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Sunday, March 8, 2009

If you want to confuse a Kenyan...

Today, 'Momma' asked me to help her with her recent research paper. The help she needed was for me to research how to do a Turabian Citation. What the? Well as we are researching she noticed the picture on my background (the one up above). The picture was taken days before leaving for Africa. I was on my way to church and wanted to buy a few more tank tops so my sister (Megs on the left) and dear friend (Kate on the right) took me to Tysons corner to shop. We ended up at H&M and all happened to like the same shirt. Being silly, trying to mask sad emotions about being separated on my departure a few days later, we decided to do a photoshoot in the dressing room. Ok...back to the story. So 'Momma' asked "which is this?" She thought it was somehow a picture of me tripled! I can see her confusion since we are wearing the same shirt and have the same hair color and length. But it did crack me up. This broke yet another one of my stereotypes. Here I was thinking that all Africans tend to look the same to me (until I get to know them of course) but it seemed so foreign to me that she couldn't tell us apart...even with me sitting right in front of her! Pushing the idea of research aside, she kept asking me to point to each picture and say who is who. I finally realized it was a lost cause trying to say "This is me...and this is Kate." (?!?!?!) I enjoy conversations like this...we both laugh hysterically. She knows that I find humor in our confusions just as she finds humor in my confusions about learning the Kenyan culture!

OHHHHHHH and I feel like I need to inform you all of an update on the Brownie situation in Africa!!!

Today I tried my hand at baking brownies...from scratch. Yes, from scratch. I know back in America its hard to comprehend having enough time to sit and wait for brownies to bake...yet baking them from scratch? Inconceivable! Well, when you are in Africa and time isn't really an issue anymore you can indeed bake brownies from scratch. I got a recipe from a new friend here, Ruthanne. She has been such a great friend here to guide me in learning how to live in Africa as a single woman. She is now married but spent several years single in West Africa and can therefore sympathize with me not quite knowing the ropes. So I got this recipe from her recently and decided today was the day to practice my skills and see if I can beat the beloved, Betty Crocker. (Drummmmmm Rollllllllllllll, Please!) I brought the brownies in for tea time and set them before 'Momma.' I eyed her curiosity and waited nearby to see what she would say. I was afraid her response would be "what is this?" knowing that it was nothing like the brownies I had baked before....nothing like Betty Crocker. "Kate! These are too good!" "How do they compare to last time?" I asked. "Much better!" Ahhhh, take that Betty Crocker! And now I sit with the plate already half eaten by the family...and I only placed them on the table 15 mins ago! Let me tell you, these brownies are incredible! Seriously...So moist and chocolaty! (Don't worry Justin and Shannon...I'll bring you a batch to Mombasa when I come! ;) ) I thought I'd include the recipe if any of you all decide to venture out from the American time crunch and practice a little good 'old fashion 'from-scratch' baking! Who may never reach for Betty Crocker again!

"Better than Betty Crocker Brownies"

2 cups of sugar
3/4 cups baking cocoa
1 1/2 cups flour
4 eggs
2/3 cups shortening/butter/or oil
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 F (or 178 C).
Mix together and place in a greased 9x9 in pan. Bake until the batter seems solid when you shake....about 35-40 mins (might be more but that's what it seems to be in the oven here in Kenya). Enjoy! :)


Andrew & Susan said...

The Colletti household continues to lift you up in prayer and we really enjoy seeing your posts. We have your site listed under our "RSS feeds", so we can keep track of when you post. For about a month, we had incorrectly set up the "RSS feed" for your site -- we had it set to notify us of changes to your comments section and I could not figure out why your mom had told me you posted and I wasn't getting the posts. Oops....

Enjoyed your post today. I am a "bake from scratch" baker, and I need to make a dessert for a group your dad will be leading Tuesday evening for my husband and some other men. So guess what I'm going to be making for them?! I'm sure they will enjoy -- maybe I'll get to have one too! Praising the LORD for His provision to you, knowing He will continue to provide for all of your needs. Susan (for the Colletti family).

Justin and Shannon said...

Your awesome Kate! We are looking forward to seeing you only second to seeing your brownies :)

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