Ladies of Exhale; Lydia, Shanna, Wachuka, Tesha (Gathoni is taking the photo)
The idea of Soul Food Sunday was born out of a conversation on Twitter between Shanna and I on a loose Tuesday, while swapping recipes. It was a way for us to share a passion for food, while getting everyone together. Over the past few years, we all seem to have drifted in different directions and save for birthdays, weddings etc we hardly see each other. So Soul Food Sunday was our way of staying in each others lives! A couple of weeks ago, the ladies of Exhale (our chama) and the honourary member Tyrone met at Avalon for a meeting to plan the SFS, decide on the dates and venues. It did turn out to be a bit of a catch up session with lots of wine and some of us leaving there at 3am. let’s not even talk about that!
Vic and Shanna, our lovely hosts
The date was set for the 18th September, the host would be Shanna, Victor and baby Kui at their home. Shanna sent out the menu via twitter and we were all excited! mostly because there was going to be a whole lot of pork (we can all agree we all love pork). We were also pleasantly surprised to find out that SFS was creating such a buzz in Nairobi! Who knows it might turn out to be bigger than we can imagine.. We ladies arrived early-ish, armed with wine to start cooking! For some reason Shanna and I didn’t get the memo, because everyone turned up in white! you gotta love the idea of wearing white and your coming to cook, true diva style huh?. So there was a lot of kikoy wrapping for those in white.
Tesha showing off her Kikoy
Shanna was ever the organised one, and had prepped everything beforehand and made the salads! something i doubt the rest of us will be able to do! With wine bottles opened, the rest of the food left to cook, and plenty of stories (mostly giggling) we began our Sunday. The boys sat outside, and occasionally, actually every 5 minutes Njuguna or Vic would come in for tasting! So here is the menu Shanna set for us:
Bacon wrapped pork roast
Stir fry ginger beef
Basil chicken in coconut curry
Creamed Spinach with bacon
Indian style rice
Vic’s birthday cake
Now you tell me you wouldn’t be excited about this menu! Of course the favourite was the bacon wrapped pork, which I personally saw to!
We all did a little bit of everything, we all watched each others food, we all tasted each others food, and of course we added wine to everyone’s food! Yes we added a lot of wine to everything!! That’s just how us ladies roll.
So Garlic bread was made by Tesha, Lydia and Gathoni, and although it came out a little burnt, a consequence of us gossiping too much and forgetting things were in the oven! Gathoni had the great job of scraping the burnt bits off… and serving huge jagerbombs!
Gathoni pouring us Jagerbombs
Lydia and Tesha
Buffalo wings were made by Wachuka, these bad boys were reminiscent of the wings they serve at Gipsy’s, but less greasier! These ones were fantastic, i think half of them were eaten in the kitchen!
Wachuka and her chicken wings
The Bacon-wrapped Pork was attended to by yours truly! The pork may well have been the deciding factor in us choosing to start SFS. I mean, getting everyone together over some swine can only serve to make our bond stronger, or fatter depending on how you look at it! I took great pleasure in rolling the pork in bacon, a most natural and precise way of roasting pork, i think.
Stir fry Ginger beef was done by Wachuka and Shanna. Done in two parts, as there was a quantity issue. The mix between Shanna’s batch and Wachuka’s batch was super! All the flavours were sublime. They added green pepper to the recipe, as Shanna said, beef and green peppers were meant to be together!
Stir-fry Ginger Beef
Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce. I’ll say it again, Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce. Now, take a moment and just imagine all those flavours, coconut and basil all over chicken like a hormonal teenager (excuse me for that one); simple, warm, fuzzy and exciting all at the same time! Shanna made this one, and boy did she make it well. We all helped too, we tasted about half the pot before it even made it out to be served! After the pork, this was the one that did it for me.
Marinating the Chicken
The side dishes, we all chimed in… For the Creamed Spinach with bacon; Wachuka cut the bacon, and although tried to cut the fat out, we threw it in while she wasnt looking! Lydia and Tesha washed and cut the spinach, well at least Lydia tried to shred it before Ciku (Kui’s general manager) showed us how its done! *see picture below*
Ciku shredding the cabbage
Roast Potatoes were done by Shanna. This is her own recipe. short and sweet:
Potatoes, cut lengthways in wedges
a few glugs of olive oil
Salt & pepper
Toss the potatoes in oil & vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour in to a roasting tin for 40-45min. we used the tin that had the Buffalo wings, allowing the potatoes to soak up the leftover juices from the chicken.
I would advise to par-boil the potatoes before you roast them, saving you roasting time and getting them all evenly cooked.
Baby Kui helped with the potatoes
The Indian-style rice was prepared earlier by Shanna, as well as the Guacamole and a Pasta Salad…
Oh, almost forgot the Potato Salad, also made by Shanna…. Superwoman right??
Then we had Vic’s birthday cake, which we served after countless bottles of wine, and i think we had ‘smashed’ a bottle of Jose Cuervo! The cake was baked by Shanna (again with the superwoman behaviour). The icing was done by myself and Shanna, a little bit tipsy at this point but made with love! I’m not going to disclose Vic’s age but he did make an excellent birthday boy (and host)!
At some point in the night, Njuguna made Vodka-soaked watermelons, which to be honest I cannot remember! but I hear they were good, and the sort to make you do a fugly face!
And there it is… Our very first Soul Food Sunday!
Thank you’s go out to:
To the Ladies of Exhale for cooking and for the great company, the kids for great source of entertainment. And of course, to the boys! For eating our food, supporting us and bringing the booze! (Please bring more next time)
Nyawira and her mummy enjoying cake
Ganjo, Jeff and Kabogo
Njuguna, all white err'thing!
Mulunda doing what he does best!
To Shanna, Victor and Kui we say a huge Thank You for hosting us! letting us run wild in your garden… You have set the standard for SFS, and ladies the bar has been set high!
Shanna, I am grateful to you for making this happen! We can only grow and get bigger with Soul Food Sunday!
Next one is in October… I will be the host! Stay tuned for the details!
Check out more photos <a href=”