By now you know I’m not a traditional Kenyan man: I cook the food, clean the house, buy the vegetables, AND wash the clothes. I will admit that the cleaning is a pain in the ass (due to the “African” broom) and the washing is tedious, but the cooking is good fun. There is something so relaxing about coming home after work, especially when I don’t have a lecture the next morning, and preparing a nice, fresh meal. I cook anything from country potatoes to githeri (Kenyan staple of corn and beans) to Indian-inspired lentil curries. I’ve even picked up some new tools of the trade!
You can see my “jiko” in the pictures; it is basically a charcoal BBQ. The jiko is nice because some things need to simmer for a LONG time and the charcoal is much cheaper than boiling on my gas stove. Also, the two frying pans which came with my house were absolute crap. You know the kind: you have to cook one more egg than you’re hungry for because, no matter how much oil you use, one egg always remains on the pan. I was holding off on upgrading because I didn’t know how to dispose of the old ones, but recently I found out the locals collect scrap metal for recycling. I think they get a couple hundred shillings (around $5) for a kilogram. It may not sound like much money but every little bit counts here, and it saves my conscience because I was already losing sleep about the thought of burying them in my backyard!
So I may have to deal with man-eating spiders and slimy snakes, but at least I’m eating good food! I have some hashed browns, toast, and eggs cooking on my new non-stick pan as we speak! Until next time, take care!
A month or so ago I a colleague and I bought a chicken at the local market. We took it back to his house and proceeded to slaughter and eat it. African style. I never got around to posting pictures, so here you go!
Although I was good at holding the chicken, the killing part is another story entirely. I figured if I saw it once or twice I might be able to do it myself. I am proud to say that I cannot even imagine what kind of instincts I would have to muster up (not to mention stifling a gag reflex) in order to actually kill one myself. I do believe that humans evolved as meat eaters (and of course, killers!), but wow… no thanks! I guess I just don’t like meat THAT much! In fact, a whole week will go by and I will have not eaten any meat!
From now on I’m going to be roasting MASSIVE amounts of peanuts! They are so freakin’ cheap, delicious, and nutritious that it’s a no-brainer. Do you want to know what the secret is? PILI PILI (pepper)! Oh, and salt of course. They’re just as delicious as potato chips but way more natural and as a bonus they’re homemade. Just say, “No!” to preservatives!
I buy the raw nuts from the market and then roast them by the cup every few days. It takes about an hour once I’ve diced the peppers, added the oil to the pot, and stirred on and off heat to keep them from burning. I let them cool a bit and finish cooking when I notice they start getting dry and crunchy (you have to taste them every few minutes to know!). Half a kilogram is about 45 shillings, which is almost enough to last a whole week. I might buy one kilogram and then roast a whole bunch and take them as a treat to the staff room, because they are really hurting for some variety in the food in there!
Tomorrow’s a big market day so just know that while you’re sleeping in America I will be wheeling, dealing, and then ROASTING! I know it’s no substitute for leafy greens, Sara, so I’ll keep forcing myself to eat those every once in a while too!