November 2012
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Cambodia Cook-in!

This Sunday, instead of thinking of turkey and mashed potatoes, my apartment was host to a Cambodia Cook-in! It was a fun dinner-fundraiser event through Advocacy Team, raising money for an entrepreneur named Rath who we’re funding a $350 micro loan for. The evening was a really fun event, but with lots of hard work involved.

Essentially, we made a feast! Cambodia-style. I took a trip to Cambodia this summer with the organization World Vision ACT:S to learn about micro-finance, and get people’s stories on whether is was an effective solution to poverty. Essentially, micro-finance is giving people small loans to help create or expand a business so that they have a sustainable source of income and can essentially lift themselves out of poverty. The trip was incredible- and so was the food! So I figured it was time for McDaniel to get just a little taste of Cambodia…what we could muster up in Westminster, Maryland that is. We started cooking at 4pm, the event was from 6-8pm and finished clean-up by 9-something. A lot of work. But check out our menu:

  • Fruit smoothies: mango, banana, ginger, pineapple, orange (make any combination!)
  • Cashew Chicken with Rice
  • Cambodian Chicken Curry (my favorite, this turned out delicious)
  • Fish and Lemongrass Soup
  • Pineapple Fried Rice (my favorite dish in Cambodia!! …didn’t turn out so great here..)
  • Fresh Spring Rolls and dipping sauce

Needless to say, it was pretty delicious. We had great fun cooking everything together as a group (there were between three and six of us bustling around my poor kitchen), and proceeded to make the biggest mess my kitchen has ever seen. But it was for an excellent cause- what better way to help end poverty that to eat together? Every attendee had to give $5 to eat, all of which went to our entrepreneur.

Suddenly my common room became festive with lights, random photos from when I was in Cambodia, a giant map on one wall, and of course, a table full of food waiting for us to eat it all! It was a ridiculous amount of food-meaning I may be eating curry for a while. Who says meals have to be boring affairs? Pick a country, grab friends, some recipes from the country and go grocery shopping. Come back for a fun meal that you get to make together and may, in fact, taste delicious.


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