Tag Archives: food

Thanksgiving Recipe 2014

London Thanksgiving Dinner
1 Portuguese
1 Australian
1 Briton
1 Irishman
1 Dutchwoman
1 American
8 supermarket trips
3 hours of cooking
5 Thanksgiving dishes (divided)
2 holiday candles
3 bottles of wine

Mix for 3 hours, stirring in 20 minutes’ worth of stories explaining the origin of Thanksgiving holiday and traditions (Optional: add 1/2 cup skepticism and a healthy dash of snark).

To make gluten-free or historically accurate, may substitute alternative Thanksgiving accounts.

Serve hot.


Taster Trip 2014 | Swaziland in 24 hours

A mere 24 hours in Swaziland. Long enough to learn:

IMG_63911) Swaziland = Lesotho, but at lower altitude and with more trees

2) Swazi road signage is either missing or charming, which goes for the roads as well

3) Pancakes are for lovers

4) What is a ‘snood’

5) Swazi beer tastes much the same as Lesotho’s Maluti


6) Swazi candles are awesome2014-04-22 09.42.442014-04-22 10.31.35

7) So is Swazi glass
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We are tourists. Guilty as charged.

TTL Turns Ten!


[Note: This is a cross-post. The original can be found on the TTL blog]

Remember that epic moment when you instantaneously transitioned to requiring two numbers to record your age? Double-digits at last! Ten years is a milestone for nine-year-olds the world over.

Similarly, ten years encompasses a full decade of successes and learning opportunities for a growing organisation and Touching Tiny Lives is no exception. The achievement is worthy of celebration. Fortunately, TTL knows how to party in style.

IMG_7333On the last chilly, windy morning in May, Mokhotlong turned out for a fun walk through the main street of town from the Senqu Hotel to TTL’s front door where a series of speakers – beginning with our own ‘M’e Nthabeleng Lephoto – recounted TTL’s remarkable history and extolled some highlights of significant progress to date:

  • Over 1,400 children have received TTL services since 31 May 2004.
  • More than 260 critically ill children have been rehabilitated under the watchful eyes of the Safe Home staff.
  • TTL has proudly graduated 800-plus clients from the program after the child has attained stable and sufficient weight gain and development.
  • Our services extend to 11 health clinic catchment areas.

Best of all, we set aside some time to honour one of TTL’s most dedicated employees, ‘M’e Mathabang.

IMG_7381Her hard work and unfailingly positive attitude have made the TTL Safe Home such a lively and welcoming environment for clients, staff, and visitors.

Representatives from major partners and donors arrived to show their support and to call for a continuation of TTL’s good work in Mokhotlong and Thaba-Tseka districts.

But of course, no celebration would be complete without food, music, and DANCE!

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IMG_7456Guests enjoyed a community lunch, courtesy of TTL staff, and still more dancing continued long into the evening.

The next milestone birthday may be some time off, but the euphoria of ten years will probably last quite a while. Thanks to all of oursupporters who have stood by us over the years. We are proud of the services we deliver and are grateful that through your generosity, such quality care is made possible.

Rea lebohang hahalo! Salang hantle!
Thank you very much! Stay well!


Pastéis de Nata

For all its woes and failures, colonialism did leave one or two things of value. In Mozambique, one is the decadent pastel de nata – a custard tart to die for.

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From the 19th-century nuns of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Torre de Bélem to modern-day streetside cafés in Maputo, these small pastries have captured the hearts, taste buds, and gastronomies of tourists and locals alike.

While it may be folly to attempt these sweet treats on one’s own – as they will likely fail to match to the standards of perfection crafted in a true pasteleria or the secrets of the original Belem batch – here is a recipe for disaster/success:

For the dough:

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup plus two tablespoons water
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, stirred until smooth

For the custard:

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, divided
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg yolks, whisked
  •  Powdered sugar
  •  Cinnamon

Continue reading for baking instructions. Of course, after tasting a true pastel de nata, your inner baker’s ego will likely take a hit. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Bunny Chow


The legend:

During apartheid era, lunch break for the Indian caddies at the Royal Durban Golf Course were too brief to nip into Grey Street for a curry. These caddies commissioned friends to buy some for them, but the shopkeepers lacked disposable containers and so a hollowed out loaf of bread was used instead to serve as both plate and dipper. The shopkeepers, known as banias, may therefore have indirectly contributed to the curiously-named cuisine. [source, though this origin myth has its critics and naysayers]

In proper Durbanese, one refers to this dish as a ‘bunny’ but when ordering mentions only the size loaf and style curry desired. Quarter-loaf is standard, but for the ravenous, a half or even a full loaf is available.

My order: a quarter veggie.

As far as food-as-art is concerned, bunny chow ranks among the grotesque, and its straightforward preparation eliminates the skill factor:

1) Cut out loaf insides
2) Ladle in curry
3) Place loaf innards on top
4) Serve

That said, there are few things more delightful than street food and proper Indian curry consistently hovers near the top of the list. For those of us nowhere near Durban, we can of course make this chaotic culinary masterpiece at home – here or here or elsewhere.


Home at last

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Thanks to these three lovely ladies for making the past three weeks what has truly become a once-in-a-lifetime trip filled with laughs, crafts, and great food.

Pictures, stories, and reflections to come!

All the food

Let’s discuss the number of hours I’ve spent in the kitchen these past few days:

All the baking

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IMG_6139  IMG_0003

All the cooking

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And it all got eaten. Life is excellent.