Three area homeschooling families recently experienced authentic Ethiopian culture by visiting The Blue Nile, an authentic Ethiopian Restaurant in Harrisonburg, Va.while on a fun and educational vacation.
Following Ethiopian tradition, the group sat in a circle on stools around the serving area. Ethiopian cuisine is served on platters, â€œfamily style,â€ with no individual plates or eating utensils.
Diners eat their food with injera, a pancake-style bread used to pick up food. This spongy, sour flatbread, made from teff, a grain that flourishes in Ethiopiaâ€™s highlands, is used to scoop up meat and vegetable stews. Injera also lines the tray on which the stews are served, soaking up juices as the meal progresses. When this edible tablecloth is eaten, the meal is officially over.
Along with the injera and other dishes, diners also enjoyed Keye Sir Salata (beets, tomato, onion, garlic, and Ethiopian salad dressing), Enguday Wat (fresh mushrooms stewed with tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, and herbs and spices), Atkilt Alicha (potatoes, green beans, and carrots stewed with ginger root, garlic, and olive oil, seasoned with turmeric and other herbs and spices), and Zilzil Tibs (seasoned and marinated strips of lean choice beef sauteed with spiced Ethiopian butter, rosemary, garlic, and ginger).
The visit to the Blue Nile was part of a larger trip by homeschoolers in PATH (Parents Advocating Teaching at Home) Homeschool Association. PATH, the areaâ€™s oldest homeschooling association, was founded in 1985 and is an inclusive community of homeschooling families advocating individual choice and freedom in education and providing support, resources, activities, events, and news for people who have chosen to educate their families at home. Members have varied backgrounds, as well as varied political and religious beliefs. Current membership includes families from Ashe, Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Iredell, Lincoln, Watauga, and Wilkes counties. For more information visit: www.pathhome.school.com.