“He’s a vegetarian, Mom.”


“That’s okay, I serve lamb.”  (My Big Fat Greek Wedding”)


Yesterday, as Bill already noted, we flew to Kisumu and then drove to Bishop Kodia’s family home in Asembo where we relaxed and enjoyed the cool afternoon breezes off of Lake Victoria.

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A discussion about the dinner menu was  had, and we approved of the suggestion that we have lamb.  Janepher has a very modern kitchen complete with a gas stove and oven and she wanted to learn how to roast lamb.  All meat is usually boiled or fried and the one time she tried roasting lamb it came out so dry no one wanted to eat it.  Bill is usually the meat specialist in our house, but I remembered some basic roasting principles, so I figured we could wing it.


Now we are are in Western Kenya and lamb does not come neatly pre-packaged from the local grocer.  A lamb was optioned (I’m not sure from where) and a man was hired to kill and butcher the lamb.  This all occurred behind the house while I relaxed in the front yard with Janepher.  (She doesn’t like to watch butchering, she doesn’t kill chickens either….a woman after my own heart.)


I was presented with a large pot of lamb pieces and asked which we should roast. I pointed to a hind-quarter leg of lamb, which happened to be on top.  The rest of the lamb went outside where it was  cooked by more traditional methods, in pots over low wood  fires.


Janepher does not have what we would consider to be a traditional roasting pan, but her oven is equipped with racks and a couple of trays.  We improvised.  We also improvised a rub of crushed minced garlic, salt, beef marsala spice mix, salt, cinnamon, black pepper and a touch of chili pepper.


So now the trick was to roast the lamb thoroughly but in such an way that it would remain moist.  The oven knobs have no temp measurements on them, so…we pre-heated the oven with the heat all the way up until we felt the heat hit us in the face when we opened the oven door.  The we turned the heat down to minimum, which is the setting Janepher uses for baking a cake and slid the lamb in.  We checked the lamb periodically, turning the heat up a little bit about halfway through until it seemed done and then had it rest under foil for 15 minutes before having Bill carve it. It was perfect:  just a hint of pink close to the bone, but moist and reasonably easy to carve.


We sat down to Rice, Greens, “African Cake” (Ugali), Roast Lamb AND, stewed lamb, fried lamb and sweetbreads (lamb organs) which  had been cooked outside.  A feast, although I gave the sweetbreads a pass.

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We have moved on to Bishop Okullu College where we are staying for the next few days while Bill works on their computer lab.  As always when we come to Eastern Africa power issues presented challenges, but they seem to be resolved now.


And now, as we are relaxing by ourselves for the evening, we are going to watch a video!


Good night.

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