Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Day

We spent Christmas Day lunch at Katie's house, with Daphne (works in Ethiopia with Maternity Africa), Don and Mary, and Katie's cousins who have just arrived from the UK for a holiday.

 much treasured haloumi cheese found this week in a new shop in town

 Mary hidden on the other side of the table

 Daphne & Katie

We then moved on to the Andrews' house to enjoy some more eating, and had dinner with them, Larry & Sandi (working on a food project with World Vision), and Faith.

 slowing down after dinner

 fun with Christmas crackers

Christmas family photo

One for our family...

So hard to get a photo where we are all looking happy, or at the camera, at the same time.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas pudding

Probably because we are missing Christmas at home I decided to attempt my mother-in-law's traditional Christmas pudding this year. It is part of the day that we always look forward to.

First time making it and I attempt it in Tanzania!!

110 gms plain flour
110 gms fresh breadcrumbs
225 gms butter
225 gms brown sugar
pinch of salt
5 eggs
700 gms dried fruit,  ie. sultanas, currants, raisins and some peel (quantities can vary, as long as the total is the same)
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon carb soda
a good slosh of brandy - I used the whole bottle Sylvia
Soak fruit in brandy (for quite a long time--can be days).

* Have large pot of water boiling on the stove.
 * Cream butter and sugar.
   Beat in eggs, one at a time.
   Stir in the fruit and brandy.
   Add all other ingredients.
   Mix well with wooden spoon.

*  Prepare white cotton cloth---dust with some flour which will coat the mixture as it cooks. - note to self: use a white cloth next time
*  Place the mixture in centre of cloth and tie up tightly with string.

* Boil 6 hours   Never allow the water to go off the boil. This is the part when you need to be near the stove to top up the pot with a supply of boiling water as quite a lot may evaporate during cooking. (Don't top up with water that is less than boiling.)
*  Hang pudding up to dry in airy spot until  Christmas Day.

*  On Christmas Day boil a further 3 hours as before serving.

It smells really good. We are looking forward to trying it tomorrow.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A few more pics from our holiday last week

Local fishermen on Ushongo beach.

Strolling along the beach.

Seaweed at low tide.

Kayaking at dawn.

Checking out the lodge's shop.

Martha & Kara

Catching the ferry to the other side of the river again. Time to go home.

Local village life.

Dust - a trip wouldn't be complete without it.

Crazy traffic.

 double-decker Suzuki

 another way to transport your goat

more speeding buses

A surprising find - a large restaurant/cafe/rest stop, complete with a 'Bourne Identity' movie showing on TVs around the walls and Christmas carols playing outside. It could have been a McDonalds stop if in Australia (minus the movie).

Geoff fixing one of our tyres, Tanzanian style.

Jack fruit for sale. They are huge.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Maziwe Island

While we were in Pangani we took a trip to Maziwe Island, about 10km off the coast.

 climbing aboard a dhow from Ushongo beach

Maziwe Island "used to be an important site for nesting turtles, and harboured mangrove forests and causarina trees, but it was partly submerged in 1978-1979 due to erosion resulting mainly from clearance of the island's vegetation cover. Today, the highlight is snorkeling and diving off the offshore reefs...  Over 200 species of fish, 35 genera of coral (soft and hard) and a number of sea-grasses, algae and sponges are found in and around the reserve."

We spent a few hours lolling around in the water...


taking respite from the sun under a shelter...

walking around the perimeter...

and watching crabs.

 a view of the island as we were leaving

Oliver having a short go at using the outboard motor - before his mother snapped at him to leave it alone as she was suffering from a sudden feeling of seasickness