Tuesday, February 4, 2014

From Scratch

I'll always remember a quote from one of my favorite books Little Women: "necessity is the mother of invention." Or something like that. And it is indeed true! Now that I am learning to do without many things I could once buy, my housekeeper and I have concocted ways of making things ourselves. Here are a few of our favorites:

Chocolate Syrup
1 1/2 c water
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c cocoa
1 dash of salt
1 t vanilla

Combine water, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a saucepan. Whisk together on low heat until mixture thickens and begins to simmer. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

The milk tastes really different here and Graham won't drink it. On a trip to Kampala I found and bought (at a ridiculous price) a bottle of Hershey's chocolate syrup and started making him chocolate milk everyday. When it ran out I found this recipe and filled the Hershey's bottle back up so he can still have his daily milk.

Pancake Syrup
1 3/4 c white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1 c water
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t maple flavoring

Combine sugars and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook for 1 minute. Cool slightly. Add vanilla and maple flavoring. Cover saucepan for a few minutes as syrup cooks to melt down crystals.

You can *usually* buy pancake syrup here in Mbale. But it's about $6.00 per bottle. I got this recipe from a great cookbook called From One Kitchen to Another that was compiled by east African missionary wives. You do have to get the maple flavoring from the US though. I've found that this recipe tastes just like the store-bought kind.

6 c tomatoes with juice, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
6 chilies, chopped
4 T vinegar
4 t garlic salt
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 T sugar
2 T salt
2 t black pepper
1 t ground corriander
1 T cumin
1/2 chopped cilantro

Mix all ingredients together and simmer over low heat until veggies are tender.

I LOVE THIS RECIPE. I got it from my friend Jill and the first time Betty made it I thought I'd died and gone to heaven, our house smelled so good. Mexican is one type of food that we can do really well here in Uganda, and this salsa is the icing on the cake for me. 

I would love to hear any of your "from scratch" recipes you've used and love!

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