Jambo Marafiki

Wow!  Time sure can get away from you – I hope there are still a few of you out there that remember who I am.  I knew it had been quite some time since my last post, but November!  Really, that’s bad. 

Luckily my excuse is a good one – Jason and I had our wedding in Tanzania and we were there for most of January.  Of course there was a lot to organize before the trip so blogging got put on the back burner. 

We were married at Gibb’s Farm in Karatu and then we spent the remaining 3 weeks on safari (which, in case you were wondering, explains the hippo picture – I assure you we didn’t eat them, they’re vile creatures). It was an amazing trip and I don’t think the impression that it made on me will ever fade.  At least I hope it won’t.   The wedding was perfectly organized by the staff at Gibb’s and included two ceremonies performed by local tribes, endless tropical flowers, a beautiful cake, traditional Tanzanian food and a performance by a local band that made for an wonderful and unforgettable experience. 

There were 23 people from Canada and the US that followed us over 30 hours by plane and bus to Tanzania, where as a group we spent 8 days bumping around in Land Rovers and staying in tented camps.  Our adventures took us around Tarangire National Park, the Nogorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park.  We got to see the pages of National Geographic come to life, eat fabulous food cooked over open coals while sitting under an umbrella sparkling African stars and then we got to fall asleep to the sound of a roaring lion in search of his pride.  It was the trip of a lifetime and I hope to be lucky enough to make it again.

After the first 8 days with friends and family, Jason and I ventured off on our own to explore Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve.  The wildlife and the diverse scenery of the other parks was amazing.  Ruaha, in Southern Tanzania had recently seen rain and was lush and green with rocky shrub covered hills and sandy riverbeds.  While our camp in Selous was perched on the banks of the the river,  lined with palms trees, dense shrub and more often then not, hippos.  We continued to game drive during the days, but we took several walking safaris with the park Rangers and even got to take a boat safari.  The food was always wonderful, but the most memorable thing for me was the fresh fruit.  For every meal there was pineapple, bananas, tomatoes, papaya and mango and I never got tired of it.

It was the perfect honeymoon.

For now though it’s back into my kitchen and back to blogging.  I have several great gifts that have recently found residence in my kitchen (thanks to the wedding registry) such as a Kitchen-Aid mix master, a Cuisinart food processor and a Cuisinart ice cream maker.  So stay tuned!

Tag I’m It

Tag I’m It

I’ve been tagged by the lovely Ana of Pumpkin Pie Bungalow for the cookbook meme.  Yeah!  This will be fun to fill out.   Here we go.

1.  Total number of (cook/food) books I’ve owned:
I’ve got about 35 at the moment, but that number seems to grow with a frightening frequency.  I don’t know if it counts or not, but I also have a lot of magazine’s including Bon Appetite, Gourmet, Saveur, Cuisine at Home and Fine Cooking, Olive, Delicious and Chile Pepper.

2.  Last (cook/food) book(s) I bought:
The last two cookbooks added to my collection were given to me for by birthday.  I got Baking Illustrated and Wings Across America.  I’ve been able to use Baking Illustrated a couple of times and I’ve been really happy with the results!

3.  Last (cook/food) book I read:
The last book I read was On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.   It was an intriguing read and I learned a plethora of interesting food facts.  It’s really only for food fanatics though, extreme food fanatics.  

4.  Five (cook) books that mean a lot to me:
a)  My Goose is Cooked – this great book is full of family recipes and the charming stories of the people behind them.  Everything that I’ve made from it has the distinct taste of home cooking from the heart.  Even when I make something new, it tastes and feels like a childhood comfort food.  Jason bought a signed copy of the book last Christmas for us, and he’s really not a kitchen type person, so this was a rare event.
b)  The Professional Chef – This book is my cooking school.  I refer to it for techniques and for basic recipes.  It also has a number of recipes for spice mixes and sauces that I use frequently.  I can’t imagine cooking without it. 
c)  Baking Illustrated – Although I’ve only had this book for a short time I love it.  I love that the test kitchen explains the processes and results of their trials.  It truly allows you to learn from someone else’s mistakes.    
d)  Dessert by Pierre Herme – I love this book for it’s unique desserts.  The instructions are easy to follow, making even the most complex recipes achievable, although still time consuming.  The lemon curd is heavenly (I still have to post about it).
e)  I know it’s not a book, but I have to give one spot to my Cuisine at Home Magazine Subscription.  I’m sure I cook with them at least once a week.  Each one is packed with great recipes, incredibly easy to follow instructions, kitchen tips, appliance reviews and an “All About” section that highlights a specific food and tells just about all you’d ever need to know.  What I like about the issues is that they don’t rely a lot on hard to find ingredients, so you can usually whip something up.

5.  Which 5 people would you most like to see fill this out in their blog?
Nic – Baking Sheet
Moira – Who Wants Seconds?
Orion – The Confabulist
Jennifer – The Domestic Goddess
Angela – A Spoonful of Sugar