Friday, April 25, 2008

And now, to the food...

Yes, I did mention something about food so here goes. I cook. I cook because I have a wonderful family that encouraged me by consuming all my efforts as a child, including green rock-hard cakes and salty, lumpy "onion soup" that could have felled a bushpig. This dangerous permissiveness early in my kitchen career guaranteed that I developed the (over)confidence to attempt anything that catches my fancy.

Said confidence is not quite matched by my skill yet, but I have come some ways from the days of The Onion Soup Incident. From time to time some of my less toxic experiments will show up on the blog. As a food blog enthusiast, I would love to offer recipes and excellent food styling, but folks, that's going to take time. Besides, I cook by feel which means that I don't measure ingredients and only use recipes for instructional or inspirational purposes. A poor baker am I.

Let me pre-empt by stating that what I do cannot be called Tanzanian Cuisine by any purist. Not that there is a standard cuisine- but that's a topic for another time. Still, I am pretty hopeless at the starchy meal cornerstones: I don't have the arm strength to make Ugali though it is on my To Learn list, as are Chapatis and Matoke. I am passionate about eating local and what goes with it so from time to time I will feature food with a Bongo soul.

But to begin, here's some stuff that's been loitering in the Cyber-shot waiting for a shout out.

First up is the burger. We never got to eat "junk food" when we were kids, so when I finally encountered a real life MacDonalds I nearly peed myself with excitement at the thought of savoring this superb world-renowned delicacy. It did not go well. Hot Box burgers are like manna from heaven in comparison. Nothing on earth, however, can beat a home-made burger, medium rare, on a toasted bun with toppings of your own choice, literature optional.

Next comes the home-made taco, which is just as satisfying. Dee, the sister who stole my height genes, cooks a mean chili from scratch. She toasts her own spice mix, and makes it just the right kind of hot: sniffle-inducing but you get to keep your tastebuds. Leftovers go down supergood with flour tortillas which are mind-bogglingly easy to make. And leftover tortillas fried+leftover chilli the day after that makes some good hard-shell tacos. Chilli: the stew that just keeps giving.

Finally, butternut squash and feta ravioli with chilli-pea puree. This one was a biggie for me, and a first. The pasta was made by hand, and rolled by hand which I don't recommend doing unless you have forearms the size of a prime bullock's thigh. Unfortunately, the dish was fraught with disaster: some of the raviolis exploded during cooking and the feta barely showed up upon tasting. The chilli-pea puree worked out good though. I tested it on Dee and she's still breathing. She had seconds too. And so goes my family's mildly suicidal encouragement of my continued kitchen experimentation...

1 comment:

  1. Oh, yes. Some tasty stuff up there! Dee also hit the jackpot with a veggie stirfry the other day. And was quite proud of her pork mince chili flavoured with cloves. Mmmm...

    And your skills are way better than you think. Not everyone can be Anthony Bourdain at first try. Not even Anthony Bourdain.


No biting, spitting, trolling or ugly insults- only pretty ones allowed.

A little birdie told me...

Follow MikocheniReport on Twitter