Hi, Steph here. I just wanted to share a few of my cooking adventures with you all. So, if cooking doesn't interest you, now would be the best time to stop reading. Since Steve (and now Bradyn) can't eat normal store bought cookies I decided to make some gluten free cookies. I've made these many times at home, but never without my beloved Kitchen Aid. Oh, how I hope you are enjoying my Kitchen Aid Kaitie. Anyway, my Sunbeam electric mixer didn't fare too badly, I guess I will get used to it right?? They don't sell chocolate chips here so I bought a chocolate bar which I cut up for the chocolate. The girls and I were very proud of our accomplishment. The cookies are supposed to bake at 375 for 10 minutes. The oven dial only went to 260 and then it said Max so I just put it on max since 260 was about 100 degrees shy of 375. I set the timer for 9 minutes and left the kitchen. I came back in about 4 minutes to the smell of very burnt cookies. They were totally black...in only 4 minutes. It was then that I discovered that my oven is labeled in Celsius, not Fahrenheit. Oops! I googled for a Celsius/Fahrenheit converter and 375 F. is only equal to 180 C and I had the oven on MAX. It was painful to throw away 12 beautiful gluten-free cookies, but they were beyond salvaging. I guess I won't ever make that mistake again...hopefully. The second batch turned out great so it wasn't a complete loss.
On a more positive note, I made my own corn tortillas on Sunday. This is a staple item for Steve (and Brady) since they can't eat bread. But, the grocery stores don't sell them. So, in the Wycliffe Cookbook they had a recipe and I tried it using the Zambian staple "Mealie Meal" and Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour. I thought they turned out pretty good. I'm sure as I do it more often they will get better. I need to figure out how to roll them thinner. If anyone has a good recipe for corn tortillas let me know. Next time I will double the recipe when I do it so the mess I make will at least produce more tortillas in the end.
It is quite a learning curve learning to prepare a meal in Zambia. I'm finding that it is taking me several hours to make our dinner every night...even if it's just leftovers. Like the other night I was making a taco soup recipe that one of the other ladies had made that we liked. I had everything in the pot and then needed to add the tomatoes. But, I forgot that first the tomatoes have to be soaked in bleach water for 20 minutes. Things just take longer. I'm sure this will get better as I go along. They also don't sell prepared spaghetti sauce and I didn't bring a recipe. I've tried to make a few but they haven't been that great! If you have a good homemade sauce recipe please send it to me.
Today, my house helper Miriam went to the market for me with my veggie list and some money. (Apparently they can get much better prices than us mzungus). She came back with a bunch of wonderful looking veggies which we then had to soak. I guess our insides are probably pretty bleached out too.