Here in PNG, one way to cook food is called a Mumu–it’s actually more of an event than just a way to cook food. Today we participated in our first one. The day started with a trip to the market and the grocery store accompanied by one of our local neighbors who had invited us to join her for a mumu (and invited us to buy the meat.) When we returned, I walked over to their house where we began the process by lining a pit with stones then firewood.
Next the fire was lit.
Then more wood was piled on and covered with another layer of stone.
I left this stone to heat up over the fire and returned home to trade places with Elizabeth. Elizabeth joined the ladies in preparing the food which was soon to be cooked.
Notice the “grater” on the right in this picture:
Then, after nap time, I was summoned to bring the kids down (unfortunately in the rain.) You can’t see Everett in this picture, but he is riding in the backpack on my back.
Now that the stones were good and hot, a shell was made on top of them out of banana leaves and the food was piled on.
Then more banana leaves on top (and the fabric part of an umbrella and a burlap bag) before the whole lot was buried.
After about an hour, the dirt was scraped off and the table cloth was spread.
Then the food was dished out.
Or tossed out.
Layer by layer.
With one of the children assigned to fly repellent duty.
Until the feast was spread.
And then we feasted.