Tuesday, April 3, 2012


One of the items solidly located in the "pro" column on our mental "Living in Africa" list would be all the fresh food we're able to get here. Note, "fresh" also means all those exotic little African germs are alive and well, but after disinfecting, the stuff is wonderful.

Here's one of our many guards who shimmy up our avocado tree for harvest time. I might sound slightly like a product of the American litigation system when I ask more than once, "You're being safe, right?" Patrick, the guard in this photo, laughed at another guard climbing another tree this past weekend, saying the guy was just an oversized mango.

I always call the kids outside when it's time to get some avocadoes; they love watching the guard in the tree.

Speaking of fresh, check out the size of the snails here, like this one that the kids found in the meantime.
Yum. These things are almost the size of J.'s head. And we always get enough to share, which is a perfect relationship-builder.

Our awesome housekeeper, Oliver, has been going weekly downtown to purchase our produce--where all of the vendors in Kampala get theirs, so she gets fantastic prices direct from the farmers. She found all this for about $13.

There's a dairy farm that brings milk to a home about half a mile from our house. I walk down on the weekends, when they have more milk since they're not selling it to schools. I take my own containers and purchase six liters of milk to last us the week--enough to drink and make some yogurt. (I was counseled to find a place that didn't dilute the milk to make more money. Good advice.) This means we get fresh cream to make a little butter, too. The interesting thing is walking back with all the milk; let's just say I've had to change my shirt more than once.

Moses, our fishmonger, visits on Tuesdays. He purchases the ngege, or tilapia, from Lake Victoria, and I just tell him how many I want when he arrives. You say "fill-et" here, because "fill-ay" means it comes with the bones. Moses knows just where to cut to remove even the finest fishbones.

 Here's where the African part comes in. He makes a day-long route around the neighborhood on his boda with a wooden box full of fish on the back. I am currently the last house on the route--meaning he arrives around five--but Oliver is trying to improve my status. I pick out which fish I'd like, make sure the price is fair, and he guts and filets them right there on top of the box, placing them on the plastic plate I bring out. A little crude where I come from, yes. But baby, that fresh fish is good.

It's inspired us to try out some new fish recipes, and we've found some remarkable ones worth passing on...as long as I'm willing to substitute and ingredient here and there: fish tacositalian breaded tilapia, and pan-seared

Can you taste it?! Fresh is a significant perk.


mhutsell said...

Seriously wonderful. I am feeling the urge to pack and move to Africa right now. After all, all we get from our trees are horrible yellow pollen and a bunch of pine cones! :) And my puny avocados could make me cry! But the picture of you carrying that milk home with a wet shirt just makes me smile! Be careful what you choose to wear on milk carrying day! You are getting to have some great adventures! Oh, and thanks for your note. :) Love to you all!

Randy and Jan said...

Those avocados look awfully good! Rory would be making quac in NY minute! Take care, thanks for the briet spot today. Love you all!

Beaura said...

Hi Janelle! I'm glad that I got your e-mail that then directed me to your blog. I have read a few stories here and they are fascinating. I love seeing how you are living and eating. You are doing great with being a mom/wife in a new land.
Love to you and your family,
Beaura Cavalier