African American Weddings: Dinner for friends and family

Dinner for Friends and Family

Weddings can be so formal. Processionals, registers, invitations, respondez s'il vous plait. But if you're having a dinner with your close family and friends to celebrate, why not be more familiar and homey? Reach into your family tree and your African heritage for recipes. And reach into your grandmother's cabinet for tableware.


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First let's talk about food. This dinner party would be a good time to try out some African delights. So everything won't be so new to your guests, blend African cuisine with dishes you grew up with. When deciding your menu, make a list of the foods that you enjoy. Choose African, Caribbean, and even South American dishes to complement your menu. You'll find that your African brothers and sisters around the world eat more like you than you thought. Even so, I suggest that you try your new dishes before you add them to your menu. You may need to make a few changes to the recipes to appease your diet or your taste buds.

Here are three excellent African cookbooks worth reading:

A Taste of Africa by Dorinda Hafner, Ten Speed Press; Berkeley, California
Traditional African Cooking by Ola Olaore, W. Foulsham & Company; New York
The Africa News Cookbook by Tami Hultman, Viking Penguin Inc.; New York


Soup or stew
Ginger Fried Fish
String beans
Banana Fritters

Ginger Fried Fish

The fish used for this Ghanaian recipe is rock or mullet. Rock is a rather large fish usually weighing around 3 to 4 pounds while mullet is smaller at around 2 pounds. This is from Traditional African Cooking.
4 pounds rock fish or mullet
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 onion, ground or liquidated
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
Salt to taste
Cooking oil to fry

Clean fish and divide into cutlets. Put fish in a bowl and mix with the ginger, onion, tomato and salt. Allow to stand for about 15 minutes. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry fish, ensuring that all sides of the cutlets are cooked. Arrange decoratively on a platter and garnish with parsley and tomatoes.

Chapati Ya N'dizi Tamu {Banana Fritters}

Banana fritters can be used as a sweet appetizer. It is such a common African dish that I found a couple of different ways to prepare it. This particular recipe is Tanzanian from A Taste of Africa.
3 large, very ripe bananas
4 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup caster sugar
2-4 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Vegetable oil for shallow frying

Peel the bananas, cut into halves, put in a mixing bowl and mash into a thick, coarse paste with your fingers, a wooden spoon or an electric blender.
Stir in all the ingredients except the oil and mix together thoroughly. You may need to add more or less cornflour (cornstarch) but the finish mixture should be thick and slightly coarse (which is why it is preferable to mash the bananas initially with your fingers).

Heat the oil in a skillet or frying pan until the oil starts to smoke. Fry one tablespoon of the fritter mixture first as a test. If it burns immediately, the oil is too hot, so reduce the heat. If it does not burn immediately but browns nicely, turn it over and cook the other side until both sides are golden and the fritter is firm.

Continue to fry the remaining mixture in small batches. Drain the fritters on paper napkins or on a wire sieve and keep them in a warm oven until all fritters have been cooked. Serve hot.


African American Weddings Q & A: What you need to know

Its our step by step guide to wedding to wedding attendants.  No matter the question, we've got an example or answer for you

The following information is articles, questions, and answers that have been submitted by ForeverWed readers.  Should these not answer your questions. Feel free to ask an expert

African American Weddings:
A Little History
10 Ways to Keep your marriage strong
Bridal Do's
Cultural Traditions
Jumping the Broom
Lords Prayer
Order of Ceremony

25 Ways to Make Your Wedding a Unique One
Checklist for the Brides Wedding Date
Five Ways to Plan a wedding with a full time job
Outdoor Wedding Tips
The Hottest Trend: Wedding Websites
Do You need a bridal consultant

Wedding  Attendants:
Choosing your bridal party
When should I ask them to be my attendants? 
Is there a certain way your supposed to ask a person to be an attendant?
Do you have a suggestion of a fun, inexpensive way to ask them...
Eight Tips for Drafting a Great Bridal Party Team!
Fun and unique ways to ask my friends to be by my side in my wedding
Matron of Honor and a Maid of Honor
More than one maid of honor?
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, Getting to know one another
Can my bridesmaids wear black?
Dismissing a Bridesmaid or other attendant
Do we send invitations to the people in our wedding party?

Gift Ideas for the Wedding Party
Gift Ideas for your wedding attendants
Giving Cultural Gifts 

General Questions:
Is it a new tradition to have a maid of honor and matron of honor?
Is it appropriate to have my divorced dad & mom walk me down the isle
Duties of the Best man and Maid of Honor

Is it tacky to have a MAID & MATRON of honor?
order of processional
Down the aisle: Who walks with the bride?
Should you include children?
Vows that include children

10 Things Your Ushers Should Know
Best man Responsibilities
Do you know your duties? Check this list for your duties!
It is traditional for the bride to treat her maids to a luncheon

What are the grooms parents suppose to pay for?
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Maid of Honor Duties
Roles For Children in Weddings
Ten tips on children participation  in Weddings

Vows & Passages

Start learning more about your wedding vows and passages


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