April 12, 2015

Finding Our Way Around Bamako

 Adeel, being cool

 Mobile hand-washing stations set up in nearly all restaurant, following the Ebola oubreak

 Our eggs come with extra chicken goo and feathers

 Goats and donkeys roam free in the city

 Hashing (a running and walking group) is a great way to visit those rarely visited places in Bamako

 A cute little Malian child.  He was excited to see us.  
He even offered his hand to Adeel for a handshake

 About 45 minutes from Bamako is Le Campement, a simple but elegant "resort" in a remote neighborhood

 Plastic bags and trash litter the Bamako landscape everywhere

We found a neat little marketplace close to our house. Although hygiene wasn't the best, and the vegetables have to be bleached and washed several times over.

 Pirogue along the Niger River

 A typical menu at a Malian Restaurant

 Our local Chinese restaurant.  The Chinese have really settled into Africa (where they were non-existent 10 years ago), giving us more dinner-time choices

Live chickens for sale

Dorothee and Adeel enjoying sodas after a hard walk

April 06, 2015

Dairy in Africa

One of the things I was dreading about going to Mali, was the lack of dairy products.  Being 1/2 French, cheese, milk, crème fraiche and all derivatives thereof are nectars of the Gods to me. 

In Senegal and Congo, I remember not being able to get fresh milk, and the cheese seemed to be way beyond my budget...

Though I haven't yet attempted to buy the milk in plastic bags yet, I have been surprised by the quality of yogurt "Mali Lait" makes.  Frankly, they are good -- in fact, they are much nicer than the ones in the States.  Lightly sweetened with sugar, strawberry, vanilla, or plain, they have a nice rich texture to them, and taste fresh.

Today, I bought Nido Powdered Milk and experimented with making dairy products at home.  Daunted by the task at hand (I had a pretty unsuccessful try about 10 years ago in Senegal), my Father-in-Law makes his own Greek-style yogurt and has assured me several times that it couldn't be simpler.


I will post my attempts at making various dairies with recipes, but in the meantime, check out this Palak Paneer I concocted using powdered milk:

Straining the curds and whey through a coffee filter (I didn't even know what those where and why Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating and seemingly enjoying them)

Tada, Palak Paneer (although, in the interest of honesty, this is an Indian dish, so you know there's 23 steps with hard-to-to-find spices before it gets to the completion stage...Fortunately, our air shipment with spices, arrived about a week ago)