education with the goal of broadening the participants’ horizons.

“People are not so strange in other countries,” Lemley said. “We are just one big world.”