Having Cake is Fun

I love this! In Kenya we sing this song when we cut a cake. In Peru we had three songs we sang at birthdays! We have our songs in the US too, but there is something about the cutting cake song in Kenya that I especially enjoy!

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Eating cake is more fun in Kenya

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Hash-up Mash-up

During quarantine, I’ve noticed that everyone’s new favorite hobbies are cooking and baking. I say amen to that. What’s better than a hobby you can EAT? I’ve been thinking I should revive my occasional recipe sharing on the blog.

To that end, here’s a super simple yet satisfying meal for those celebrated “breakfast for dinner” nights. I suppose you could make it before noon, but that’s your call.

Hash-up Mash-up

Ingredients:

enough potatoes to grate about 4-5 cups; 5 or 6 big potatoes, 12 or so medium red potatoes

10 eggs

cooking oil

salt and pepper

  • optional: bacon, Freddy’s Fry Seasoning

Directions:

  1. Boil the whole potatoes in water to cover for 15 minutes or until fork-tender. Set potatoes aside to cool a bit. (If you are in a place where you can get a bag of frozen hash browns, you can skip the potato part of the recipe. This is a missionary blog, so this is how we make it.)
  2. If you are using bacon, start by frying bacon in your biggest, most non-stick sauté pan.
  3. Grate the cooled potatoes on the biggest holes of your box grater.
  4. Leave the bacon grease in the pan or if you didn’t start with bacon, put 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil in the pan.
  5. Put the grated potato in the oil or grease and spread it out to the edges for a layer of potatoes.
  6. Here’s the part that requires patience– let it sit at least 5 minutes or more without moving it (more time if you started with frozen hash browns) When you lift up one edge and it looks good and golden brown underneath, flip pieces of hash browns with your spatula. Now let the other side brown. You may need to drizzle more oil on so that you get a good fry. While the potatoes are frying, generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. *On a whim, I bought a jar of Freddy’s Fry seasoning and brought it to Africa. If you live on the I-35 corridor and can get some, we recommend. If not, you can make it. Good stuff to add at this stage.
  7. With patience, you’ll get a pan of beautiful golden brown hash browns. While you are waiting, crack 10 eggs into a bowl.
  8. Now you will add the protein. If you have a thick layer of hash browns, you can make little divots in the hash browns to receive eggs. Pour the eggs over the hash browns, evenly distribute the yolks if needed, and cover with a tight lid. The steam from the potatoes will make sort-of basted eggs and the bottom will get nice and crispy.
  9. Serve a wedge of Hash-up Mash-up with ketchup, sriracha sauce, hot sauce, and/or Ranch dressing, plus bacon, fruit salad, waffles, etc. ¡Bon appétit! 

 

Helpful Information

Hard Work and Attention to Detail

By carefully observing my friend Tony and his sartorial habits I was able to pull this off.

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I had noticed we had the same shirt, and I caught on to the fact that this shirt seemed to make it to the top of his choices on Mondays or Tuesdays. And so with great strategy this last Monday, I finally managed to come into work dressed as Tony. These are great times on the Internal Medicine service at Kijabe Hospital. (I think I need a life!)

 

Pest Control

When you find rodents in the house, the obvious next step is . . . an investment in the future.

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Welcoming a new pet.

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Its Going to be a Big Year

Its not a baby. We watched one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies the other night, The Big Year. Its about birding. Then a few days later I saw on the internet that May 4th would be a Global Big Day where people all over the world would go out and see as many birds as they could in one long day of collective effort. Our family was motivated. We saw a few, but being novices it was some work. However, it is good to put a name to some of these birds we are seeing around the neighborhood. (These are not my photos; they all came of the www.ebird.org website.)

Winner for the loudest bird. The Hadada Ibis. They always come in pairs and make a loud squawking cry when disturbed.

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The most majestic. The African Harrier Hawk. The pair of them have a large 3-4 foot wide nest in a huge tree just outside our yard. They have one of the most persistent whistling cries.

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The cutest. The Red-billed Firefinch. These are tiny and could easily sit on your pinkie finger.

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The one that shimmers with iridescence. The White-fronted Bee-Eater

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The one with the coolest nest. The Baglafecht Weaver. They make hanging nests that look like gourds. Just outside the hospital there are probably 10 nests hanging in one tree and the air is full of these birds in the morning when I walk in.

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The most black and white? The Chin-spot Batis.

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Mortality on the Bike

It can hit you hard sometimes, especially on a bike. I have only been on my bike a few times since I returned to Kenya from our Christmas in the US. Each time I go home I gain a few pounds (maybe a lot of pounds). I cannot resist Mexican food and hamburgers. But usually when I get back I drop 10 pounds just because of the setting. I had accomplished the weight gain in the last trip, but for some reason the weight loss was not following our arrival to Kijabe. I did not want to ride my bike because it is so much harder to pull this weight up the long hills. If I could just lose a few, then the bike ride would be more fun. And so I kept delaying. But last weekend a friend sent out a text saying they were going to ride Awesome Sauce, probably my favorite ride in Kijabe. I could not resist the invitation. I joined them at the local dukas, and we headed up the first steep hill by the waterfall. I began in the front, but ended the climb at the rear. I quickly came to the front in the next two downhills, but then came the next very steep climb. My heart began to beat out of my chest, the sweat of my head turned icy, and the world became smaller and less stable. I couldn’t do it. I hopped off my bike to push up the hill as I soberly realized I was not going to be able to make the ride. I called ahead to my friend who was already out of sight and said I was turning back. David graciously accompanied me on a return trip with some great downhills, but with none of the excitement of Awesome Sauce. Getting older can be great in some ways, but physically it can hit hard. There is a lesson in here somewhere. It probably is that you should exercise regularly and watch your weight. 99d6eefe-314d-412a-bfd7-a69db2f2edd5