Trying to make Nigerian Food!

Hey guys! Ruby here to show you how I COMPLETELY FAILED at making this goopy Nigerian dish, so here’s how it started.

 

Me and my friend bolt out of the kitchen with our nose and mouths covered. The smoke of the boiling oil is absolutely stenching and we fan out the smoke. I grab the pot with a pair of pot-handlers and put it outside on the balcony floor, we take off the lid and bolt inside before the smell reaches us.
Yeah, so that’s how it went when I tried to make a Nigerian dish,  what a FAIL!  The recipe seemed really hard, and it sure was!!!! I had read the ingredients, and there was something I had never heard of, it was “Palm Oil.” I decided to try my best handling with it, but I COMPLETELY  messed up.

Now have a question for you, can you say “Ewa Agoyin?” Can you? Because I barely can! Although its hard to say, its even harder making this dish, as you can tell 🙂
Living in Nigeria, it obvious that I have to try and make some dishes. There are so many Nigerian dishes you can try, but I decided I would go for this recipe.
The Ingredients:
2 cups of red beans
1 large white onion
1 cup of palm oil
1 knorr cube
1/4 cup of dried crayfish (I have no idea where to find this haha)
1 bell pepper
4 habenero peppers
1 medium onion
1 tsp salt
Ok, so I have to make a delicious (maybe) dish with all these ingredients. But, to be honest, it seems really hard! There are so many steps that seem super overwhelming! Like, I have to bleach oil, and blend up vegetables.
So, I guessed that it would take me about two hours, and it would be really hard. I was right! Soooooo, I started by cutting veggies, getting beans out of their cans and mashing them up. I blended all the veggies together, and instead of crayfish (Which I COULD NOT find) I just used a meat bullion cube. After I blended them, I started with the “Palm Oil” mess. (BIGGEST MESS EVER!) So apparently, you have to boil a cup of red palm oil, leave it in a covered pot for 10 minutes and wait. We did that, and what we didn’t know, was to not take off the pot until it cools, soooooooo we were in a bit of a, whats the word……… GINORMOUS, HUGE, CRAZY MESS!! So, yeahhhhhhhh.

We took off the lid and a gust of smoke engulfed our faces. We started coughing because our throats were immediately dry. We rushed the pot outside to get rid of the stench. After that, thankfully, it got easier.
We then boiled the veggie goop to get rid of extra water. We also boiled some onions in the disgusting palm oil. We then put it all together, boiled it for 15 minutes and put it on the plate without beans. It looked absolutely disgusting! It looked like poop!
After 20 minutes of convincing my brother, we finally got someone to taste test our dish of veggie goop and beans.
We anticipated the moment of disgust (and throw up) on our video cameras. BUT….. he actually liked it! WEIRDDDDDDDD. Since my brother liked it, I decided to give it a try, and it was not that bad! I wouldn’t be something I would eat all of, but it was pretty decent!
So, I think I did PRETTYYYY good on this project! It was super fun to try, and make a part of Nigerian culture!

 

 

Final result of our “Ewa agoyin.”

 

Fresh vegetables ?

Many times when I am trying to make meals and healthy meals, the options I have are simply not doable. There were many cauliflower florets available at one of the markets I can safely access, they all looked like this and they all were priced between $10-12 dollars for one.

That is when plan B comes into place for dinner…which can easily end up steamrolling all the way through the alphabet.
Ok, don’t get me wrong. I know I can cut off all the “bad” part, but really…what would be left to eat for $10?

Merry Christmas to my awesome mom!

My mother could not be with us in this beautiful place this Christmas. Here is a small glimpse of one of the truly beautiful places on earth, at the tip of South Africa, Cape of Good Hope, for her and my dad of course too. We wish we could be with our parents and grandma and grandpa! The beaches are full of tide pools that we home to all sorts of creatures. The ocean water, despite being very cold, has a variety of stunning blues and greens that can’t be properly captured even with a good camera. So come see for yourself!

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Rules to have a successful Nigerian Christmas party!

Definitely, one of the most educational and fun experiences we have all over the world, is when we get to celebrate Christmas in a foreign country, another way, with other foods and traditions.  We experience first hand what the feeling is like in the country at Christmas time, what the expectations are and how important the celebration may be to the people. So, when my husband said we would be having an office party at our home, I immediately began thinking about some of the tastiest “Christmas” party treats I have had, what ones I would like to use and make and generally what would constitute my version of a “Christmas party menu” for the Nigerian staff.

Funny enough, this thinking was shot down quite quickly, within one day actually.  My husband consulted his staff and found out that most importantly of all is the food at a party…and…it was to be strictly Nigerian…and was to be the exact same dishes they eat all year-long.  They love their goat soup, their fish, their fried chicken and especially their specialty – “jollof rice”. Well, this would definitely require some additional help because these are not dishes that I cook and would definitely not be able to get the intense spiciness and “heat” just right for a Nigerian.  In my thoughts – “heat” meaning – death by eating the spicy food!  For some reason, despite all my travels – my palette still cant’ tolerate the spicy and stickw with my upbringing of the simple yet delicious “meat and potatoes” food.

We have actually had to plan several parties with Nigerians for Christmas, and each time I mention perhaps a “special Christmas dish” or dessert they would like to bring or have – they always in unison announce

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“jollof rice!”  So, that makes things really simple.  My children who were also involved did ask that we definitely make our own Christmas party, with our “own” foods that we usually have special at Christmas time.  I understand it, I was thinking the exact…same…thing.

Pay attention closely! Travel to the African country of Benin.

We will be posting our adventures of border crossings from Nigeria into the country of IMG_6778IMG_6781Benin.  The quietness and calmness of Benin versus the chaos of Nigeria was a lovely change.  We will also soon be exploring more African countries, South Africa, and Namibia in the next few weeks.  What do you want to see on a trip to Namibia?  Let us take you there.  Watch soon!!

Early morning, hot sun.

This was taken early in the morning in  Lagos , Nigeria. I can already tell it will be extremely hot, sticky, thick air, and even thicker with smells and various odors that come from an overpopulated city with poor sanitation, and water surrounding it that is used to dump all kinds of waste into it.

It is also the Harmattan season when the winds blow the sand from the Sahara to the western part of Africa; Nigeria. The sky is never blue, but hazy and grayish with heat searing through the cloudy cover.