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Monday, February 23, 2009

Betty Crocker visits Kenya!

Hello to you all! I pray this blogpost finds you well (hmm that sounds funny but you get the picture!) I have successfully completed week 1 at my Kenyan family homestay! Whoo Hoo! If you had asked me on day 2 I would have said that I wouldn't make it...but now I'm learning to love it. There is never a moment that goes by in that house without learning something about the culture. Mostly I am learning about their culture but every once in a while I share with them about mine! On Friday evening I was asking the family what they do on Saturday. I figured we might go to Nairobi and do something fun... go to dinner or something? Not so fast...I'm not in Kansas any more! Everyone in the family had some sort of chore to do...lawn, sweeping, shopping, cooking. I had nothing! Doing "nothing" has been hard for me. I understand that I'm the guest in the house but often times I hate just sitting there while they clean and cook and do laundry. SOooo, I asked them if I can do something! The middle son said "Yes...you can bake!" Ha...ok, I thought. I LOVE baking back in the states when I have measuring cups and spoons and all the ingredients I am familiar with...baking in AFRICA is quite different. I woke up early on Saturday to get a "game plan." How was I going to cook something that this family would actually like?? I boarded a matatu and went into Karen (a local town with a supermarket). There it was...on a small shelf...Betty Crocker did it again! DOUBLE FUDGE BROWNIE MIX! Yes....That would be easy! But then I realized I needed a pan and eggs. I searched everywhere for a p an and couldn't find one. I asked someone and they showed me tin foil. I stood there for a long long time trying to figure out how much tin foil I would need to make a sturdy enough pan. Nope, not gonna work! I finally found a pan by the couches and books...go figure! Then I went on my search for the eggs. Ok, back in the US where do you find eggs? Near the milk in the refrigerator! Not here...they aren't refrigerated and just on the shelf next to the eggs. I opened up one of them to check for cracks and instead of finding cracks or JUST eggs a bunch of feathers popped out! I almost threw the box over my head wondering what the heck that was but then I remembered...I'm in Africa! I grabbed another carton of eggs and decided to pray there weren't cracks and just buy it anyways.
Later that afternoon I whipped up the batter and baked the brownies (after trying to recall all the math I learned in science class to figure out how to convert degrees Fahrenheit to Celsius). The brownies turned out well...not amazing but I had baked something! :) Later that evening we shared the brownies. The family was amazed at them. They kept eating and eating. After every brownie they would say "I have to stop but I just can't!" They asked me what they were called and I said "brownies" I think they must have repeated me about 30 times. Then they started putting the brownies up to their skin and saying that the brownie was misnamed because it was more black then their own skin! They asked me how I made it and I said from a box and they just laughed. I had kept the box to show them so I brought it out. That was quite the entertainment piece for the evening as they sat there reading EVERY word on the back of the box. At one point the dad asked me "So you just add all these things and then "poof" you have a brownie?" I told him that you have to bake it first and that the flour and cocoa IS in that package, they just do the measurements for me! I think my favorite part of the whole thing was having them read the front of the box and repeating "Betty Crocker!" about a thousand times. Finally one of the said "Betty Crocker is my friend." Haha I bought some oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mix that I will try next week. This mix doesn't even need an egg...just wait till I try to explain THAT one to the family! ;)

7 comments:

Courtney said...

kate- that was hilarious! sounds like you are fitting in perfectly ;-)

Kurt Helfrich said...

Amazing story Kate! Haha, glad you contribute to the household chores in one way or another =) Be sure to let us know how the chocolate cookie mix goes over!

Kate. said...

Hahaha... Goodness, what a great story. I am really reminded that God has and will continue to use how He's shaped you and your experiences - both big and small - to connect with people and with Him over there. And... I could sure go for something Kate Joyce whips up, just so you know. I miss those baking skills! Oh, and YOU too ;)

ashley said...

I love checking your blog to see a new, amusing and wonderful post! Sounds like you're having new adventures every single day.

I read on your last post that you are in the middle of "Passion and Purity." I couldn't believe that, because I literally FINISHED that book about the time that you started it. Wasn't it amazing and refreshing? As someone who's hoping/planning to spend time in Africa, the story was awesome.

God bless!

. said...

When you come to visit us in Mombasa you better bring Betty Crocker with you. The girls all miss you here and have enjoyed reading about what is going on back in Nairobi. Thanks for the laughs.

Justin and Shannon said...

When you come to visit us in Mombasa you better bring Betty Crocker with you. The girls all miss you here and have enjoyed reading about what is going on back in Nairobi. Thanks for the laughs.

Kara said...

That's great! I love how God shows up and blesses us with rich experiences even in the mundane and normal aspects of life! Praise the Lord for Betty Crocker!

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