maandag 21 mei 2018
zaterdag 12 mei 2018
dinsdag 1 mei 2018
donderdag 26 april 2018
zaterdag 21 april 2018
A few garlic cloves, half dried out. A sad looking onion, some wrinkly green beans, a few cups of rice, uncooked brown beans and a tin of cream style sweet corn. The harvest of my search in the kitchen was meagre and I was not sure if I could turn it into a worthy meal for me, my family and two guests. Something had gone wrong with the shopping list for the previous day and the boat that came did not bring any of the groceries we had asked for. A few weeks ago, when we were still in Cape Town, that would not have been a problem, the supermarket was around the corner. But now it was getting dark, a boat to the closest supermarket, if I could find one, would take at least 6 hours and then I still had to get back. My best bet would be to try to turn my ingredients into some sort of mexican fried rice dish.
Just as I started cooking I heard an engine. There are no roads around here so that sound can only mean one thing: a boat! The boat from Nkatha bay had already passed which meant that there was only one explanation for another boat and it was not one that made me very happy. Unexpected guests! 3 British girls stepped of the boat into our restaurant. I welcomed them and asked with a small voice if they needed supper. Maybe they carried food with them, maybe they had eaten elsewhere (although I knew that that last option was virtually impossible as there are not many other places along the northern shore.). "That would be great, the boat ride was long and we are hungry!" I smiled while my heart sunk a little. How was I going to do this?
I opened some more cupboards, found a tin of tomatoes, some soya mince and more sweet corn. That had to do. And it did. Everybody loved it, the guests asked for the recipe and I was relieved. I planned to go to the village as soon as I woke up the next morning to make sure that I would buy all the vegetables that were available to make the next day's supper a little less stressful.
It was just before 7 but the sun was already gaining strength while Limbani and I walked to the village. Limbani is one of the cooks and together we were convinced that we would find some nice vegetables to make sure that supper would be more exciting than the day before. There are a few shops in the village but none of them sell vegetables. Your best chance to find fruit and veg is on the day that the ferry arrives, people carry fresh produce from the market in Nkatha Bay to set up a small market on our beach. On other days, like the day that we went on our veg-hunt, you just go to people's houses and hope that they sell some of the crops of their land. The problem is that most people only grow cassava, and that was not what we were looking for. We asked around and went to almost every house but the outcome was rather dissapointing. After an hour we left the village with a tray of eggs, a bread and some fresh tomatoes. Not bad but not great either, the bare minimum of what I had hoped for and I did not feel very inspired to turn that into a meal.
It took a a trip to another village, a sharp knife and only a few seconds to make our supper a lot more exciting. Flary, the head chef decided to buy two chickens and took their lives with skillful precision. The slaughtering, removing of the feathers, taking out the organs and cutting in pieces took about the same time that it would have taken me to go to the supermarket in Cape Town and an hour later we had rice and chicken curry.
I have a lot to learn.