Sunday, April 11, 2010

Making a brew. baking a cake,

I find it fascinating how folks can blog about almost anything and everything. so I am going to blog today  on Tea, the making of.   and one of the important things in my life  a good cup of tea. I know not my usual  blog but  I am stuck inside today.
2  photos taken on my volunteering days in Kenya.
This is where the best  tea I tasted was brewed.  

by Picasa
When I was volunteering in Kenya. my neighbor made the best brew ever. she could even tell what time of day the leaves were picked, she never made tea from a packet as this was tea leaves grown in Kenya, and from her brothers farm in the rift valley where the best tea in the world is grown, she never touched coffee even though this is what she grew in Muchakos Kenya.
the way tea was made in her home first all the animals where let out of the kitchen as she called it the fire was lit and a pot was put over the fire this water was the main part of the days cooking. they boil everything meat especially us missionaries taught them this, boil for at least 8 hours. but first the making of tea was the most important feature of the day when they had a guest living nearby who liked his morning cup of Chai. once the water had boiled a small piece of wood or a couple of matchsticks (heads taken  off,  sulfur makes a bad taste in the water) were put in then the tea leaves whole even with the stem still on. then the milk was added fresh from the cow.
that was usually ready for 6.00 . next break was 10.00 and time for another cup of tea. this after been on the side of the fire next to the cooking pot had been steadily mashing ( kept hot) and was quite strong , then by dinner time 13.00 the tea tasted burnt or rather the milk had been burnt. but still tasted good even though the spoon could be stood on end in the cup.

This is the tea we buy in Luxor Egypt. They have another make called Alarosa. but that is a mix of teas from various countries.
this is tea dust and is 100% grown in Kenya. I think that is what the packet says. the proof was in the taste and it sure was good to taste proper tea again. as I was house bound yesterday. and my internet or rather fire fox internet provider kept crashing I gave up and went to finishing my story on my volunteering days. and my taste buds went back to my tea in Kenya. so I decided to try and make some like before. I always have tea in and being A Welshman I like my tea with a little milk 4/5 cups a day. first boil the water in an electric kettle add the tea bag then the milk. so today i wanted a proper tea like I had in Kenya. I had an earthenware pot as I use them for cooking. I had an unopened packet of Kenyan tea. i also get fresh cow milk delivered every two days to my door. that is also strait from the cow. not sure what they do with it before it arrives but It tastes good and its fresh and sooo creamy.
never mind the cholesterol levels, OK" its the taste I go for and I do not have much pleasures in life these days.
the end results of my tea making was excellent I made enough for four mugs. the first brew I made with sweetener , not quite right I thought.  the next  I put cane sugar in  that was better. I  left the tea pot on simmer all morning. and by twelve o.clock the tea was getting burnt.   so there you go how to make proper tea with a taste of milk.

from a pint of milk  I get enough cream to top my fruit with. 
I use sweeteners in my tea,  but I always have cane sugar in for making cakes etc
this is local sugar grown here in the Nile Delta.

Going on about the sugar,I did not feel like going out today just to give my back a complete rest   so what can I make that's quick with the ingredients I already have in stock.  local produce bananas. flour, butter, milk and eggs.  so I made a banana  sponge cake. I am not into sweet things  like icing and chocolate so plain they were  and just finger licking good just like the  scrapings in the mixing bowl ,   4 of the smaller cakes went to my landlord who lives next flat. and the other small one is for my kindly neighbor who came over yesterday after seeing my windows and balcony door shut.  something wrong!  and    came over with a fresh pint of orange juice.  should have made these yesterday to go with my chai. 

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Making chicken stock and tomato soup.
I had a frozen chicken that needed using I usually get fresh chicken and roast it, but this was frozen before I thawed it out and seeing I can not read Arabic I knew not where or how this chicken was raised it said it was Egyptian, not the chicken  the writing on the  packet,   remember I bought it frozen.  So I decided to boil it  I put in 2 pints of water or 1 litre, 3 medium sized onions sliced, one whole Garlic , you could I suppose put more but I am just telling you how I made the stock,  and a couple of sliced tomato and one small chilli pepper.  That too depends on how hot you want your soup . (chilli hot)
It was not my initial idea to make soup the ingredients up to this point was to add flavour to the chicken that was boiling in the pan,  only after I took the chicken out of the pan did I decide to make soup.   I do not like to waste good food .

After the chicken and stock is cooked eat the chicken  I had mine with a tagine,  half anyway and froze the other half for another day, if you are wondering why!   I live on my own.   So basically I am cooking for one even though this recipe is for 9/12 people, depends on how yummy the soup turns out.  I also put all the chicken bones back in the stock and simmered for 20 minutes,   Now let the stock cool, once cool  then  preferably put in the fridge overnight,  next day take all the chicken fat off the top of the stock  not necessary  but I have to watch the calories,   prepare 6 fair sized tomatoes slice and put in the blender then  add to the stock, heat the stock up not too hot, then take out all the bones before putting in the blender again, this is to blend all the ingredients  . Tomatoes onions and garlic.  Put it in a pan   bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve with a blob of fresh cream.   Add your own salt and pepper.
 My neighbours loved it and so did I ,   I do not weigh anything if it needs an extra ingredient or more of something I just add it.    


Miss Footloose said...

I remember drinking tea in Kenya. Very milky, very sweet. Very nice if you have a sweet tooth.

Kenya tea is a different drink entirely from the tea I drink: Strong, properly steeped, no adulteration. No milk, no sugar. (I am Dutch, so milk in your tea is only for children ;) Sugar is optional for the grownups.

I must have my tea in a glass cup, so I can enjoy the beautiful color!

I've enjoyed tea the world over, but always go back at home to drinking it this way.

Tea! Books have been written about tea.

Bill S. said...

Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

Ann said...

How long were you in Kenya?

I used to raise money for a school in Kenya for the deaf Children for 16 years. We raised money in Singapore and sent it via DMI.

I drink my tea weak, no sugar no milk.

Ro said...

I rather prefer El Arosa Tea, drank in a glass cup with 2 cubes of sugar and some mint (shay bil nana).

Interesting blog! Loved reading about life in Luxor as I was there just a week ago.

prashant said...

Very nice if you have a sweet tooth.
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