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Sunday 28 November 2010

The Dinner Diaries

Over the last three weeks I've been keeping track of my dinners - just to give everyone a better idea of what passed for "normal" when you're cooking with very limited kitchen supplies.

Each entry have three subsections: What, How and Comment. Most have pictures, but some does not.

Sunday 07 November
  • Szechwan Hot & Sour soup with rice + one bread
  • Szechwan Hot & Sour cup soup, 4dl water, 1dl rice, cook until rice is tender. Use bread to clean pot and bowl.
  •  Reasonable hot and spicy. Not quite the Chinese I get at home, but not bad either. Worth doing again.
Monday 08 November
  • Three breads with honey, jam and “Tuna Lime & Pepper”
  • Slice in two, add spread, eat and repeat
  • Light dinner, since lunch was heavier than usual (dehydrated chicken in sweet and sour sauce, combat ration, 520 kcal) 
Tuesday 09 November
  • Rice and green lentils - African Curry style
  • ½ dl rice, ½ dl lentils, 4 dl water, a tablespoon of African Curry, a block of Lamb Stock, salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Planned as a light meal that should stay with me, since the Chief of Security asked if I wanted to hit a restaurant later. The place is a bit hit and miss as far as food goes, so better to eat a little first. Tasty, but go easier on the spice next time...Also, the restaurant had good food, but we opted for finger food so it worked out. Ethiopian is tasty.
Wednesday 10 November
  • Aromatic Thai Chicken & Lemon grass soup with rice + one bread
  • Aromatic Thai Chicken & Lemon grass cup soup, 4dl water, 1dl rice, cook until rice is tender. Use bread to clean pot and bowl
  • A variation on Sundays dinner, but with a different 'cup soup' as the main flavor. Smelled really, really good while simmering. Nice creamy consistency, good taste. Could be spicier, but that is true for most of my container cooking.
Thursday 11 November
  • Cod and Potato  Casserole
  • Prepare as follow:
    • Fold out bottom and tear off the top of the pouch
    • Add boiling water to the fill line (approx. 3.6dl) (water at a lower temperature can be used)
    • Stir thoroughly.
    • Close the pouch with the zipper. 
    • Wait min. 5 minutes (if using water at a lower temperature, the food must be allowed to rest for longer)
  • Yeah... it's dehydrated combat rations... I spent three hours talking to a fellow UNMO about everything from how to get fresh produce via learning English to the cost of housing, and then a bit more than an hour on the phone. It got late and I was hungry. Besides, it tastes pretty good.
Friday 12 November
  • Rice and Lentils a la Tamarind
  • ½ dl rice, ½ dl lentils, 4 dl water, one block of beef bullion, brought to a boil and let simmer until lentils are soft. Add tamarind to taste once on your plate.
  • Another variation on the staple food of rice and lentils. Pretty okay – would be interesting to combine the tamarind with meat of some description – probably goat, considering where I am.
Saturday 13 November
  • Southern Cajun Gumbo soup with rice and one bread.
  • Southern Cajun Gumbo cup soup, 4 dl water, 1 dl rice, cook until rice is tender. Use bread to clean pot and bowl.
  • Smells good, tastes good. Yet another variation on a theme I got going... but it's quick, easy and filling as well as tasty.
Sunday 14 November
  • Tex-mex rice and lentils.
  • ½ dl rice, ½ dl lentils, 4 dl water, one cube of lamb stock, plenty of tex-mex spice. 
  • Ye olde standby – but easy to make and very, very tasty. Now, where did I put the taco-meat, the home made salsa and the tortillas...
Monday 15 November
  • Ethiopian finger food
  • Eat out
  • Headed out to Addis Ababa restaurant (w/ pool table and bar) – TSL wanted to 'not have combat rations' for dinner, and invited me and the other 'wege out.
Tuesday 16 November
  • Lapskaus
  • Fold out bottom and tear of top of pouch etc
  • Yeah, it's combat rations again – except it ain't. It's the civilian version, which comes in more flavors and honestly tastes a little better (more spices). It feels like cheating, but I was on a SDP all day and had no lunch. Quick and easy and tasty too.
Wednesday 17 November
  • Medammes, Egyptian recipe, with rice.
  • One can of Egyptian style medammes (fava bean stew), 1 dl rice, 2 dl milk. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  • made with milk both because I had some milk left, and to create a milder flavour. Like most food I made, strangely tasty... probably a combination of being hungry, good raw materials, and home cooking.
Thursday 18 November
  • Ethiopian finger food.
  • Eat out.
  • Some of the other westerners in the area wanted to see the TSL before he headed out. I was more than happy to tag along – tasty food is tasty.
Friday 19 November
  • Chicken in Curry
  • Fold out bottom and...
  • Dehydrated dinner again – even if it feels like cheating. Trouble is, I was Duty Officer and all I had all day was two small breads, a bucket of coffee and two bottles of water. And it got late – dinner served at 2350.
Saturday 20 November
  • Rice and lentils, BBQ style.
  • 1 dl rice, ½ dl lentils, 5 dl water, beef stock and BBQ spice
  • Late lunch after a skimpy breakfast and little sleep. Made enough to leave a snack for breakfast. Different, but tasty.
  • "Real" dinner was buffet at New Tokyo - farewell party for our Danish TSL.
Sunday 21 November
  • Ethiopian finger food
  • Eat out
  • The TSLs last dinner in Yei. Planned (barely) partly due to a power outage in camp. Meet a couple of Dutch people at the restaurant and had a good time.
Monday 22 November
  • Hot and Spicy Rice and Lentils
  • ½ dl rice, ½ dl lentils,  5 dl water, chicken stock,  one (1) self picked tiny pepper
  • Yes, there is hot peppers growing in our compound.  I was warned by the Danish TSL just before he left that they were very hot, so just one made it into the pot this time

Tuesday 23 November
  • Lentil, beans and kidney beans stew
  • One can of beans and kidney beans stew, ½ dl lentils, ½ can water, simmer until lentils are soft. Paprika, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Not entirely sure where the can is from – most likely it was among the stuff I got from the departing TSL. And since everything is better with lentils and/or rice, I added lentils. Quite tasty, with a rich, creamy mouth feel to it.
Wednesday 24 November
  • Southern Cajun Gumbo soup with rice, lentils and one bread
  • Southern Cajun Gumbo cup soup, 4 dl water, ½ dl rice, ½ dl lentils, cook until rice is tender. Use bread to clean pot and bowl.
  • Slight variation on an earlier theme. simple, tasty, filling.
Thursday 25 November
  • Vegetable soup with rice.
  • Generic, no brand vegetable cup soup (UN rations), 1 dl rice, 4 dl water, spice to taste, boil until creamy.
  • Big lunch, since we're invited to a late dinner with the BanBat commander. Simple, tasty – but not as tasty as the cup soups I brought from Norway.
Friday 26 November
  • Pea and chilli "omelet"
  • One can peas (250gr drained), two tiny peppers, two eggs, dash of salt. Sweat the finely chopped peppers in a bit of olive oil, add the peas, whip the eggs in a cup and pour over, stir until all the egg is cooked through.
  • More scrambled eggs than omelet, this was a precursor to a more ambiguous dinner. If I'm going to get horrible sick eating eggs, I rather not spend an hour or more preparing a tasty dinner first... hence the idea of an omelet. Back home I would toss some ham or diced salami in, but down here the choices are more limited. Tasted quite all right, with a nice after burn. Just enough to make my lips and tongue tickle, but not to much.
Saturday 27 November
  • Various, including goat on the barbie.
  • Get invited to a birthday party at one of the local NGOs.
  • Omm nom nom. Got promoted to "the BBQ man", and had a good time too.
Sunday 28 November
  • Rice and lentils in chilli sauce
  • ½ dl rice, ½ dl lentils, 5 dl water, lamb stock, chilli/garlic spice, a dash of chilli sauce, let simmer until thick and creamy.
  • Yet another variation. One thing I like about rice and lentils is the versatility of it. This one was nice and spicy, with a real tingle to it.
 And that's it - three weeks of dinners from my kitchenette.

1 comment:

  1. Holy schnikies, you really can make a main meal out of rice and lentils. I've really got to integrate lentils into more recipes, though I'm really a big fan of rice. :) The rations look very tasty, so I'm glad you're able to eat well over there.