Friday, January 31, 2014

Umu anyone?

On Sunday, we have a tradition in Tonga, to cook food in an underground oven. 
'Osi loves this tradition, and is pretty much the only one on campus who makes the oven every Sunday, then other families bring their food to throw inside too.  Its alot of work, but tastes great! 
   We gather our supplies on Saturday night, because the shops are closed on Sundays.  Also on Saturday we pick all the "Lu" taro leaves we need, and dig up the root vegetables, because Tongans are not supposed to break the Sabbath by doing this kind of farm work on Sunday. 
Early in the morning 'Osi digs a huge hole and fills it with big rocks, then builds a fire on top.  He lets the fire burn for at least an hour to heat the rocks.

  Meanwhile I layer about 6 taro leaves on a square of aluminum foil, and pour chopped meat, onions, and coconut cream in the middle.  We wrap it all up, and after putting out the fire we pile the foil packages and peeled root vegetables on the hot rocks. We cover it all with coconut stalks, banana leaves big old blankets, and a mound of dirt .
And an hour later we feast!

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