Friday, January 20, 2012

discovering tastes

pic courtesy of

Me and my mother's friend are in the kitchen arguing about the best way took ugali.

You just mix it then cover, she says.

But this is flour from the mills, you need to boil it first- I say.

She takes it off the fire before I think it's ready but I don't argue, I was just helping her so, it's her meal.
2010 was a crucial year for me.I learnt the way to make well cooked ugali from Tata. And in 2011 I spent most of the evenings perfecting the skills. My neighbor would tell people.
-her, she only cooks ugali, I think she prefers it to many foods- I'd agree and add that maize products are actually good for a healthy worker's body.

So last night I was making ugali and I realised I do spend quite a bit of time preparing and cooking food. I enjoy cooking, I didn't before, I guess coz of lack of ideas or was just plain lazy.
Spending time with Michelle's mum, Mrs. Yap changed a lot of things in me. I'd pound the ginger, garlic, pepper, tomatoes , onions and green pepper until it was a fine nice smelling pulp to be used in frying the rice, or green veggies.

That pulp is used as a base for all frying as opposed to a single onion.

Now whenever I'm frying even green veggies,I make quite a big deal of it. To make a good pumpkin soup, I'll start at 5 p.m to serve at seven.Then the sink will be full of equipment needing a wash. The other day I made fried rice, the Chinese way but lacked one ingredient- soy sauce. I'll look for it next time I go to the market. It turned out okay and now I know I need a wok, a big one.

I have freedom to experiment in my house. My friend Carol rang me the other day and asked what experiment I had for super, and you can bet it was a laugh. I had fried that green shaped veggie- we call it shasha; with beans and the usual spices, then using mashed potatoes I made my own version of a shepherd's pie, it tasted good.

I just googled. that veggie is called chayote, choko, chocho,
or Bangalore brinjal. and it's good for you too. check out wiki-

the real shepherd's pie ;)
pic courtesy of snovalley grub blog

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

in the neighbourhood 2/01/12

six eyes, and three beautiful girls always meet me at the gate when I get back from a trip. They run upto me screeching:
Auntie Gathoni Amerudi!- auntie Gathoni has come back. They all hug me and almost topple me over and I can't help the warm feeling welling inside me. They carry my bags and we have to spend five minutes looking for the keys, then:

aki tumekumiss... they chorus
then when I'm settled on my bed they ask :umetuletea?-what have you brought us?

I ask what they've kept for me and they will say they didn't know I would get back so soon, but promise to keep something for me when I go away again.

Three girls soon to be unassuming teenagers
Rose Brenda and KUi. Brenda is the oldest but Rose is more outspoken and has seen a lot in life so she is the captain. She is in class one. My friends in the coffee bean neighbour-hood

I once fell sick and was expecting visitors, the girls came and assisted, I simply gave instructions and for the week I was sick, they all came to cook clean and sympathise.

I remember Brenda in the great grandmother's smoke congested kitchen boiling eggs for me-of course we split everything- but she looked so lovable with her tear filled eyes, her pink tights. I could bet a load of firewood she had never had to start a wood fire before that day.

Kui, 4 years old came in and advised me to gurgle salt, it helped, when you are sick you don't think quick enough, and salt is a good antibiotic so with tonsillitis it is bound to come in handy, even a little girl will tell you that.

Rose lives in the same compound so she came in frequently to do my bidding. She's secretly my favourite. Her personality is just a book by itself and she challenges me, like an adult, so we converse one on one like agemates, and she won't take a telling off. She has opinions and reason.

So whenever I'm headed to my house I'm thinking what treats to carry for my girls. This time I had plums. Dear Rose didn't know what Plums are, never had any. I'm glad I lived in 2011 and met those girls.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 2012

I can hear my head going tiiiii, after a full day of sign language interaction. Though I guess the tiiii is imagined because after a while you actually begin to 'hear' the signed words.

But I'm craving music, and as I alight from the green city hopper bus and head to the cyber, I'm thinking I need to listen to a few tracks, but before any of that I need to spruce up my c.v. My computer has been on and off the last year and this week I took it to a new technician who put it apart, piece by piece to try find a problem. He found none. So I'm doing the math and thinking- I'm fried. It's hard enough making a blog entry from a cybercafe, leave alone writing anything more that 300 words. Maybe look for work now.

As I sit in the cyber with yahoo, facebook, youtube and my blog on screen, half an hour later my c.v is still undone and I'm not so enthusiastic about the whole affair.
I guess coz the c.v is not much, and whenever I think I'm gonna pull that out in an interview, I just think -aa- let me just get the phone number and call them later- ok, fine? Can I leave now?

I hate the whole process of looking for work, and being academically unqualified as I am, I admit, it is intimidating. Ah, that's the word. I'm intimidated by the whole Human resource arrangement. Even with my experience and skill, they'll still need some photocopied certificate to show you've been to school- how about the school of life? Yeah?

If my computer is out out and I'm fried, can I come for an interview? Yes or No will do.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

the little wooden house at the corner of the coffee farm

There’s something serene about coming home. The blue couch, the wooden walls with smiling faces of friends smiling back. Whenever I go away the set routine gets distorted. Even normal things like praying become staccato.

So coming home I feel the sound of settling: I know I’ll make ginger tea, listen to the Jam on Capital fm, feed my neighbour’s cat before the old lady comes to ask me to find a contact on her phone or check her m-pesa account. I also know that I’ll set an alarm for the following morning.

Sometimes I just sit and regard the iron sheet roof; the wasps foaming liquid paper from their mouth shaping it to bell-shaped incubators, a pollen footed bee struggling to find a way out, the ever suicidal moths, strings of spider web, termite shelters.

I love my four corners.

Sometimes I come and don’t even notice the blue and yellow curtains that flutter when it rains on windy nights.

Yet, it is within these four corners that I’ve been able to rearrange my thoughts and viewpoints. These four walls have absorbed my fears, my disappointments and utter shock. These walls have watched me laugh, dance, knowing that finally my past has its place, and no longer a frontlet band between my eyes.

Efficiency, why we must learn to be.

 There are no schools that you will sign up to to learn how to be efficient. Most will teach you a profession or a skill and it's up to ...