Several of you have asked me what we do on a day-to-day basis. I wish I had some fascinating answer but our lives aren't that exciting. Yes, when we go on an adventure to the Mara and see hyenas and lions and elephants and leopards, it's pretty great, and we do fit in an occasional trip to Nairobi. But when we're home in Narok, there isn't much to tell.
We get up at a comfortable hour, make chai tea with milk, check our email and catch up on news online for a while. Nathan works on-and-off throughout the day, usually fitting in a full day of computer/phone calls, in between regular household chores. We don't have a dishwasher or washing machine, so dishes and laundry are done by hand. (Usually we hire a lady to help with the laundry.) There are dogs to play with and feed, floors to sweep multiple times a day (it's dusty here!) and other assorted chores to do. We have a mid-morning breakfast, a later lunch, and usually a hearty and "fancy" dinner. Every other day or so we have errands to do in town, which we can usually do on foot. We've been getting better about exercizing- I'll go for a jog around the campus 'track' while Nathan kicks the soccer ball around. I do some reading, job-hunting and food projects throughout the day. After dinner we watch an episode or two of a TV show, read, and go to bed pretty early.
Often in the middle of the night, we are woken up by either a nightclub or a screaming preacher, or both, and sometimes the mosque in town gets a little over-enthusiastic with the speaker system, and the muzzein call at 4:00 am wakes us up.
So generally- not that exciting. However, I've been using the ample down-time to experiment with new 'recipes', creating some interesting new dishes. I've made mozzarella and ricotta cheese, perfected homemade pizza dough, made a lot of homemade pasta, hummus, smoothies, soups, sauces, pancakes, muffins and more. Food is usually the most exciting part of my day.
We'll be in Narok for the next week, so I thought it would be interesting to post pictures (apologies in advance, I'm not a talented photographer) of our meals. Maybe it will provide more insight to our day-to-day life?
Tonight, I had two bundles of sukuma wiki to use up before they wilted. Sukuma is, as far as we can tell, the same thing as collard greens. We usually buy it pre-shredded from our favorite vegetable lady, and then give it a quick saute with lemon, garlic and olive oil. It's my favorite vegetable here, and we eat it almost every night!
|(Sukuma image from http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/winter-farmers-market-recipes)|
I wanted to mix it up a bit, so I did some googling and found a recipe for Portuguese Green Soup, and a recipe for Colombian Poached Egg Soup from my new favorite blog, Global Table Adventure. We don't have any spicy sausage (for the Portuguese soup), and I loved the concept of putting a poached egg in soup, so I sort of combined the recipes, creating Portuguese-Colombian Green Egg soup. It was pretty awesome! To replace the meaty/spiciness of the sausage, I fried sliced mushrooms in butter with some garlic, chili flakes and tarragon, and served the soup with a partially submerged poached egg, a sprinkling of mushrooms and ground pepper. I baked pumpkin bread for dipping.
|Unfortunately I remembered to take a picture only after Nathan finished most of his soup!|
The soup: I sauteed onion and garlic in olive oil, then added a generous sprinkling of turmeric, ground pepper and red chili peppers. Once softened, I added organic chicken bouillon, two tomatoes, a zucchini, a carrot and 5 small potatoes (all loosely chopped) and water to cover. After about 15 minutes of simmering I added about 1.5 cups of low fat milk to add some creaminess. After another 15 minutes, I pureed the soup to a creamy thickened broth, then added about 4 cups of chopped sukuma (collard greens). After the greens were quite wilted, I pureed the mixture again, allowing the sukuma to retain some texture.
To serve: Submerge a poached egg and sprinkle mushrooms on top.