Eat, Love, Pray, Choose Joy: God got me covered.

“Her husband is here”, i heard a nurse say in my drug induced haze. I had wanted to pee, so i had staggered slowly into the bathroom. I didn’t think i needed help, so i didn’t call for a nurse. I had overestimated my balance, so as i was walking back to my bed in the pre-surgical cubicle, I felt myself free falling and he caught me. “Help me lift her”, i heard him say to the nurses as i blacked out, only to come -to minutes later, after being resuscitated.

Have you found out what is wrong with her, Bode (my husband) asked the doctor, who told him we had to wait for the results.

Timeline : January 24/2017
I had called him at about 1.30 pm asking if he could get off work early to go and pick the kids (our son and our god-children). His tone told me, he was not in the mood for my “Get-out- of- school runs” tactics. But he paused when he heard me catch my breath. I blurted out, “I’m in a lot of pain”, when he asked me what was wrong.
I was having my braids taken out, when the worst pain i’ve ever felt hit me. I broke out in cold sweat, i thought it was horrible case of food poisoning, i asked for a glass of water, i could barely drink it, i wobbled to the toilet. I groaned and pushed and hoped whatever was in me would come out. The pain got worse, it was worse than labour pains {i’ve been in labour twice, so i know the pains of labour}. I was hot and cold at the same time. I stripped completely, doubled over from the pain, then i called him, my voice broke into a sob as i tried to put words to what i was feeling.

He got off the phone and called his mum to go and get me. My parents in law were in my apartment in less than 2 mins (they live in front of my house). “Labake, o kin sick, kilo se e” – Labake you are rarely ill what is wrong-, MIL said. I couldn’t speak, i could manage tears and i gesticulated. “E bami wo so fun” -Help me put clothes on her- she told my staff who were there with me.
Daddy went to get his keys, before i got out, he had started the car ready to take me to the hospital. Typically, Dad’s fastest speed is 60km/hr. On this day he drove like a maniac, we made it to a 20min drive hospital in 10mins!
I told the nurse at the reception, “I’m in a lot of pain!”

They swiftly sprung to action, the doctors were by my side, set an IV line, gave me pain meds that knocked me, took blood work and ordered tests, by now i was drifting in and out of a meds induced sleepy haze. The sonographer, told me it looked like i had a twisted cyst but it shouldn’t cause me that much pain or make me bleed.
That morning, after my regular fitness walk, i had noticed i was bleeding so i assumed it was my period, so i cleaned up, put on a sanitary towel and took a nap.

A more senior doctor came back into the ward and said to my husband and i, “We have to do an emergency Exploratory Laparotomy, your pregnancy result came back positive, you have Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy that’s why you are bleeding and you are in a lot of pain.”

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An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself in a place other than inside the uterus. Almost all ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tube and are thus sometimes called tubalpregnancies.

“Pregnant!!” Bode (my husband) and I exclaimed together! How was that even possible? I still took a pregnancy test the week before, it was negative, how is it even possible?

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Since we resumed trying to conceive (TTC) after losing a pregnancy in 2014, I’ve been doing pregnancy tests religiously on a weekly basis. Firstly because of the treatment plan i was on, then for the heck of it and also because i occasionally indulge in liqueur. And yet I didn’t even know i was pregnant. In fact i had gone 2 weeks before for my routine check up with my doctor and i had a routinely done a blood PT.

While the doctor spoke i realized my tummy had doubled in size and it was uncomfortable, the pain was subliminal, and i was woozy. I would later find out that the increase in size was due to my bleeding internally. I looked at my palms and realized my palms were pale!

The team was called, gyne-surgeon, general surgeon, the anesthesiologist (a wonderful pleasant woman), nurses, and others, the blood bank…
By 9pm i was taken to the theater (I had to wait for a set of twin boys to be delivered by emergency CS and brought out of the OR).
I came out 3+hrs and 4 pints of blood transfusion later, with a PCV of 21 looking like something out of “Greys Anatomy” with all the gadgets hanging on my body.
I opened my eyes at about 2am, saw my sweet darling with his head on a desk, trying to catch a nap, he woke up as soon as i stirred, told me i had to lie still on my back for about 8hrs/12hrs or so. He kept an eye on my fluids, my temperature with was low, and he kept adjusting the cooling system. I felt sorry for him.
He told me later he had been invited into the surgery and he froze at the sight of my insides open like a butchered cow on the operating table. They wanted him to know they also took out the cysts i had in my ovary
So now his favorite saying is , “I know you inside out, you that i’ve seen your intestines”. So he calls me “Intestines” sometimes!
The doctors estimated the gestation period of the fetus based on its size at 8-10wks. Trapped in my fallopian tube till it grew too big to grow there. A baby i didn’t even know was there, never had time to bond with, had to be yanked out with parts of me, to save my life, leaving scars behind.

I didn’t even have time to process any emotions, it was a roller coaster of so many all at once, trumped by the greater desire to live and not die.

Support System

Through all of this my amazing support system kicked in. My friend Marie got off work and went to pick the kids from school, my sister Fifi and my bro-in-law Theo, were in the hospital shortly after my husband arrived and they didn’t leave until 2am. My bff Olajumoke (JBK) called a circle of sisters whom we pray together and raised prayers for me, she was in the hospital with my favorite Pastor Kenny at close of work.
By 6.30am (the next day) my mum was by my side from Ibadan with my brother in tow, my dad who was on the phone with me at least three times a day.
My amazing parents in laws who took shifts checking on me through my 1 week + stay in the hospital, bringing food and love. They had our son with them throughout the time, woke up early to get him ready in time for school and pack his lunch, checked homework. My sweet sweet son Mumila, who though didn’t have a full grasp of what was happening always asked to stop by the hospital to check on mama and pray for me.
My friends, Jumoke Leo, Mojola, Bunmi, who literally flew to my side when they heard 2 days later.
Dunni (Dooneyrooney), she said, all i can think of right now is that your family would need food while you are convalescing. She ordered 5 different types of soups in 7 litres and spicy hot pepper soup from a Nigerian food business and had it delivered to me. Her mum even came to visit.
Many more people i can’t readily recall. The calls, the messages, the love. Priceless.

My amazing staff who kept business running seamlessly and diligently whist i was away.
The wonderful team in the hospital

My priceless, priceless husband Olabode. Can’t put to words how much of a rock, a pillar and support you were to me while we had to both go through the difficult times.

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God had my back

After my ordeal some things started making sense to me. I’m a person of faith and i believe in Jesus, my religious expression is Christianity.

  • In December 2016, my friend Shalewa called me. She relayed a weird encounter her sister Bolanle had the day before to me. Bolanle, had gone for a prayer vigil (in Abuja where they live), whilst at the vigil, the presiding pastor called her out and asked if she knew anyone called Labake. She answered that though she didn’t have a friend called Labake, but her sister’s friend bore the name. She said the pastor asked the congregation to pray to avert any evil concerning Labake and gave her the instruction to call me to pray. I thanked Shalewa, said a little prayer of thanksgiving and protection and trusted that God had heard me.
  • On my birthday January 10th 2017, i had gone to drop my son and was heading off to a business fellowship, when my friend Aisha, turned back sharply and grabbed my arm. She looked uncomfortable while she was trying to say something to me. She said “Labake, i don’t know what is making me do this, i never do this, but i feel strongly that you should wait and pray at the altar before you go”. I said I’m going to fellowship I’d pray there. She said, do it now! Truth is, first i woke up that day feeling “bleh” in spite of it being my birthday, i struggled to get in high spirits. Secondly, I’ve always believed going to a church altar to pray was ceremonial and unnecessary. But i did nonetheless, i broke into tears when i got to the altar, poured out my heart, my pain and gave thanks. ( School is Church owned and so church is right opposite the school) I felt relieved and my spirit was lifted and i headed to fellowship. A special prayer of preservation was said for celebrants that day.
  • January 14th at the Leaders meeting for a small prayer circle i belong, the leader, called me out and asked the other sisters to start to pray for me. I can’t remember what she said but it bordered around safety, protection, mercy etc.

It was when I got home after the admission, and I was tearfully reading my daily confession from Isaiah 60: 1 – 22. I particularly broke in to tears when I read verse 17b- 18

17 b) I will also make your officers peace,
And your magistrates righteousness.
18) Violence shall no longer be heard in your land,
Neither wasting nor destruction within your borders;
But you shall call your walls Salvation,
And your gates Praise.

I was angry, that after believing and confessing these words, God would allow me to suffer the loss of a pregnancy again (i had lost a 22wks old pregnancy in 2014) and this time, a Fallopian tube as well. Then all of these events made sense. I could have easily died, ectopic pregnancy accounts for many maternal mortalities. God kept me for a purpose. God had my back all along! He actually kept his word.
This helped to strengthen me during the course of 2017, when i had to face other challenges in 2017, even when i was down and low and shut down, the assurance that God had me covered gave me strength.

Towards the end of the 2017, I realized how much i had let things get to me, i didn’t know i shoved and bottled things, left it unprocessed. I realized that the hopeless optimist i was, had given room to negativity guised as reality.
I was looking for the happy-go-lucky girl who never really worried about a thing. I tried not to dream too much for the fear of having my hopes dashed. I let the year and all the misadventure that came with it get to me!
Then I remembered how i started my year, how God had my back, then it opened my eyes to see how he did still, in the midst of it all.
It was while I was convalescing, that i finished filling and submitted my Tony Elumelu application, i was selected and became a fellow, later in the year. My business misadventures led me to a new model and structure and pushed me out of what I’ve always known. I wore the strong woman toga, while i let my weakness almost cripple me on the inside.

With the realization that God always had my back, I walked my way back to deliberately choose Joy.

So this year I celebrated my birthday on a high! I’m walking on sunshine through this year.

 

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So I’d EAT, LOVE, PRAY, CHOOSE JOY, because GOD got me

 

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Crepes

World Pancakes day is February 2nd every year. I didn’t know this until three years ago. That’s when i took the picture below in commemoration.

image

Crepes are thin pancakes, the Americans like their pancake thick the Europeans prefer it thin. Crepes are popular in Nigeria but we just call them Pancakes.

Crepes with Mango/Strawberry Salsa topped with whipped cream and honey.
Crepes drizzled with honey

Recipe

  • 1 1/2 All purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp evaporated Milk
  • 10g unsalted butter
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Sugar (as much or as little as you like)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract (you can use vanilla essence or your favorite flavour)
  • *1 tsp grated nutmeg (optional)
  • 2 tbsp veg oil to fry.

Procedure

  • Mix all ingredients together except oil to a very smooth paste.
  • Place a non stick on low heat, using a pastry brush, brush some oil on the pan or push about a drop of oil on the pan and let it spread across the pan.
  • Scoop the paste into the pan and allow it spread to the edge of the pan.
  • Allow the lower side to dry slighty then flip the sides and allow the other side to dry and the edges to crisp slightly.

Look how slim those crepes are!

    image
    Crepes with Homemade Strawberry Sauce and Julienne apples
    Rolled crepes with a side of fruits
    Simple serving of crepes dusted with icing sugar and drizzled with honey

Groundnut Soup (Omisagwe)

Since I learnt to make Groundnut soup, I can make it in my sleep.

When i have a flu, i make it extra spicy

Recipe

  • 1 1/2 Cups raw (unpeeled, dehusked) groundnut
  • 2 tsp Uziza Seeds
  • 2 Dried Cameroon Peppers
  • *Goat meat (personal preference)
  • Stock fish
  • Smoked Fish
  • 1/8 cup of smoked prawns
  • 2 tbsp powdered smoked prawns
  • 2 tbsp powdered stock fish flakes
  • 2 smoked catfish (shredded)
  • Salt
  • Seasoning cubes
  • 1/4 cup periwinkle
  • 1 cooking spoon palm oil (or less)
  • 2 cooking spoons blended fresh scotch bonnet ( Ata rodo )
  • Efirin ( African sweet Basil / Scent leaf )

Procedure

  • Boil meat with some water, salt and season, add powdered smoked prawns and powdered stock fish flakes.

  • While the meat is cooking, in a dry pan or wok slighty toast the groundnut, Uziza and Cameroon pepper till you can smell the aroma coming out. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

  • While the groundnuts cool, slice the efirin leaves.
Handpicked Efinrin from my backyard garden
  • In the dry mill of your blender, blend the groundnut, Uziza and Cameroon pepper to a very smooth powder. The texture of the blended groundnuts should not be grainy. (Blend the groundnut with skin on)

  • Check the meat to see if it is soft then add the stock fish pieces and the whole smoked prawns.
  • Then add the pepper and palm oil. Allow to cook till the palm oil blends in.

  • Then add the periwinkle, shredded smoked fish.
  • Taste if you need to re-season, I doubt though.
  • Next add the blended groundnut and stir it in, the soup starts to thicken add water if becomes too thick. Turn down the heat.

  • Leave for about 5 minutes and add the efirin leaves. Turn off the heat and leave the lid on so as not to overcook the efirin.

Pair with your favorite accompaniment.

Serve with your favorite accompaniment. I found that asides morsels (swallow) it pairs well with rice, fried Plantain, yam as well. You should try it.

P.S
If you ever take a trip down to “Flusville” ensure you take a detour to Hot n Spicy Land! It helps you feel a lot better. 😂🤣😂🤣😁

Chapman

In 2010 while i was job hunting, i took a short cocktail course and the first thing i learnt to make was Chapman.

I started my business Fontaine De Vie as a virgin cocktail business till it evolved to a healthy beverage option company.

Chapman is arguably indigenous to naija. At the time an internet search for “Chapman” would on lead you to names of individuals. Meanwhile it was so popular as a Cocktail at Nigerian parties.

First time i had Chapman was in 1993 or 94, at the restaurant of D’Rovans hotel. Chapman started out as a hotel and bar fixture then made it’s way to the party scenes.

In fact the Coca-Cola bottling co., sampled a variant of Fanta in the 90’s, they called it “Fanta Chapman”. It was my favourite next to “Fanta Ginger Ale”.

Chapman has a signature Sunset Orange colour which comes from mixing Fanta with Grenaldine. It’s Sweet, slighty tangy with a very subtle undernote of bitter. Best served with ice.

Recipe

Serves 5

1 Fanta/Mirinda (50cl)

1 Sprite/7up (35cl)

1 Schwepps/Teem or Limca (35cl)

80ml of Tasty Time Blackcurrant (or any blackcurrant cordial drink)

100ml of red Grenadine syrup

5ml of Angostura Bitters

* 20ml Campari (if you want to make it alcoholic, skip the angostura)

5 slices of a medium sized Lemon A couple of slices of Cucumber for garnish

Procedure

Mix all drinks in a tall glass pitcher adding the angostura bitters last, add 3 slices of lemon, 3 slice of cucumber and allow the flavours to infuse for at least 30mins.

Serve with ice.

Chapman bottled on a client’s request. See the Lemon and Cucumber infusing in there.

Egusi Soup

Yesterday i got my favorite type of fufu, from Oja Odan in Ogun state. So i ditched the traditional Sunday Pounded yam or Fried rice and we had fufu instead, and egusi of cause to go with it.

Recipe

  • 2 cups Egusi (Melon Seeds)
  • Assorted Meats (Cowleg, Goat meat, ponmo, offals)
  • Assorted Fish (Stock fish, Smoked fish)
  • Smoked Fish
  • Ground crayfish
  • 2 cups Thinly sliced Ugu leaves
  • Peppers (4 Scotch Bonnet + 5 Jalapeño/Bawa/Sombo/ long tatashe)
  • 1 Onion
  • Meat Stock (from cooking the meats)
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Salt
  • 3 tbsp Iru (locust beans)
  • 2 cooking spoons Palm oil

Procedure

This is one of the methods i use in preparing egusi.

  • Cook your meats, season with bouillon cubes, salt, ( i like to cook with smoked catfish head for a richer flavour). Cook till tender and well done.
  • While cooking your meats, Rinse your Ugu leaves to get rid of dirt, then slice thinly.Blend your melon seeds with pepper, onion and water. Blend to a smooth consistency.
  • Heat up your palm oil till it reaches smoking point, pour in your blended melon and fry for about 10 mins, don’t let it burn.
  • Now add the rich stock from your meats and allow to cook till the fried melon paste and the stock are well incorporated.
  • Next add crayfish powder,Iru. Taste for seasoning, may not have need to re-season your soup, if your stock is rich in flavour.
  • Cook with lid off to allow the water to reduce faster in the soup.
  • Once the water content has reduced to at least a quarter of what it initially was, add your assorted meats stock fish and other condiments like those listed in the recipe.
  • Cook till the water has reduced completely and the soup won’t run off the back of the soup in a watery manner.
  • Now add your Vegetable, and stir in gently with a ladle. Reduce the heat to the minimum and turn it off after cooking with the vegetables for 3 minutes.
  • Serve with any swallow of your choice.

Money saver tips for Vegetable Fried Rice ingredients

Buying in bulk and storing can save you a ton of money. Every home manager loves to shave off an extra penny here and there from home keeping expenses and this is one of them.

I was at the frozen foods section of a large supermarket chain recently and i saw the price on a bag of chopped vegetables, good lordy. There is no way i was going to parting with that amount of money on imported packaged food, that lord knows what sorts of preservatives is in it.

Fried Rice is a regular meal in my home and i have learnt to save a lot of money by buying my vegetables in bulk and storing in the freezer.

The vegetables in the picture below cost me the following from Mile 12 Market , Ketu Lagos Nigeria.

Carrots 300 naira
Green Pepper 300 naira

Red Pepper 200 naira

Runner Beans 200 naira

Green Peas 300 naira

Spring Onions 200 naira
Total cost 1500 naira.

Green Pepper 300 naira

Red Pepper 200 naira

Runner Beans 200 naira

Green Peas 300 naira

Spring Onions 200 naira
Total cost 1500 naira.

From this amount of vegetables, i will get a total of 6 -600g- bags of vegetables enough to make fried rice for my family of 5 (sometimes more) at least 6 times.

So on the average each pot of fried rice will cost just about 250 naira or less for vegetables.

Procedure.

  • Wash your vegetables properly under running water to get rid of dirt. Peel the carrots, de-seed the peppers, and chop them up separately.

  • Combine all the ingredients in the bowl, toss properly to ensure that the vegetables combine evenly.

* If you want, at this point you can bag it up and store in a freezer at this point.

  • I prefer to season the vegetables so they are ready to use when i want to cook. I season with salt, bouillon cubes,curry, thyme.

  • Toss it well to ensure that the seasoning is well incorporated. Let it sit for 30mins before bagging.

Pack into air tight, freezer bags or polythene bags and freeze till you are ready to use. I’ve stored mine for as long as 2 months in a freezer.

This also saves you a lot of cooking time.

Edikang Ikong

So i woke up to tend my vegetable garden, which i had left unattended for a about two weeks or a lil more. I wear many hat’s like many people and the month of April right to the first two weeks of May was very busy. First i got NAFDAC approval for my products FDVie Juice yaaay! Then we were vendors at the GTB Food and Drink fair , then renovation of the production facility , plus daily life!

So my garden was overgrown with Waterleaf! I remember my first attempt at planting waterleaf with seeds, i waited many months it didn’t yield until my staff told me to propagate using stems instead. Now the plant is in every pot in the garden, just dispersing its seeds. That means I’d be having a lot of waterleaf soups.

Freshly harvested waterleaf from my container garden

So after pulling out a lot of waterleaf yesterday, i made Edikang ikong

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 800g washed and choppedWaterleaf
  • 500g washed and chopped Ugu leaves
  • Assorted Meats
  • 1 cooking spoon blended pepper mix (Scotch bonnet -ata rodo/Bawa)
  • 3/4 cup palm oil
  • Stockfish
  • Smoked Fish
  • 1 tbsp blended crayfish
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

  • In a pot, season your meats with salt and bouillon cubes (to your taste) *Don’t* season with onion. Add water and cook till the meat is soft and tender. I usually cook my meats with smoked fish heads for rich flavour

  • When your meat is cooked and the water is properly reduced, add your blended pepper mix and palm oil.

  • Taste to see if it requires additional seasoning, if it does add some more. Add, stock fish, smoked fish, crayfish and cook till the water is reduced completely.
  • When the water is completely reduced and you can see the palmoil glistening on the meats, add chopped water leaves.

  • (Let your washed water leaf and Ugu leaves strain in a seive to allow all the excess water get away, your chopped leaves should be near dry)

  • Stir in properly , the water leaf will wilt into the pot, let it simmer for about 3 minutes
  • Next stir in your Ugu leaves, stir it in well till it incorporates well with the waterleaf.
  • Cook with lid off , on medium heat for an additional 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with your preferred accompaniment.

Please don’t tell my Yoruba ancestors that i almost denounced Efo Riro in favour of this tasty pot of goodness that is native to the Efik people.

Oatmeal swallow

Ojojo (Wateryam Fritters)

Ijebu omo alare e we so! Shout out to Ijebu people all over the world.

This is a tribute to Ijebu cuisine. When you think food native to the peoples of the vast Ijebu kingdom, you think, Ifokore, Ojojo , Ebiripo , Ijebu Garri etc.

Ojojo is wateryam fritters and its native to the Ijebu people of the south west of Nigeria. It can be eaten anytime of the day as a meal or a snack. As a meal it’s popularly either served with Eko/Agidi (roughly translated as white corn jello) or Garri Ijebu.


Recipe

(Serves 2 or 3)

Ingredients

  • 3 slices Wateryam (grated it comes to 1 cup and half)
  • 1 tbsp of roughly chopped pepper mix (1 Ata rodo (Scotch bonnet), 1 Bawa/long tatashe/Sombo , Onion (about a quarter of a medium onion)
  • 1/2 of a bouillon cube (i used Knorr
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

  • Slice and peel water yam.

  • Using a grater, choose the smallest perforation to grate the yam to a paste. To avoid nicking off your fingers while grating, you can use the grating disc of your food processor. The one with the smallest holes. This would give you about 1 cup and half of wateryam paste.
Food processor disc and Grater
Grated wateryam
  • Add your roughly chopped pepper mix, your salt and seasoning .
  • Mix till when incorporated.

  • Heat your oil up till very hot.

Hot oil Tip
Since we don’t use thermometers in cooking here, i learnt to know when oil is hot enough for frying from Sister Som, my friend’s sister. She taught me to put a drop of water in oil while bringing up the heat. As the oil heats up , it would start to make popping sounds to get rid of the water. When the sounds stops, you know your oil is hot enough.

  • Scoop the paste using a spoon or your hands into the oil.
  • Fry on medium heat till its golden ans crisp on both sides.

Traditionally, Ojojo is served with Eko or Garri Ijebu. I tried this with Ghanaian Shitto and its amazeballs.

Ojojo with Eko and shitto

Homemade Fries: How to make great fries from scratch.

You can shave a few pennies off your shopping budget if you make your own fries at home for your self.

Say goodbye to store bought brands and stock up on your DIY (do it yourself) brand.

Blanching your potatoes before frying would give you really great golden potatoes. Blanching them and freezing for later use is just as great.


Ingredients

  • Medium sized Irish Potatoes
  • Vegetable oil
  • *Salt Optional

Procedure

  • You need potatoes of course

  • Wash and peel the potatoes using a knife or a potato peeler, and keep them in bowl of room temperature water, to prevent oxidation.

  • Using a knife or a potato slicer (a potato slicer is preferable because it keeps the slices consistent), cut the potato into strips.
Potato slicer

Cut potato strips.
  • Cover the potato strips in water, and if you’d like salt them and leave soaked for 30mins
Potato covered in salt water
  • Strain the water from the potato using a seive
  • Heat up some oil in a pan. Enough oil to for deep frying. Heat it up till its really hot.

Hot oil Tip

Since we mostly don’t use thermometers in cooking here, i learnt to know when oil is hot enough for frying from Sister Som, my friend’s sister. She taught me to put a drop of water in oil while bringing up the heat. As the oil heats up , it would start to make popping sounds to get rid of the water. When the sounds stops, you know your oil is hot enough.

  • Fry the potato till it’s just cooked, without allowing the skin to crisp.
  • Take it out of the oil and spread it out on tray lined with absorbent paper towel. See picture below.
Blanched fries
  • Set the tray into a freezer and freeze over night.
Frozen blanched potato fries
    • Take it out of the freezer and bag in an airtight freezer bag. If you however don’t have freezer bags, you can use airtight polythene/nylon bags.

    • Store it in a freezer till the next time you want to make some fries.

    When you are ready to make your fries, take the frozen chips out of the freezer, heat your oil till very hot, and deep fry till crisp and golden.


    Like this

    Mango Liqueur

    A simple homemade alcoholic recipe for Mango lovers


    Recipe

    Ingredients

    • 3 medium sized Mangoes
    • 750ml Dry Gin or Vodka

    Procedure

    • Wash and clean your mangoes.
    • Chop it up into sizes that fit into a bottle.

    I usually chop with skins for more flavour.

    • Use a clean sterile glass bottle.
    • Put the chopped mangoes in the bottle and pour your Gin or vodka into the bottle. Shake and cover.
    • Store the bottle in dark place for not less than 3 days to let the mango infuse. I usually let my fruit liqueur sit for 2weeks at least, for intensity of flavour.

    • Shake the bottle up regularly when it’s being stored

    Serve with ice! Enjoy

    Okra Utazi Surf and Turf Peppersoup

    I will file this under comfort food. Slightly spicy, light delicious, something you snuggle up in bed on a cold day to eat.

    Utazi is a beautiful aromatic herb and i love the fragrance and the bitterness of it.

    I wanted to make a okra peppersoup and i thought it would taste great to pair the heat of the pepper with utazi.


    Recipe

    Ingredients

    • 250g Cod Fish (You can use any fish of your choice)
    • 2 Large carbs
    • 2 snails
    • 1/2 cup small shrimps
    • 2 tsp of peppersoup spice
    • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
    • 5 Medium sized Okra
    • 2 green scotch bonnet
    • 2 yellow scotch bonnet
    • 5 Utazi leaves
    • 1 (4cups) litre water
    • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
    • Salt to taste
    • 1 tsp Achi powder (optional)

    Instructions

    • Clean and cut your fish into sizes you like. Clean up the rest of your seafood and the snails.
    • Clean your okra, peppers and utazi
    • Cut the okra and the peppers into slices

    • Cut your Utazi into thin slices.

    • Put your fish and snail in a pot, add the pepper soup spice, cayenne pepper, salt, bouillon cubes, with two cups of water. Add half of your pepper slices
    • Cook with lid on, on medium heat till the fish is cooked. Give the snail at least 5 mins headstart before you add the fish.
    • When the fish and snail is cooked add the rest water, bring to a simmer. If you are using achi, add it now.
    • Add your crabs, and the okra. Cook for 3 mins then add the shrimps, utazi and rest peppers. Cook for an additional 3 mins and take it off the heat.

    Now serve and tuck in!!!!

    Look how gorgeous