Ok, so to be honest, I have been meaning to write two entries: one on my current teaching status and another opinion piece on why tri-lingualism is the downfall of modern Kenya. But when I sat down, honestly, all I wanted to write was about my adventure in the kitchen tonight. So that’s what you are getting. Pole. To compensate I put some new photos up on my Photostream. Check it out at the right —->
Most nights all I eat is either Ramen, Spaghetti with pre-canned pasta sauce or peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I go out to eat at a local restaurant every day to make myself known in the community (people are starting to realize I may actually be staying…) and because, well, they are far better cooks than me. And it’s also economical. I end up spending the same eating there that I would if I prepared myself the same meal at my own place. Funny how that works out, but kweli kabisa (totally true).
Tonight however, I was feeling a tad guilty. I don’t know, my situation is so posh that sometimes I feel guilty, so I decided to cook for myself more than my usual. This requires a stop by Mama Edith’s for some vegetables (mboga). Tonight was carrots, garlic and onions. You cannot just keep these things around because in the Mombasa heat everything goes bad after a day or two, with the exception of garlic and onions. But carrots, they are a daily purchase if you are cooking with them.
I decided to do a stir fry. So I heated up my wok and started the water boiling for the noodles. Made a haphazard stir fry sauce, the contents of which I will not disclose because some people might assume they then know the reason why I get sick. I assure you, it was… safe. The rest of the experience was a failure. I burned all my vegetables, and the noodles I was using, vermicelli, are a pain to cook with and I messed them up. They are thin noodles, and now every time I order angel pasta at a restaurant in the States I will respect the chef that much more.
So to compensate, I was like, fine, Ill make a butter sauce for the rest of the carrots. So I make a sauce of butter, garlic powder, basil and parsely. Good so far. But steaming the carrots takes way to long, so I take them out of the pot and just throw them into the sauce while it’s still cooking/melting/whatever butter does on a hotplate. And then I decide, instead of making it a sauce, i’ll just use it to fry the carrots. I am so lazy when it comes to cooking. The result, a half steam, half fried batch of carrots that actually tasted pretty good.
As if this mess wasn’t enough, I notice the bananas I purchased from Mama edith (who doesn’t actually have children but, as is respectful for a woman above the age of 23 in Kenya, I call her Mama) were going bad. I have lost far too many bananas to the mombasa heat, and I was determined to not waste these. What do I do, start mashing them up with a fork until I have a nice gooey (and slightly chunky) paste. Mixed it up with some water, some sugar and some powdered milk and I had quite the milkshake-type banana drink.
I am a mess in the kitchen. Whoever let me have a kitchen is going to regret this later when one day my intestines just explode from too much basil or something. I looooove adding basil to everything! I am pretty sure that if I could put basil on basil and make basil-squared or something, I would. Basil was added to the vegetables before stir frying. I don’t actually know how to use basil, I just put it on everything. Except the banana shake. I didn’t add basil there.
Now you know why I eat ramen or sandwiches. Needless to say, my pots and pans are a mess.