End of Strawberry Season

I had given up on getting any more good strawberries here in Malawi. It’s the end of the season, so the price is going up and the quality is going down.  Sadly we missed most of strawberry season while we were in the States, so I didn’t get a large batch of strawberries frozen for smoothies throughout the year.  I mentioned that to Matt the other day… and then today he came home with 13 kgs of great strawberries for me.  That’s 29 pounds of strawberries!  And he got a great deal on them!

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Bowls and bowls and mounds and piles of strawberries!  So guess what I did today…

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I cleaned strawberries for about 2 hours.  We kept a bowl of them to eat, and froze then bagged the rest to keep in the deep freeze for the next several months.

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Almost done!  The last quarter of the box remains.  I think we’ll have strawberry pie tomorrow, and then smoothies throughout the hot season!

Pumpkin Season

 

I have had the WORST time cutting pumpkins here in Malawi.  They are SO tough.  I would poke a knife in the top, hammer it in with a meat mallet, and then smack the whole pumpkin on the ground until I could get the knife through.  Whew.  Blood, sweat, and tears.  Then I asked a Malawian friend how she cuts open a pumpkin.  She said – throw it on the ground.  Really??… OK.  So I tried it.

IMG_0953Ha!  Look at that!  It split in half perfectly, ready to roast!  And after my previous experiences with pumpkin here, throwing one on the ground with all my might felt very satisfying!  =)

 

Crocodile for Dinner

We’re usually up for a good adventure, and tonight it was crocodile… for dinner.

Crocodile for dinner 1We’ve had crocodile at a restaurant before and it was so-so.  We were pleasantly surprised tonight, and actually enjoyed fixing and eating it at home!  It kind of has the taste and texture of a pork chop.  Two tips in case you ever find yourself cooking up some crocodile: cook it from frozen and use a fruity marinade, like a peach and apricot chutney.

This is one of the very few crocodile experiences we’d be happy to repeat!

 

My Apples are in Mozambique

It’s not every day we see a sign like this, but we did see one last week when we went shopping:

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Thankfully the produce made it through customs, and we have apples this week!  =)

This is Not a Cooking Blog, But…

I have a new obsession – drying mangoes.

My friend Mirjam taught me that you can dry sliced mangoes on a piece of cotton fabric, draped over a clothes drying rack and covered with mosquito netting, in the sun for 1-2 days… and you have wonderful dried mangoes.

And since it’s mango season here in the southern hemisphere and you can get local mangoes for about 3 cents apiece, my “dehydrator” has been in use all week.  We’ve done quite a few mangoes, but also some apples and peaches.

My sticky assistant likes dried fruit, but especially favors the apples.  She never turns down dried mango though, and now we’re looking forward to having mango all year long!