My second ever baking post on the blog. People usually say if you love to cook, you don’t love to bake. But I absolutely don’t believe that since I actually have a knack for baking. It is just that, my oven has not been working for almost 2 years now. Remember this post where I told you all about it? :(. But whenever I can, I shall be sneeking in baking posts for you guys.
As we move closer and closer to the colder months of July and August, I am usually more into really indulgent foods. I like having my sweet cake with while enjoying rainy foggy Sunday afternoons in. One of my favorite cakes to have is my crumb cake with some strungi of course. Let’s whip some up and hopefully you’ll be into it too :))
Is it just me or the more you don’t want your mom to find out about something, the more likely she is to find out about it? I don’t know it that sentence makes sense, but if you get what I mean, I think you can relate. Moms have a inbuilt “mischief sensors” that kick in whenever we secretly do what they tell not to do. My mom is TOTALLY against food wastage. I had bought some strawberries to make this cheese cake with. I got so busy in between and I kept postponing. Slowly but surely, the strawberries got spoilt. I felt guilty, but knew I had to throw them away before mom saw them. I hid them amongst some veggies so that I could throw them away when she was not around and guess what, she found them in just a few minutes. Did she sense I was up to something? I think she did. One lecture on food wastage later, I realized that was stupid of me and decided to use oranges instead. The result: stellar as always. I will show you what to substitute a bread or biscuit crust with to give you the same A+ results.
By the time we reached to our final dish of the cooking class, we were all buzzing with excitement. After making makaki ya kulisha and faluda, which were both very very delicious, I could barely hold in my excitement as we delved into our final dish, mkate wa mkono. “Mtapiga picha kwanza ama niendelee?” (Would you like to take pictures now or shall I just proceed) Our teacher for the day, Ummu would politely ask. We would then snap away and attentively watch her as she cooked. I must admit, following Ummu in her kitchen, watching her as she cooked and learning new techniques reminded me how I used to follow my mom around in the kitchen when I was young. Its safe to say, the learning process never stops.
Today I show you how to make mkate wa mkono, which is a snack with the texture of a biscuit, popularly served at weddings and other major occasions. It has very beautiful intricate designs which mirror the culture of Lamu. But they are so easy to make and I will show you :))
I love experiencing how different people from different regions enjoy their meals. It opens up your mind to a lot more and that is how you grow. When I go to a new place, I try as much as possible to try out new things for that very reason. Lamu was the perfect place for an adventurous culinary experience.
I noticed that the people of Lamu like to incorporate as many flavors as possible. You will find something savory, something sweet, something a bit tart and something a bit spicy. They make their banquets a whole experience. Our Swahili cooking class reflected exactly that. Now that we made something savory, it was time to delve into the sweet. Faluda is a jelly-like dessert with soft floral notes and mild nutty taste. And guess what, it is so easy to make!!!!
If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember that I told you I used to enjoy walking home as opposed to taking the bus when I was in primary school. One popular shortcut was called “Wall”, which was basically a section of a wall around Ngei I estate that had collapsed and allowed passer by’s to cut through the estate enroute to other parts. Besides wall being a shorter route, we liked it because of the mango trees that grew close to the wall. We definitely helped ourselves to their sweet green mangoes before proceeding with our walk home. One evening, dogs from a nearby home escaped and came furiously at us while we were lazily chowing down mangoes we weren’t meant to be eating. Was it a sign form God? Maybe. The boys immediately took to their heels and left us *rolls eyes*. It was too late to start running too so we started climbing the tree (of course we never reached high enough), screaming, with tears streaming down our faces. A watch man heard us, came and chased the dogs away. We descended and went home so fast without turning back! The collapsed wall was eventually repaired and our favorite shortcut was no more. We resorted to using the long route there henceforth.
This is the memory I always have when I see green mangoes. Green mangoes are common through out East Africa. I like them so much because they have a distinct sweet taste unique to just them. I used one of my favorite mango varieties to make what is now my FAVORITE dessert yet. Just three ingredients! Trust me, you can make this green mango posset too :))