On a lighter note, since my last blog entry was more serious...
... I thought I'd briefly post some pictures of recent meals.
I've been food-blog-crushing on Joy the Baker for a while, and when she posted this recipe for Hasselback potatoes I had to try it. Truly revolutionary- and how pretty and fancy do those potatoes look? I pretty much ignored her pesto recipe because we found huge bunches of basil for about $0.25 each in Nairobi, so we've been making massive batches of super-cheap pesto (basil+lemon zest+ lemon juice+pepper+salt+olive oil+local macadamia nuts). But the potato part? Dead on. So yummy. We highly recommend. It's pretty simple (and simpler if you use store-bought pesto but not *quite* as yummy) and looks gorgeous on a plate!
Remember when I made mole? I brought some chipotle and pasilla chiles with us to Kenya, and have made several giant batches of sauce recently. Nathan recently learned how to make chapatti (which are a common food item here) and quickly altered the recipe to be less oily and made with more whole wheat flour, resulting in: tortillas! Hooray! We've been having lots of chicken, mole sauce, black beans, sukuma wiki, and avocado soft tacos. I'm trying to up my protein intake, ya know, for the baby, and the mole totally does the trick!
Pumpkin pie. From scratch. I roasted a pumpkin, Nathan magically found condensed milk at a store in Nairobi, and of course I had all the necessary spices. Nathan also contributed by making the crust, since I lack the patience to make pie crust. We made one pie for a Thanksgiving celebration and immediately made another a few days later- and yup, that's real whipped cream!
Also from Thanksgiving- we hosted one of Nathan's bosses and several of his PhD students and Kenyan co-workers for their first Thanksgiving celebration- we rotisseried a chicken, I made the aforementioned pie, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy (so good!), and a rice pilaf thing with butternut squash, sukuma wiki (the world's most versatile veggie!), carmelized onions, cranberries (sent from the states!) and balsamic reduction. It was tasty, too.
This is Nathan's doing. I believe it was in the midst of my first trimester anti-food period, and Nathan took up the slack and did a lot of the cooking. He made potato cakes with (you guessed it) sukuma wiki, cheese, and seasonings, served with a side of lime-and-chili-roasted broccoli. It was amazing and probably the healthiest thing I'd eaten in a month. (Seriously.)
Somewhat less food-related, but still fun- we celebrated Geemi's birthday on New Years Eve out at Fisi Camp, and I made him his first birthday cake. As far as I can tell, many Kenyans aren't big on sweets, but the cake was a huge hit with at least the American researchers. It was my first layer cake, too... chocolate with raspberry filling and chocolate buttercream frosting. It was incredibly rich and perhaps too dense but the flavors were great. I went through a brief chocolate cupcake phase and I've discovered that adding cinnamon to any basic chocolate batter recipe makes the end result that much better.
For Geemi's birthday gift, we surprised him with a bee suit- he loves honey and frequently assists people with honey collecting. Until the bee suit, he did it entirely unprotected (by which I mean... he often just wore his skivvies so that he wouldn't get bees trapped under his clothes.) We're hoping the bee suit will prevent some stings!
The other night Nathan roasted potatoes, carrots, and green beans in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and herbs d'Provence. Totally delicious. I'd never thought of roasting veggies in balsamic vinegar as well as olive oil until we were recently served it at Fisi Camp, and it's delicious. It adds a sweet, earthy, tangy touch.
One of Nathan's bosses briefly visited a few weeks ago and brought us two giant jars of totally mind-blowingly good Dutch peanut butter. I immediately turned the peanut butter into dessert by dipping it in dark chocolate. We call these creations "Safari Poops" which only makes sense if you know what gazelle and zebra poos look like:
|I don't know exactly what animals made all the poops- but the smallest on the right are tiny dikdik poos, and the large ones are zebra poos. The others are assorted ungulate poos, like impala, thomson's gazelle, and grant's gazelle.|
Yes. That's fondue. We made fondue! In Narok! We were pretty excited. We found semi-decent gruyere at the Nakumatt in Nairobi, and some ok sharp-ish cheddar cheese at a dairy in Eldoret. (Long story short: the trucking town of Eldoret in Western Kenya has a dairy which makes cheese, yogurt and ice cream. The cheese ranged from awful (the blue cheese) to ok, and we accidentally (language barrier) bought 2 kilograms (that's 4.4 lbs) of cheddar and Derbyshire cheese.) Anyhow! I turned some of this into a fondue and we gorged. So yummy! In retrospect, I should have burned the alcohol of the white wine off a little better because it was potent. Altogether though, the fondue was a total treat!
And, who can resist a picture of a cute tiny black backed jackal? They really are surprisingly small- maybe 15-20 lbs or so. This little guy was gnawing on a snack (dead bird, I think?) just off the road and couldn't be interrupted from his meal to run away, so we stopped and watch him munch for a while.