Tag Archives: cooking

What I ate tonight

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.

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Jon’s Dinner-time Thought Process

AHHHHHHH!  This post never posted!  That’s so sad.  It was really funny.  I am annoyed at WordPress!  How dare they rob me of sharing with you the brilliance of my dinner-time thought process.  Like all my other posts though, this one was really long, and I don’t feel like re-typing it.  Pole.  Hopefully a future post will provide as much hilarity as this.  We can only hope. Bad WordPress, bad!

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Mr. Dai Kato

So I have a friend here (yes, I am up to one now). His name is Dai Kato and he is working with JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency), which is in his own words an “imitation of Peace Corps,” but from Japan. Dai is great and is totally making this whole transition to a new site thing bearable.

Tonight I cooked for us, in reciprocation for Dai having cooked me a meal earlier this week. I wanted to cook a meat and stir fry, but turned into a meat and spaghetti when I realized I did not have enough ingredients to make a proper stir-fry sauce. Who knew it was more than just soy sauce. Not me!

The spaghetti was great, and the spaghetti sauce was a testament to the fact that Blue Band can in fact make everything in Africa taste better. Thanks mom for the good ‘ole carrots, onions and peppers combo.

The meat on the other hand was way spicy. So spicy in fact that it made a grown japanese man run from my house! Dai had to go get a cloth to wipe the sweat from his forehead! Yes. It was very spicy. Too much cumin and cayenne pepper. Now I know better for next time.

Dai, aside from knowing a little kiswahili and a little english, speaks the international language of “Volunteer.” With such a language we are able to swap photos, commiserate about the deficiencies and achievements of Kenyan Culture, and drink beer. It’s a good language, one forged over hardships and bonding, and wholly suited to getting the message across no matter the circumstances.

This was an odd post, but it what I felt like writing and how I felt like writing it. Im going to bed now. Goodnight all!

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