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Food for Thought

This week on “Cooking with Katie” (aka “Eating with Katie”):

We have found the beauty in buying and pasteurizing local milk. Prior to now, we bought all of our milk in bags in the capital, but frankly the milk tasted like the hind end of a cow. Not so appetizing. Most of us have just given up on drinking milk by the glassful and have relegated it for cooking and cereal eating purposes only. Sometimes, we have even stooped so low as to buy $4/liter UHT milk in the capital that is imported from another country. That is how much we did not like what we could get here. The thought occurred to me that perhaps the taste was coming from the processing and not from the cows themselves. Maybe not all milk here had to taste like the hind end of a cow. Maybe if we bought milk in our town, we could pasteurize it ourselves and not have the nasty taste. So, we tried. We sent our guard to the market with an empty plastic water bottle and he came back with our milk for $1 a liter. Not refrigerated of course. We pasteurized it, strained it, and then let it chill so that I could scrape the cream off the top for my coffee. What we were left with is a delicious oh-so-drinkable whole milk product. Heather pretty much downs it by the gallon. I reserve my milk drinking to be coupled with hot-from-the-oven-brownies.

Now, this is how milk should be drunk!

And for all of you who were wondering how the processed-at-home-chickens turned out when I cooked them (that would mainly just be my mom), let me give you a little update. My sweet, sweet Mother informed me on the phone after my blog post about frying them up, that you don’t fry laying hens. My initial reaction went a little something like this:

But, seeing as how she is such a smart, intelligent lady and only wants my good, I figured I should probably listen to her and give up my dreams of fried chicken. I pressure cooked the first chicken for 25 minutes only to be left with a still unedible product. I literally pried the meat off the bones with a fork. For chicken #2, I did a bit more research on how to cook laying hens and decided to braise it. I braised that sucker for 5 hours, and was left with a delicious smelling and tasting, tender chicken. A lot of work for a few bites of chicken, but now we at least know it is possible. We will most likely stick to buying our chickens in the capital though and not butchering them in our backyard. Oh, the things I learn in Africa.

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