Sauce of Happiness

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You know, yesterday after a long day at the salon, my friend (let’s call him Mr Broccoli) was sweet enough to invite me over for lunch. And guess what he made for me? “Sauce of happiness”, aptly named by his cousin (let’s call him Onceler). And Onceler who apparently is so cool in naming thereby christened Mr Broccoli “Sauce kid” for making such a delicious sauce.

Anyways we had it with rice and it was nice, so here’s a mock recipe:

Sauce of happiness and long grain rice:

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All you have to do is make a stir-fry sauce with gizzard, carrots, green pepper, attaragu (scotch bonnnet peppers), tatashe (red bell peppers), green beans and onions. Season with garlic and knorr cubes and your sauce is ready. Serve on a bed of  fluffy long grain rice. Bon appetit : )

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News flash

#The world has enough food so why do 870 million people go hungry?

Backed by the Archbishop and Bill Gates, the IF campaign – slogan, Enough Food for Everyone IF – launches tonight at Somerset House in Central London with a giant projection on its walls. As part of the 12-minute spectacle, which will also include 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/enough-food-for-everyone-if-campaign-100-1550383

# Royal Galaxy donates food, clothing to SOS, hospital

In Nigeria, an Ijebu socio-philantropic organisation has reached out to the SOS children’s village and a public hospital with electronic gadgets, food items and household materials worth millions of naira…

http://tribune.com.ng/news2013/index.php/en/community-news/item/3584-royal-galaxy-donates-food-clothing-to-sos-hospital

#Zoo to run out of food in 48 hours threatening animals with starvation as…

Hundreds of exotic animals at Naples zoo are facing starvation, as keepers declare a state of emergency with food supplies set to run out in 48 hours. Zoo keepers at the compound in the southern Italian city, said within two days hay, fruit and all 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2266010/Zoo-run-food-48-hours-threatening-animals-starvation-Italys-financial-crisis-hits.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

# Is our food shrinking?

Things aren’t what they used to be. Chocolate bars have shrunk, yogurts are not as creamy as in days of old – even our beefburgers now have an extra kick of hidden horsemeat. And it seems that when we hit the shops these days our wallets end up lighter 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/jan/21/food-products-shrinking-recession

Sights and tastes of Lagos: Iya Basira tinz. Part 2.

On the fateful day, despite ill health I set out on my journey with two friends (I must say here that I am so grateful to them, they made it fun and possible). The initial target location was Obalende on the Island but since I was ill we opted for two joints which were closer home to Surulere since that was where we were putting up. The first was “Amala Shita” in Surulere and the second was “White house” in Sabo, Yaba.

What follows next is a picture story but I must just say here that mmm! mmm! mmm! that day I had the best amala and abula of my existence courtesy of “Amala Shitta” in Surulere. Image

One of my companions as we got ready to set out. He was really helpful taking pictures undercover and chaperoning.

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My second companion taking a picture of herself on duty can you imagine! Lol. Anyway she did a good job and was the one who took the picture of me eating the best Amala in the world.

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Yours truly feeling cute.

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Just had to add this picture; I heard that because commercial bikes in Lagos have been banned, an increasing number of young people have resorted to using roller blades. Looks cool though.

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The positive assault of my senses start. I present to you stewed snails surrounded by other meaty treats.Image

The green soup in the center is Ewedu surrounded by other Amala accessories. Please, please, please, ignore the stains of the surrounding surfaces and just focus on the vision of the food. That will give you much peace.

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Here the spotlight is on Gbegiri aka Bean soup. It’s a creamy yellow soup made from black eyed beans. Ehn… sorry I don’t know what the black soup on the left is, but don’t be deceived by appearances, Nigerian ethnic meals may not look good but they sure taste good. On a closer look, I can see it’s Efo riro, damn! I can’t believe I forgot to eat that.

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The people here are evidence that the food sure tastes good. I watch and learn. I see that ordering is by pointing.

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I’m learning fast, I do likewise. The server misunderstood my choice and in a hasty attempt to correct the mistake, I almost stab my choice piece with my finger, lol. This is assorted meat (mixed offal and meat) in Obe ata.

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Here I eat the tastiest amala and abula (ewedu, gbegiri and obe ata) I have ever eaten! Get this, I don’t eat with my hands outside my house but this was worth every hand licking step of the way. The amala had this pleasant bitter-sweet taste while the obe ata was deliciously piquant. Kudos to Amala Shita of Surulere, Lagos state.

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We are on a queue at joint 2; White house. It’s long but when you want something good you have to be patient.

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Cross-section of the gifted hands that toil night and day to sate our desires.

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Greedy boy at one o’clock rme (rolling my eyes). I wonder why he can’t wait for the plantain to be removed from the pan. See his eyes, lol.

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My friends said they were full from the food they ate in the previous joint and decide to share a plate of meat.

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I on the other hand was determined to eat more so I had white rice and red stew etc. Let me not lie, the beans was awful, it was hard like roasted peanuts disguised as beans, lol. However the plantain was something else, no wonder the “greedy boy at one o’clock” couldn’t resist. Hehehe.

Sights and tastes of Lagos: Iya Basira tinz. Part 1

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It’s time for me to leave Lagos, I came about a month and half ago and have enjoyed most of my time in the wild but charming, fascinating and charismatic City. Anyways so I decide (in addition to my friend Moyo’s suggestion) to visit some local joints, take pictures, eat the food and blog about it (ain’t I the best, bringing the ethnic tastes of Lagos into your homes).

So I had big dreams of scouring Lagos for its ethnic and roadside foods, you know (in Chi gurl’s Igbo accent) things like Agege bread with its attending margarine or mayonnaise; fried yam, sweet potato, plantain, akara, puff puff and buns; fried meats like chicken, turkey and pork etc. However because I fell ill and in addition to financial constraints, I couldn’t go the whole nine yards. I actually did what I could while feeling feverish.

Leaving the pity party behind, my inspiration for this food excursion came from two incidents. First was “The day of the golden red turkey”.

My bestie and I had had a long day as we had done both window shopping and job interviews in the same day (what a combo!). Incidentally we are both Vets who have passions outside Animal medicine, I in cooking and she in fashion design. But you know how it is when brokenness hits you hard and you abandon your dreams and look for someone to employ you. Anyway, the day didn’t turn out as I had hoped; the employers bursted out laughing when I told them what I wanted to be paid and said I wasn’t realistic. So on the long journey home, my friend who was a meat freak (her mum once caught her eating raw meat when she was a toddler) spotted some fried turkey by the roadside. Mon Dieu! these fried turkey wings were golden red, I know you’ve been told that fried foods should be golden brown but get this, these turkey wings had a golden red color and it was beautiful, like something on an Indian bride’s wedding gown! Thankfully I got a very good bargain because I spoke to the seller in his native tongue (Hausa). We then sat down at a bus stop to do justice to the wings. They were so tasty that we didn’t care who was looking. As we savored our treasure, passersby laughed at us; two fine chics, tugging on turkey bones, but did we care? No, instead we laughed back. It was a nice experience.

The second incident was when I went to Balogun market and saw this tempting road side joint. Picture this I was hustling through the market with my in-law and a market guide, when they unknowingly left me behind because I was ogling at food (smh). We had just come through a market aisle when my nose was greeted by umami smells. When we rounded the corner, we came upon a joint being catered by an ample woman (I don’t know why these Iya Bas women are abundant in size, lol). She was giving animated instructions to her girls to serve the customers. Little did I know that my companions had gone ahead of me while I slowed my pace and was lusting after the food (I was fasting and so couldn’t patronize, I could look but I couldn’t touch). Picture this, there was a gigantic bowl of properly stewed Jellof rice with carrot and green beans positioned seductively on top; juicy, thick diagonal slices of ripe plantain sizzling in hot oil; golden red fried chicken and turkey pieces; very red stew which exhibited a traffic jam of generous cuts of assorted meat and happy patrons joyfully eating away the stress of the day. Need I say more? I left there inspired and vowed there and then to go on a food excursion, camera in hand, hunger in my belly and with a smooth talking friend because I was shy of taking pictures alone.

To be continued…

Food in the News!

On the foreign scene:

#China media train fire on U.S. food giants over chicken scare

http://news.yahoo.com/china-media-train-fire-u-food-giants-over-060948675.html

#Horse meat scandal: We’ve done nothing wrong, says Irish food giant

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/9806986/Horse-meat-scandal-Weve-done-nothing-wrong-says-Irish-food-giant.html

#UN agency plans to scale up food assistance inside Syria

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43935&Cr=syria&Cr1=#.UPexCCc3sio

 

Cooking tips: lessons from meat pie.

My friend Aunty Annie, guest blogged sometime back on how to make meat pies. I coincidentally stumbled on some pictures of meat pies I made on my camera and decided to post them.Image

Pies on baking trays, prior to baking.

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Pies on my regal tray post baking.

The tip I want you to take is that instead of doing the traditional home made meat pie shape where you use a fork to close the edges and prick the tops to make steam vents, you can try something different. Like here I used my fingers to close the edges. Also instead of using a fork, I used a table knife to make the steam vents.

So why not try something different when making your pies and share please.

Aunty Annie’s meatpie

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I’m so excited to be making my first blog entry in my sister’s blog! I’m such a foodie, we’re both foodies and I make no apologies for how much I love food. Like absolutely none… So #Don’tJudgeMe

I love cooking and baking and can literally spend all day in the kitchen. The festive season has got me clapping my hands in utter glee! I only need to think up what I feel like cooking and I’m done in a flash. I’ll talk about efficient ways to prepare meals at a later stage. This entry is dedicated to probably my most nostalgic childhood kitchen moment…

Meatpie.

It was like a no-brainer in our house… Circa late ’80s. We went for swimming lessons (well my older sibs did, I generally splashed around the kid’s pool) every Friday and when we got back, my mum had some freshly baked Meatpie waiting for us. It was such a warming and mouth watering aroma that filled the house. Todally nostalgic.

So you know I had to master my mum’s recipe and I’ve been baking them for the festive household in Manchy. This batch I baked last night… finished just before midnight and they were delish!

The recipe is so simple… You’ll need:

Short Crust Pastry (the easiest pastry to make!)
Mince
Onions
Carrots
Potatoes
Fresh pepper (if you like a bit of kick)
Oil (go healthier and use olive oil)
Seasoning
One egg (well beaten)

Sauté your mince and set aside. Then fry (or sweat) your onions, add the mince and stir for about two minutes. Now add your carrots for another two minutes and your potatoes last for about a minute. The key is not to overcook your meat and vegetables, so they don’t get all mushy in the oven.

Set your filling to cool and then roll out your pastry. You can pre-heat your oven at this stage at 180 degrees. Spoon your filling in the centre of your pastry and cover. You’ll use a knife to cut a half-moon shape and seal the edges by using a fork to press down. Pierce the top a few times to allow steam escape and the filling to cook properly.

Before you put your pies in the oven, brush them with some egg. This is called glazing and gives the pies their golden brown sheen when they are baked. You’ll need to do this again after about 20 mins (mummy says). Total time in the oven is about 35-40 mins.

I love the crust. Especially when it’s freshly out of the oven and extra crisp!!!

*Extra Extra*
Try adding more vegetables and see how it turns out. We made a batch with added sweet peppers and it was just as scrumptious. Or maybe that was just my culinary whiz 😉

Until next time… Eat Good and Eat Healthy!!!

Aunty Annie x