Adventures in Foodie-ism

Long before we left for Africa, Jason Fader dubbed the two of us "foodies." We weren't entirely sure we fit the bill, being too cheap to shop at upscale and gourmet markets, but certainly, we do enjoy good food. We're not of the "food is fuel" camp. And when other people foot the bill, we've taken great enjoyment in some fantastic Ann Arbor restaurants, eating Kobe beef and seared Ahi tuna. Mmm, tuna. I miss it... But I digress. The foodie label is probably no surprise to most of our faithful readers, since we spend a lot of time blogging about restaurants, breads of the month, ethnic markets, etc. We weren't sure that Kenya would afford us the same opportunities for culinary enjoyment.

Instead, we've tried to rise to the challenge of finding good and tasty foods here in a rather remote part of the world. We've dined on old favorites like tortellini soup (with ground beef instead of sausage) and chicken enchiladas (with homemade tortillas, and homemade yogurt in place of the sour cream). And discovered new favorites as well: one of the basic Kenyan breads is called a chipati, which is thicker than a tortilla, sort of like naan or flatbread used for gyros. It's good by itself, but is transformed into mucho deliciousness when you spread pesto, sliced tomatos, and cheese on top and bake it like a pizza. Ah.

We're also venturing into a new realm of making our own foods. Not just, I made spaghetti for dinner, but, I took 30 tomatos and some spices and made spaghetti sauce, since a jar is more than $5 here (for the very basic Ragu). And cereal costs $5-8 per box, so I've started making yummy homemade granola. We also discovered that while peanut butter is pricey (as it is everywhere outside the US), peanuts are cheap: 2 pounds for less than $1. Today I made homemade peanut butter using only peanuts and a food processor. Wow, is it terrific! We've also made yogurt in the crockpot (see photo), and applesauce for the Mag-ster (she's sitting by the crockpot of applesauce and the food processor of peanut butter in the pic...we're on the dining room floor because that's where the US power strip is!). Who knows what we'll decide to create next. Apparently you can't get marshmallows here, but I did find a recipe for some using gelatin. Maybe we'll give it a go! The world is our oyster. Mmm, oysters....


Kelly Rocke said...

Pretty impressive cooking-from-scratch resume you are sporting! I would have never thought to try yogurt...or have thought that it would require a crock-pot! Dan and I tried marshmallows once...very sticky and tedious for us less experienced made-from- scratchers. It did taste much better than the bought version, though.

~sarah said...

Chipati was my favorite thing to eat in Kenya! So good! Glad you're finding some great recipes. Feel free to post the actual recipes themselves sometimes... ; )

tscarlet said...

What a fantastic view into the world of your diet!! So fun to read about the details of your life there! Thanks for the wonderful blog. Makes me want to pack up the family and come visit!

(I am married to Hank Willis, who went to Calvin with Jason Fader and went to Kenya with him one J-term).

--Hannah Willis