Sunday, 11 January 2009

Cooking the Kenyan Way

Hi There, my brother asked me to share with him how I made coconut chicken after I sent it to him I decided to share it with you all as it may make you smile a bit!


Preparation time about 3 hours from start to finish…..

Empty the old charcoal ash from the giko, dig out of the charcoal bag some good lumps of charcoal, together with paper or card to help with lighting the charcoal and matches. Take all this and the empty giko outside, open the vent door in the giko to allow good air flow. Tear and twist the card and paper so it burns slower and put in the bottom of the giko where the vent door is, then put the same twists in the top of the giko to help light the charcoal. Put on top of this a small amount of good sized charcoal. Light the base of the giko and wait for the flames to rise then fan frantically with a large flat plastic lid to encourage the flames. After about 5 minutes of fanning the flames should be well on their way and the charcoals should be taking.

If nothing is happening repeat the process again!!!!

If all is well then leave the giko outside to smoke and go and prepare dinner.

Chop an onion and put in a pan with a bit of oil. Chop a tomato and carrot and leave to one side. Cut up a chicken breast. Mix up the coconut milk powder with water ready. Wash rice.

Go outside and collect the giko, the smoke should have died down by now and the charcoals a nice shade of red. Don’t burn your fingers whilst carrying the giko, hold by the handles.

Place the giko in the chimney, collect the pan with the oil and the onion and heat on the giko, when the onions are nicely translucent add the chicken, tomatoes and carrots. When this is cooking nicely add the coconut milk and rice and allow to simmer for as long as it takes the rice to cook, add water as needed to prevent burning. For added flavour you can add a little chicken masala seasoning. Add salt to taste.

By this time you would be so tired, you have fallen asleep and burnt the dinner!!

Coconut chicken done and dealt!
Easy peasy.


I hope you are all well and enjoying the cold weather you are having, I must admit we are having cold nights and lingering fog in the mornings.

I was feeling under the weather on Friday and left the project early, forced myself to the internet to try and get in touch with some business contacts to see if I could get any jobs for the older boys who are being asked to stand alone from Scann now. I was falling asleep and it was only 3pm. I got home, didnt even strip off my clothes and hit the sack, Catherine returned home and tried to get me to have food but I just couldnt wake up. Eventually after sleeping all night I awoke on Saturday at about 11am, I pottered around and still felt shakey. I cooked dinner "coconut chicken' not quite to my usual standard..... a bit bland but then that was how I was feeling. We then had a power cut and sat in darkness eating dinner, lit the candles and then watched a movie from my laptop on battery power, luckily before the battery gave out the power returned. I was in bed again before 10pm and slept soundly till 7am.

As I was on duty with the SCANN clinic today I spoke to the Dr, who said it was probably down to my age and hormones as opposed to anything medical....... ummmmmmm checkie man!

We did the clinic with only a few boys, one with asthma, another with a skin complaint and one with recurring head aches, not bad. The Dr left and I sat in the dining hall with the boys watching Sunday morning TV, a few boys with issues came and sat and chatted.

Brian Kisia appeared with a gashed little toe so I leapt into action took him to the medical room and prepared for minor surgery. He had been stood on by a man with very hard shoes and ended up with all the skin on top of his little toe coming away held only by a flap under the nail. It needed removing, cleaning and dressing. Surgical gloves donned, sterile blade in hand and betadine and dressings close by, I set to work. Not a nice job, but someone has to do it. He went off with clean dressings for tonight and tomorrow for Housemother to apply for him.

One of the very old 'boys' at the centre is now aprox 35 years. He has severe learning difficulties and still stays at the project and works in the Gilanis supermarket. This is the only home he knows and he manages his daily routine with little hastle. In the staff meeting on Friday it was decided that we as staff need to counsel him and prepare him for independant living, ideally by finding him a suitable wife/supporter. Not an easy task. This morning he came to me distressed and muttering many words that meant nothing to me, when I calmed him down and found Anastasia to interpret, it would appear that one of the staff present at the meeting had prematurely told him it was time to leave. He was not ready for this news and had his world turned upside down. I calmed him and said that now was not the time and we would discuss in a lot of detail with him what was happening.

Tomorrow I will arrange another staff meeting to shame the culprit for causing Peter undue stress before he is ready.

I love my 'job'.

I decided that as there was little to do I left after the dinner was served and am now heading home. I have sewing repairs to do there and can spend my time better doing this than watching pop videos at SCANN.

Love to you all,
Age'in lady in Kenya!

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