© 2016. Ivy Mango

The Recipe Book

Growing up, I always had a passion for food especially traditional dishes. Living with my grandparents, who were very traditional people and followed our culture religiously, we always enjoyed a mix of traditional Zimbabwean dishes and Western dishes. My late grandfather was a Reverend in the United Methodist Church back then and we lived on a mission in Mudzi District near Nyamapanda border. The mission had a massive garden in which the local farmers used to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. Now and again we used to visit the garden and I used to just get lost in a world of my own looking at the different types of herbs, the huge carrots, the very long spring onions, the beautiful humungous cabbages and the large tomatoes. I would imagine making a cabbage and tomato relish which I would then serve with sadza or rice. I really treasured those visits in the garden. At the back of the garden, was a huge orchard in which you would find different types of fruits like granny apples and red mangoes. They also grew papayas, guavas and cucumbers. After the visit we would always receive a basketful of the fruits and vegetables and use them to make different dishes, especially western dishes.

I remember how on Friday afternoons after school, I would walk into the kitchen and be welcomed with the delicious smell of sizzling chicken and fried rice. Later in the evening the whole family would sit down on the set table, set with white chinaware and sparkling stainless steel cutlery. My grandmother would serve the food in her expensive bowls and gravy in the gravy boats, everything was classically laid out and very sentimental. It helped to understand the importance of family time and how eating together made us a strong family and drew us closer to each other. 20 years down the line, I got married to the most loving, caring and amazing man, that is when I began to pursue my passion, I had someone to cook for, who would tell me their honest opinion. I began to try out new recipes, cooking and serving dishes fit for a prince (my prince) and every single dish was welcomed with so many compliments. I started sharing my dishes on the social network until one day a friend added me on a group on Facebook.

I started to share my recipes and photos on there, getting inspiration from the other wonderful women on that group. I remember how my photos and recipes used to get an overwhelming response from the women on the group until one of my wonderful friends, Patience Mutavayi asked me to start blogging or open a page where the outside world can see my work be inspired. It was about three months later or so that I decided to try it out and opened a page and started sharing my recipes with the rest of the world. I never looked back since then. When i came up with this book, i wanted for whoever purchases the book, to think of a certain dish, find it in the book, cook it and enjoy it.