Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Year in Food

(This post is dedicated to Laura Gibbons, who rightly thinks that food blogging would be the best job in the world.)

My mother has noted that almost every time I publish a blog it contains pictures of what I ate. So with that in mind I thought I would summarise some of the highlights of this past year in Kenya through that very medium - pictures of food.

Christmas breakfast

Under the tin foil is bacon, eggs, toast, potato farls. Each of the cup contains Irish coffee. The meal took about 3 hours to prepare as we suffered some technical difficulties (power outages) but it was definitely worth the wait. Spending Christmas away from home was hard, but made a great deal easier by good food, drink and great company.

Patriotic risotto

Back in March I unintentionally made this green, white and orange risotto for the first time when my friend Laura was coming over for dinner one evening. It was doubly appropriate as our plan for the evening was to make St Patrick's Day decorations.

Food at Irish ball 

This is a slightly more professional Irish themed meal, thanks to the chefs at the Hilton Hotel.

Fish dinner of joy in Shimoni

The food is arguably the best thing about visiting the Kenyan coastline. You might not always get the weather, and the journey is a long one, but super fresh fish makes it all worthwhile. This was my Easter Sunday meal at Shimoni on Kenya's South coast - lobster, calamari and ... some sort of fish (potentially rabbit fish?). I don't quite remember now what type of fish it was, but it was tasty.

Outdoor breakfast at Il Ngwesi

After a dawn walk around a conservancy, practically bumping into elephants and other wildlife, to turn a corner and see a full breakfast buffet set up was just amazing, and utterly surreal.

Tallapia in Kisumu

Getting to see some of UNICEF's work with health facilities in Western Kenya back in May was an amazing and humbling experience. I learned more in those few days than in many months sitting in the Nairobi office. Having a chance to spend time socially with colleagues, and share hearty fish lunches, was another. This meal, eaten by Lake Victoria in one of the many restaurants lined up on its shore, was some of the best fish, and some of the tastiest ugali, that I have ever had here.

Fish dinner in Lamu/Manda Island

I caught this fish myself! See that one, the one on the right, a slightly different colour than the others, that one right there, he's mine. I caught him. And then watched him flop around a bucket for a while. He was beautiful, multi-coloured and tasty. Below is the 'before' picture. Yum.

Picnic lunch in the Mara

A full day of sitting in a safari van animal spotting does not sound exhausting but it is. Luckily our lodge packed us an amazing, if rather random lunch, to keep Odharnait and I going for the day. There was chicken, a hardboiled egg, an orange, a banana, some pineapple, a cheese sandwich and some juice.

Coffee and cake after the Ngong Hills

Fancy coffee and cake are always a treat but they feel almost deserved,earned, after a morning's hike across the Ngong Hills.

Cheese platter at Brown's Cheese Farm

Last Saturday I went on a group trip to visit Brown's cheese farm. It is not Kenya's only cheese factory these days,but it is probably the oldest, and manufactures the largest variety of cheeses - as the platter above attests to. Needless to say I bought about a kilo of cheese from their factory shop. Expect tales of a cheese induced coma to follow.

Ok, so I agree that it's kind of funny that I tend to take more pictures than I do of people, or animals, or scenery here but there is a method in my madness. All of these meals I ate with people. The pictures remind me of a time, and a place, and a group of people. And a taste. A yummy, yummy taste.

My own culinary skills have improved exponentially since moving to Kenya. The abundance - and importantly the low cost - of fresh fruit and vegetables means that I have really taken to cooking this year. . And soup-making. And most recently baking. Lots of baking. But I think I'll dedicate a separate blog to my recent adventures in baking.

1 comment:

  1. This dishes look amazing,do you have recipes for making them,check amazing cook books at that have amazing African recipes.