Romance Cooks

A Kenyan Feast – Jennifer Mueller

I lived in Kenya for several years during the late 90’s, and started this story while I lived there. Little scraps of descriptions I saw before me eventually turned into Samburu Hills, a story set in the early days of colonial Kenya. With everything happening there recently its on my mind and I wanted to share some of the country I knew.

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Pigeon Pea Sauce
1 cup pigeon Peas
2 cups water
2 tablespoons Ghee or butter
2 onions
1 cup milk
Cook the peas in the water until soft.  Fry the onions in the ghee until golden brown and add the peas.  Cook until all the water is dry.  Mash the peas into a paste.  Season well and add the milk.  Reheat and serve with mashed potatoes or bananas.

¾ cup water
½ cup maize meal
½ dessertspoon dried skim milk powder
Boil water. Sieve maize meal, dried skim milk powder, and salt.  Add sieved flour to boiling water.  Cook for a few minutes stirring continuously.  Serve with stewed meat.

Beef stew
1 lb beef (not ground) i.e..: Cut meat
2 carrots
2 green peppers
4 tomatoes
4 onions
Curry powder
Black pepper
Seasoning salt, Crisco cooking oil, salt
1. Fry the onions that have been chopped until they turn brown (use Crisco oil)
2. Add tomatoes and chopped green pepper
3. Add carrots, black pepper and coriander
4. Wash the cut meat and sprinkle it with seasoning salt
5. When the carrots have become slightly soft add the cut meat
6. When meat is almost cooking add some curry powder and salt to taste

Pilau rice
1.5 LB rice (water according to rice)
0.5 LB green peas
2 tbls pilau masala (type of spice)
3 onions
3 tomatoes
Crisco oil
1. Wash the rice with cold water
2. Boil the peas until it’s cooked
3. Chop onions and then fry them until they turn slightly brown. Then add tomatoes that have been peeled and cut
4. Boil some of the rice water with the pilau masala until it boils. Add some salt to taste
5. Add the rest of the water to the fried onions and tomatoes
6. Then add the green peas when the water starts boiling and the rice.
Let it cook.

1 cup of flour (white)
1 tablespoon shortening
1/2 tea sp or less salt
Melt shortening in a small frying pan DO NOT boil it.
Mix shortening with flour and salt.
Then mix with warm water (add just a little bit of water at a time and mix the dough thoroughly, make sure the dough is not hard) keep for at least one hour. Then separate dough into small rolls similar to oven cupcake buns. Use rolling pin and roll the dough balls each on a large flat surface as you roll the pin spread a little shortening on the dough and then tear the now flat pizza like dough spread from the center by pulling evenly to all edges and cut one side so you are left with a long lean piece of dough in your hands. Roll it into a coil (snakes) from each end in opposite directions (one clock wise and the other end counter clock wise) when they get together, then twist one of the collected coil and put it over the other.
Clean area over the oven top and keep a wide flat heavy/thick frying pan on the cooking range, turn on the cooker at low. Leave the dough for about 10 minutes then roll with rolling pin on flat surface into an evenly spread round (pizza like) thin spread. Turn the heat on to medium using oiling brush, spread a little shortening evenly all around the pan and cook the chapatis. Keep turning (rotating it) to ensure even cooking and turn over and keep pressing after turning and also put shortening on top but not too much and keep on pressing in the frying pen until light brown.



When Celeste Reed steps off the boat in the fledgling colony of Kenya, East Africa she finds out the man that she was to marry doesn’t even care to get to know her let alone listen to a word she says.

Life is miserable and then he has the nerve to die leaving her to run an estate without any money. It seems he spent all he had to impress the colony and she was just part of the package.

Africa is unforgiving to the weak, but it can be the people that you least expect that make it.

And then there’s Edward.

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