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Winter (also know as the “contre-saison”) is the vegetable & fruit period of the year, when, if lucky, you get just about anything from cauliflower to avocados and imported plantains.

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A stark contrast to rainy season, when all the vegetables and fruits above have gone scarce! I’m fortunate these days if the greengrocer brings me more than two items à la fois!

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Luckily for us, Niger’s pantry is currently at its most generous. The above – which in Hausa is called tseido – is my favourite annual so far and actually grows in our garden! Remember the dish I made for New Year’s Eve? Now that was luxury famine fooding at its best!

…we had one of the best dishes I made during the entire year, with a cream based sauce filled with Swedish mushrooms (dried and sent by Nettus’ mom), Eden nuts, sundried tomatoes, the season’s vegetables and wild Nigerien herbs (the ones that Western media labels as famine food). It was really, really good and I just hope I can remember how I made it so I can do it again next year!

www.www.esthergarvi.org (31st of December 2007)

The wild Nigerien herbs mentioned were tseido leaves that my siser-in-law had harvested and dried.

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So in true Ishtar mannor of improvisation, I went out in the garden and picked some fresh tseido leaves,

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…which I mixed with a cabbage and a zuccini.

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I set it out in the solar oven a sunny day…

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…and when once the greens had cooked, I brought the casserole inside and mixed it all with some peanut butter (locally made), milk and pasta.

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Here’s the end result!