Duck in Orange

I have just woken up on day 5 of 9 (if you count weekends) of a week off work that I’m sharing with Charlotte. Sometimes, between her being a rugby-playing-therapist and me being a two-jobs-Joe, we’re a bit like ships in the night and don’t really get much time together. So this week is all about doing nothing, together!… Or, almost nothing!..

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Strawberry Rum Cheesecake

Well, it certainly has been a long time since posting though not for the lack of cooking, eating and making memories but more for the uncontrollable business of life!

Since last writing, I am so excited to announce that the fresh start on life I’ve been aiming for these last two years has finally arrived! I have now left the home of my lovely parents and moved into a little place of my own- and, if I may say so, it’s lovely!

I’ve already gone cooking crazy since living here! I’ve indulged in old favourites such as Thai Red Curry and Chicken Pathia, naturally had Josh and Stephen to visit for Wholegrain Maple Gammon, and on my first weekend here I had my parents to dinner to show my gratitude for everything they have done to support me, where we had a starter of Mojo Chicken, a main course of Beef Bourgignon and a dessert of Retox Pie.

But all those recipes are to follow soon! Last, I had my cousins Sarah and Samantha to stay and we indulged in a simple favourite- Chicken Fajitas! Sarah’s birthday passed recently on 31st May so I thought it would be nice to treat her to a favourite for dessert. Having exposed her more than once as a psychotic cheesecake thief, a strawberry cheesecake seemed the only option! And then there was this bottle of rum just lying around…

AND SO STRAWBERRY RUM CHEESE CAKE WAS BORN!!

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Coconut Milk

Thursday 25 June 2015

Each day, between volunteering tasks, we have a lovely lunch  that we all help to prepare. As a result, I’ve been learning lots of Thai cooking tips and techniques and here’s a particularly nifty one- making coconut milk!

Like many fools before me, I assumed coconut milk just came from inside a coconut easy peasy no process required… Even though I have seen, for myself, that coconuts actually contain coconut water AND have glugged much of this under the hot Thai sun while chopping down trees and the like! But, here is the step by step guide of what I now know better!

Ingredients

  • A couple of coconuts
  • Boiling Water

 

Let’s Go Coconuts

1. First you will need one of these things:
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Livingstone Museum

Tuesday 9 June

Today, after two weeks of being here alone, we had two more volunteers arrive; Will from Wolverhampton UK and Becca from New England US. As Paula was driving to Livingstone to collect them, I decided to jump on board and use the opportunity to post a few letters from Livingstone Post Office (following a few issues with the Post Office in Mwandi).

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I completed my errand almost immediately by 10:00, and wasn’t due to meet Paula and the others until 12:30! This created the perfect opportunity to check out the Livingstone Museum of Zambia.

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At just 30 Kwacha entry, it’s well worth a visit! It takes you right through the various traditions from the various tribes in Zambia, right from the beginning of time!

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Curing the Homesick Blues with Ostrich Nuts

12 April 2015

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What a simply perfect weekend!

I have been desperately missing the pleasure of cooking just recently, so while most the Kwantu volunteers spent their weekend in Jeffers Bay, and the remaining two (George and Heather, husband and wife from Canada) stayed in a nice hotel in Port Elizabeth, I took advantage of being the only person remaining in Port Elizabeth’s Albeit Lodge Hostel and decided to commandeer the hostel’s apparently untouched kitchen.

When I say untouched, I don’t mean something new and sparkling… I’m actually using a very polite term for something else altogether.

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Cooking with Auntie and Pria: Auntie’s Jaipur Vegetable

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Something particularly impressive about Auntie’s cooking and teaching skills, is that she managed to communicate everything across in spite of her knowing minimal English and me knowing absolutely no Hindi at all. When this recipe began, I asked the name and what told “Vegetable”. “Vegetable what?” I enquired. “No, Vegetable. Just Vegetable.”

“Vegetable curry?” I pushed

“No!” I was told sternly “Not curry! Vegetable!”

A loving, patient and wise woman, I thought better than to question this name further. So, without any more delay, here is the recipe for

Auntie’s Jaipur Vegetable

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Cooking with Auntie and Pria: Vegetable Spring Roll

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Next on Auntie’s lesson plan was her delicious recipe for an irresistible vegetable spring roll! Like all the recipes we were taught on this day, the quantities are enough to feed a whole hostel of hungry volunteers! So I would half all of the below.

Ingredients

For the filling

  • Half a white cabbage
  • 2 or 3 green pepper
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 table spoon of soy sauce
  • 2 table spoons of red chilli paste
  • 1 table spoon of green chilli sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1 table spoon of salt
  • Half teaspoon of Ajinomoto seasoning

For the roll

  • 1kg of white flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 pints of water
  • 1 tablespoon of cornflour

For the cook

  • Lots and lots of vegetable oil!

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