Manna from the Motherland
Manna from the Motherland by Teetee Weisel
The close relationship between food and the spiritual dimensions of one’s life is the focus of Manna from the Motherland. A central theme in the book is that the health and happiness we all deserve can easily be experienced when we choose a healthy diet, live with conscious intention, and cultivate spiritual qualities.
Using some of the more common recipes from Liberia, Ghana, and Kenya, this book adapts their vegetarian variations. While the main focus of the book is on African vegetarian cuisine, it contains other themes for physical, emotional, and spiritual enhancement. There are sections on meditation, hatha yoga, walking for physical fitness, as well as poems with a spiritual theme, which are all incorporated within a philosophy of good food and aim to create a whole and enlightened person.
Interwoven into the savory recipes, spiritual enhancement themes, and poetry are also stories from the author’s own life that were either influenced by the inclusion of certain foods or relate to the emotions evoked by them. The stories begin with the author’s childhood in Liberia (in the 1950s) and continue through the mid-1990s. They reveal cultural attitudes about food and a person’s size, the perception of certain foods as "security foods," and the influences of other ethnic groups on African cuisine, such as the Indians in East Africa and the Syrians and Lebanese in West Africa.