The French 124 class has been incredibly interesting since the semester started. Getting to learn different historical periods of the French is really fascinating. No words could explain the excitement that filled the room when our lecturer, Dr. Wandia Njoya, mentioned that we were going to have an eating class! The requirement for the class was that each student had to pick a Haitian recipe and cook it.

I think I was the most excited student in class. Apart from the cooking bit, I could not wait to sample the rest of the class’ dishes. A meal is not a meal till it has side rice and beans. This saying is common in Haiti. Rice and beans is their staple food.

I got the chance to cook red beans using the Haitian recipe guide. Not that I do not know how to cook. My patience and ability to follow instructions were really put to test. Have you ever tried cooking a meal that you’ve been cooking all your life, but using a different recipe? I kept wondering why I have to put shallot at this point and not at that point. Will the dish actually be tasty or will it have a very strange taste? Speaking of shallot, who knew this, is another name for ONION? Not me definitely. (No pun intended). I actually had to Google it and when I saw the picture, I just whispered, “SHAME ON ME.” I cannot lie that this was not a great learning experience.

The food turned out great and tasty, in my opinion. A new recipe learned. It was actually my first time to cook using a recipe.

I got to learn about different ingredients that I have never thought of using to cook and other uses of the ingredients that were in the recipe. I improvised a few things like adding tomatoes since there were some ingredients I could not find.

I am greatly anticipating the next class. To be able to taste and eat what the rest of the class cooked. Did I mention that I do love eating? Now you know!

I love this whole experience.

(More information concerning the recipe can be found in the following link:

Rice & Beans (Haitian Style) Recipe –