The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (PG)
"You think I'd let you starve to death!? When I cut off my own arm to feed you, then you'll know that you're my child."
- Agnes Kamkwamba (Williams Mother)
A true story of a13-year-old boy who is thrown out of the school he loves when his family can no longer afford the fees. He sneaks into the library and learns how to build a windmill to save his village from a famine.
Kukolola Pie, Water and Mbatata Cookies
Kukolola Pie: Kukolola means Harvest in Chichewa, the language spoken in the village that William is from in Malawi, Africa. I wanted to make sure that maize would be the inspiration behind this dish. Maize is what the country of Malawi depend on not just to make a living but as a source of food as well. I thought a somewhat traditional tamale pie would be perfect. I say somewhat because I'll be adding additional veggies that aren't traditionally cooked with tamale pie but for me the more veggies the better.
ALT: The beauty of this dish is that you can substitute the ground beef for ground turkey or even a meatless ground. It's all in the spices!
1. Start first by cooking the ground beef then drain the fat.
2. Add all the veggies until slightly soften (make sure you chop the carrots into small pieces so that they cook faster.)
3. Add all the spices and mix altogether (you add the spices after you drain the fat so you don't drain the spices as well.)
4. Once all is mixed, evenly spread the cooked pie mix into an 8x8 deep baking pan. Set aside and get started on the corn muffin mix.
5. Follow the instructions for the corn muffin mix, once done pour on top of the ground beef. Lightly spread the corn mix to cover the beef. It will feel like its too thin but no worries it will fluff up once baked.
6. Follow baking instructions from the Corn mix.
7. Once Kukolola is done baking, poke holes into the pie with a toothpick or similar.
8. Peel the rosemary stems clean half way and poke them into the holes of the pie.
Water: This liquid which we take advantage of on a daily basis just doesn't get enough attention if you ask me. In the movie too much and not enough of it meant life and death for some people. It really forces you to appreciate it for all the beautiful things it does for us and this planet. Sure it's boring but it's the best thing for you!
Mbatata Cookies: The movie takes place in Malawi, Africa so I wanted the desert for this menu to be from Malawi. I came across these mbatata cookies made from sweet potatoes! Watch this video for the recipe on AfroFoodTV. FYI, these to me were more like scones then cookies but they were so so good with a cup of tea. My kids wanted to to also try them out with chocolate chips instead of raisins which were also good but I preferred the raisins.
NOTE: Traditionally these cookies are made into the shape of a heart because Malawi is known as the Warm Heart of Africa. The people are so kind-hearted and friendly, and although resources are scarce people are generous with what they have.
The dough itself is very sticky but I was able to scoop them and shape them with a small spoon into hearts. It takes some practice but they won't go unnoticed. My kids love when I shape anything into a heart.
There's a Book!
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a remarkable true story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. It will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual's ability to change his community and better the lives of those around him.
Q&A with the kids
1. What are some of the things that William and his family struggled with that you take advantage of on a daily basis?
2. What do you have in common with William?
3. What would've happened if William had given up on building the windmill?