Toilet paper, prunes and a recipe

Toilet paper, prunes and a recipe…

As I’ve become older, I have realized that anyone wanting to know what’s going on in my life can just look at my shopping list. Even to the point if I were found dead in my car, next to that hastily written scrap of paper, the police could easily say “Oh look! Her shopping list. Let’s see, hmmm, what was happening here? Aha! Toilet paper, prunes, canned beans, lots of high fiber vegetables, wine. Guessing that intestinal blockage is the likely cause of her demise. But the wine indicates there was still hope for a nice evening. Good that she went out on a positive note. And no point in wasting time, money and medical resources on the obvious. If we dig that hole in the ground now, we can be to the pub by 6:15 pm”.

Dried prunes, looking remarkably like giraffe dung. Maybe it’s been prunes all along in the dirt, out in the bush…

Actually 18:15 pm since we do military time here. But for those who aren’t wired for the 24-hour clock and want to keep up, I’m trying to be of help. And in Tanzania, 7 a.m. is called 1 a.m., which even on a good day is still too much math for my brain to convert.

Our toilet paper of choice, only because it has a kitten on it.

Lots of vegetables, nail polish and Gibson’s Pink Gin on the list tells you that Steve’s out of town. If it says Beefeater’s Pink Gin, Steve is still out of town and the social security check has hit the bank. A large bag of rice, eggs, ramen noodles and chicken wings instead of breasts? We’re at the end of that check.

Bug spray and three sticks of deodorant? A hot, rainy season is upon us. It’s all right there for anyone to see. How was I not aware sooner of this diary of my life in front of me every day? I could have written this story ages ago and be writing about the severed leg in the Kenyan bush instead. That will be for next time.

Time for another list?…

In the middle of the night while crafting this story in my head, it dawned on me that our daily lists, whether for groceries and miscellaneous, or a to do list of what needs to happen, tell an active story of our present-day lives. Currently I have 37 lists (true story) on my phone notepad app. That in and of itself tells you I am spending way more time writing lists than accomplishing anything else.

One of my lists might even say “go through all lists and tidy up or delete if possible”. That will never have a successful outcome as I become aware of all the things that are yet to be done, knowing full well I won’t do most of them. And then I will get distracted as I always do because I’m in my sixties and focus is an elusive trait these days. Maybe I should create another list – ‘research vitamins and supplements for better focus and clarity’.

I’m already feeling a bit jazzed just thinking about it – a new list to add to my list of lists! And then maybe I’ll alphabetize them, too, as that will make me feel good and let me avoid doing something more challenging or beneficial. Finding ways to feel good with as little effort as possible is always welcomed in my world.

Food, coming and going…

People seem to enjoy our stories about the wildlife in Tanzania, trips into the bush, and all the beautiful photos. But I’ve learned if I write about what we are eating, or what’s happening with our G.I. systems, (read a similar story from Morocco – sorry Steve, that story is here to stay), we get the most interaction from our readers. Maybe it’s the humour, or perhaps the relatability? If you find you are identifying more with what we eat and how long it takes to leave our systems, rather than our treks into the wild, I suggest it’s time for you to make a list of adventures you still want to experience before that hole in the ground is for you.

Ginger, garlic, hot peppers, and cilantro!
Roughage salad – cabbage, carrots, seasoned fried halloumi, toasted butternut squash and sesame seeds, and the famous salad dressing

In other news… time for a recipe!

Recently I posted a photo of a nice salad I made the other day, full of roughage. Which most fortunately ties in well with this story.

Everyone was asking about the salad dressing, so here you go!

1 C vegetable oil of choice – I like something rather light and neutral, but you can use what you fancy; olive oil, vegetable oil, sunflower, avocado, or a blend – the world’s your oyster on this one!

Fresh ginger root, about 1 to 1.5 inches – scrubbed clean and finely grated

1-2 hot peppers – I use small jalapenos (I like the orange ones for flecks of colour) as I have them growing in the garden. Use an amount that is suitable to your heat tolerance. Finely chopped, with or without seeds (I use the seeds)

2-3 cloves of garlic, pressed

Fresh cilantro (coriander if you’re reading this in Tanzania) – I use what might be the equivalent of a quarter cup chopped

Salt – probably ½ tsp, and most likely more. Salt is what does the trick to bring all these savoury flavours together

There’s invisible oil in that bowl…

Add all ingredients into a deep mixing bowl. I use an immersion blender and pulse the mixture in order to blend all ingredients, but not to the point of it being pulverized to bits. I like seeing specks of colour.

And there you have it! Sometimes I add more oil if it needs to be thinned. I use it for salad dressings, marinade for chicken, as a drizzle on top of a soup like butternut or potato leek, as a condiment to add to a rice or pasta dish, and sometimes I eat it right off the spoon.

Enjoy!

Choosing photos for this blog…

Now I need to round up a few more photos for this blog which may pose a challenge. Prunes next to a roll of toilet paper might not look so good. This is going to take some thought on my part. If you managed to read this far, you already know what I selected.

I’ll be back soon, with a nice little story about that leg.

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