October 23, 2008 by ceeceejaye
Two evenings ago I was invited (ok commanded) to cook a meal when Sandra invited some friends over for dinner.
Now me and cooking are almost strangers to each other, barely on nodding terms, but if in doubt my reliable old standby is chilli.
First job then….buy the ingredients. Err well … this is the Seychelles and so we had a major shopping expedition on our hands. No one shop seems to stock all of your needs, so a bit of a trek ensued. One shop for meat, another shop for tinned ingredients and yet another for red kidney beans.
There are NO supermarkets as such in the Seychelles and after what seemed to me to be a major shopping event I eventually gave up on the red kidney beans and although forewarned by Sandra, I gave up on the fruitless ( or should that be vegetableless? )search for celery also.
So we arrived home from shopping with at least most of the required ingredients, red kidney beans being substituted by white haricots at a pinch. And on to a new experience in my Seychellois chilli making experience…
DO NOT believe the pictures on the front of the tins. Aha…my tinned aubergines and courgettes have become transformed into . .peas, well mostly peas. There are some unidentifiable soft white pieces of something lurking in the bottom of the tin which may or may not be the aforesaid courgettes and aubergines and a taste test doesn’t help as they have none….
So Ok.., onwards and upwards and I now find my tins of mixed tomatoes and mushrooms seem to be missing the mushrooms. Likewise the tomatoes with parsley seem mysteriously herbless as well….oh well no herbs but at least we had the foresight to buy some separate tins of mushrooms which luckily do turn out to be….actually mushrooms. Joy.
So on to the cooking part of the process….this is also great fun as Sandra’s kitchen is like an Aladdin’s cave to me of which I am totally clueless and Sandra is frequently asked things such as “Hey Sandra….Where’s the saucepan. Hey Sandra, where’s the spatula.” Etc etc.. but Sandra is a darling and points them out for me patiently.
Mostly right in front of my eyes all the time too.
Let the cooking commence then and aided by a supply of Seybrew (the local beer and actually quite pleasant) I commence the chilli. Some different ingredients I know but it surprisingly turns out quite well.
Actually, they both turn out quite well as I am doing a vegetarian edition for the non-carnivores who are coming also. Oh I get chilli face of course, but this always happens with me, I should learn not to chop chilli peppers and then rub my face after, and soon my face, in particular my eyelids, feel as if I have acquired mild sunburn.
The chilli seems to go down quite well with Sandra and her guests and I am pleased to report that all
of them survived the experience. Would I do it again? Hell yes, it was all actually good fun and well,
I will keep a weather eye out for red kidney beans, just in case.