Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cooking from Scratch – Nan Kollin Style

There will be many things about our new life in Haiti that will be quite different from our life in Minneapolis. For instance – how we eat. Currently we shop at Costco about once every 3 weeks to stock up on essentials. The rest of the month we make small trips to Super Target or send Luke to our local corner store, Venus, for a few last minute things we need. I cook from scratch some, but not really, really from scratch – not the way I will need to in Haiti. In Haiti we will most likely go to Port au Prince once every 3 weeks or so to stock up on overpriced, imported essentials. There won’t be any runs through the McDonalds’s drive-through, ordering of pizza, or occasional trips to Chili’s. And to keep our grocery bill manageable we’ll have to do a lot more cooking from scratch with items from our local market, Nan Kollin. This market won’t be anything like Venus – no fried chicken, diet coke, or other convenience foods. It is more like the equivalent of a daily farmers market.

For most of our dinners in Haiti we will probably use ingredients from both the Port au Prince grocery stores and Nan Kollin. I’m not the best meal planner and I love challenges. So I thought it would be great to have a few recipes on hand that are made completely of ingredients from Nan Kollin. You know, for those occasional evenings when I open the fridge to find nothing in it and I need to send Luke on a quick run to the market.

Chris and I have decided that we will dedicate one night a week to preparing a new recipe from scratch and learning a Haitian Creole vocabulary list as a family. I’ve asked friends in Haiti to give me a list of all the things sold in the Nan Kollin market. So now I need your help in coming up with a few recipes to try out from this limited list! If you are up to the challenge please post a comment with your recipe idea. Remember the meal does not need to contain meat and I hope to have basic spices on hand.

Ingredients: tomatoes, potatoes, onions, scallions, sweet potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, green peppers (tiny), hot peppers, acra root, militon, beets, green beans, banana peppers, avocados, garlic, papayas, grenadia, bananas, plantains, mangoes, frozen chicken leg quarters, hot dogs, sprite, coke, juice mix packets, chicken boullion cubes, corn flakes, powdered milk, flour, salt, sugar, corn meal, wheat, bread, condensed milk, eggs, pasta, ketchup, tomato paste, spaghetti, brown sugar, rice, many varieties of dried beans.

Thanks - Sara


  1. I'm totally seeing a jambalaya (non-seafood) in those ingredients if you can secure a couple extra spices. It would use: tomatoes, onions, green peppers, hot peppers (to taste), garlic, chicken, hot dogs, bouillon cubes, tomato paste, and rice. Adding plantains or beans could make it go a little further, too.

  2. Angie-you are so creative. All I could come up with is veggie soup !!!

  3. My mom suggests getting some older cookbooks. She used several from the 50's- the recipes are more simple and don't call for anything fancy.