Its Monday 2nd March 2015 and lets get cooking…

Well hello there everyone, I hope that you are all well and have had a smashing weekend. Here in the Luangwa things are ticking along as usual but before we get going on a round-up of what the wildlife has been up to we are going to travel to Lusaka…

Why Lusaka? I hear you ask; well Simon our Luangwa House chef impressed some guests when they were staying with us last year. They asked if he would like to go and visit them in Lusaka and work in their kitchen with their chef to teach her some bits and pieces but also learn about her specialty in Asian cooking. Well I mean what an opportunity and there was no way that we were going to prevent Simon from having such a great adventure.

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It was a journey of firsts. Simon is a Mfuwe boy and has never been to Lusaka, not only that, but he has never been on a plane. We organized to collect him from home and take him to the airport, he was checked in waved goodbye and sat nervously in the departure lounge waiting to board the plane. Getting on that plane wondering what on earth he was letting himself into, he assured me he was not scared just a little concerned. And then off he went. Landing in Lusaka people everywhere he was met and taken straight to his new home for 2 weeks. Used to the hobbit house, which is what we call the Luangwa House kitchen, he was shown into an amazing sparkling huge kitchen with all the mod cons including a touch screen oven – which he was particularly taken by.

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Settling in and meeting all the staff he got to work with Simon’s school of cooking. He and the chef in the house, a lady by the name of Bwalya, were cooking lunch everyday for at least 8 people except for a rather large lunch party for some 60 guests.

“well lets go shopping”

Crumbs, well that was an eye opener given the size of the shops here in Mfuwe. All of a sudden Simon was pushing a trolley around the Lusaka supermarkets with the choice of anything and everything on the shelves. I have to say I am now up against it as he is about to start coming to me with shopping lists of new ingredients that he has discovered.

Getting back to the kitchen they started with a simple bread dough. Gradually during the course of the week they made new types of breads from simple white bread to brown bread with blue cheese and walnuts. Biscuits were the next hit and a witness tells me that even those who usually don’t eat biscuits were seen to be tucking into several, not even noticing quite how many they were attacking! Not to mention his lemon drizzle cake and ginger and honey cake. Mmm… I am hungry just writing about all of this. And we haven’t even started on all of the delicious salads that he prepared on a daily basis including a delicious grilled leek and red pepper salad, an aubergine kuku (type of frittata) and not to mention what he described as the worlds’ biggest pavlova.

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As well as teaching Bwalya all of these mouthwatering recipes he was also taught what sounds like some delicious curries, making his own curry pastes and discovery galangal, which he insists, is required to really top up the flavor in any curry. So here I am ordering some to come up on our next supply truck and looking forward to trying some of his fish curry, which sounds delicious. He has brought back with him a notebook full of new recipes that he learnt in Lusaka and so we will get putting them to the test.

Well I have to say if any of you weren’t hungry before, I am hoping that you are now. As I have to say sitting here writing this but also smelling the delicious aromas from the Nkwali kitchen I am starting to plan my next meal.

Asides from food though, I did promise that I would give you a quick Luangwa round up and whilst time is ticking I will leave you with this weeks’ top sighting. There were more Wild dogs running after and chasing impalas and finally taking one down but unfortunately out of site and in a rather thick bush. The guests however got to see all the before and after and came back to camp on quite a high.

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So for this week that will be it, have fun, laugh lots and have a wonderful week

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