#101  
Old 12-30-2009, 10:59 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Masindi, Uganda
Posts: 48
Default Re: Hello from Uganda

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Everyone at this thread!

For those of you having a white Christmas, enjoy the beauty but on the other had you probably aren't using your WFO Here on the equator it is still nice and warm and my WFO is still getting a lot of use--as much as I can find time.Hello from Uganda-janine-using-pizza-ovendoc-size.jpgHere you see me taking out a batch of mango curry pocket pies. I collected the fruits from one of the mango trees by my house (behind my head you can see the trunk). More mangos than I can possibly use even with dehydrating them when I have the time. (Aside from snacks, I plan on putting dried mango in breakfast muffins, yum.) Using some of the fresh fruit, I made mango pocket pies using a recipe from Alton Brown (Good Eats) which were delicious. Hello from Uganda-mango-curry-pocket-piesdocsize.jpg
For Christmas I did a 2 layer cocoa cake in the WFO then frosted it with white buttercream icing and decorated it with red and green piped icing. Sorry no photo but I was in a rush to get it to the Christmas party where it was a big hit. I've also been doing some savory pocket pies, and tonight I used up some leftover fillings by throwning the bits in a quiche.Hello from Uganda-quichedocsize.jpg This quiche included wild spinich, mushrooms, onion, gouda cheese, white sauce and some leftover roast chicken. I know some people are hesitant to do a quiche even in a regular oven, but they are not that tricky and mine cooked just fine in a well heated then somewhat cooled WFO. I'm finding lower heat cooking a bit tricky at times (still haven't remade the door yet) but the quiche worked well with the oven somewhere around 275 - 300 deg F guesstimated. (Ok, so that's not a real word--but it should be). I'm finding that I also need to be careful how much flame is present--actual flame as opposed to heat from embers. I think the flame thows off a lot of radiant heat leading to lots of browning (or burning the top if too much) as opposed to convection and conductive heat from the burning embers. So I am starting to adjust my fire based not only on temperature but on amount of flame to get my desired results. Also, you need to keep in mind how much heat the oven walls/floor have had a chance to store up. The quiche was cooked after the oven had been hot most of the day with other cooking and then had had some time to cool a bit. I kept the flame pretty small and off to the very far left edge of the oven away from the quiche. Getting what you want out of the oven is an artistic sort of thing--part science but a lot of educated instinct too at least for me as I'm flying blind with little.
instrumentation such as those fancy IR thermometers and all. It's pretty fun actually. I still think a nicely made dish in the WFO usually beats what comes out of a typical indoor oven hands-down in taste.
Anybody else play around with the amount of open flame vs non-flame heat (e.g. embers, stored heat)? Of course having an open flame will affect the temperature but I'm finding the relationship more complex. A hot oven with no visible flame doesn't surface-brown food as much as a cooler oven with lots of open flame in my experience. Note that surface-browning is not the same thing as cooking through--so you need to watch both... Please let me know your experiences as I haven't heard anybody talking about this difference.

Your in Christ,
Janine
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  #102  
Old 12-30-2009, 12:16 PM
cannyfradock's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Newport S Wales GB
Posts: 96
Default Re: Hello from Uganda

Hello Janine

Although fairley new to FB forum, I have read your postings from the beginning of your project and I am truly impressed in what you have achieved with the tools and materials "at hand" to build such a beautiful wood-oven. It goes hand in hand with your work in Uganda. You are a true Trojan

Best of luck in 2010 with your culnary creations and good work in your community.

Regards, from a cold and snowy South Wales

Terry (C.F)
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  #103  
Old 12-30-2009, 07:02 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 1,436
Default Re: Hello from Uganda

Hi Janine,
Good to hear from you,, your food looks excellent... I have cooked with retained heat a few times.. I always use a door though, My favorite is porkloin, (see pics) after a night of cooking pizza's I let the oven cool down to about 300 degrees farenheit and put the pork loin in,(around 9:30PM) close the door and take it out in the morning.. best slow cooked pulled pork ever.. I think you need to get your door going again.. May I ask, where you are in Uganda,, are there stores? butcher ? how and where do you if you buy your groceries or are most of your items fresh, home grown, etc,,
Cheers
Mark

Last edited by ThisOldGarageNJ; 08-16-2010 at 05:52 PM.
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  #104  
Old 12-30-2009, 11:29 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Masindi, Uganda
Posts: 48
Default Re: Hello from Uganda

Hi Mark,
Your slow cooked pulled pork looks delicious--you've got my mouth watering here. Yeah, I need to get to the door but have a few projects ahead of it that I need to get done first. When I get to the door I want to readjust the doorway arch a bit--I had a little slippage making the doorway arch a bit uneven; obviously I rushed a bit too much in my impatience to get the oven firing.... oh, well. Everything is fixable of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisOldGarageNJ View Post
May I ask, where you are in Uganda,, are there stores? butcher ? how and where do you if you buy your groceries or are most of your items fresh, home grown, etc,,
Meat such as beef and goat comes from stalls in the market, freshly slaughter and hanging in the open air. If you want pork, you have to go hunting for a pork butcher hidden off away from the market square. Due to the high muslim population pork is kept seperate and in the equivalant of "back alleys," and aside from being "unclean" religously I find the pork butchers a bit dirty at times even by local standards, so obviously I'll make sure to cook it thougoughly.

Fish comes from the surrounding lakes in baskets covered with plant leaves then displayed out in the direct sun on a table. The first time I bought fish here, the fish monger gutted it for me and accidentally the fish slipped and droped in the dirt. "No problem" he said and rinsed it off in a pan of water (obviously used before for cleaning fish guts etc) and bagged it for me. I brought it home, washed and cooked it well and it was delicous and no problems. You have to be a bit flexible about things here-- meat or fish covered with flies, hung without refrigeration etc is just normal life.

As you might imagine, most of my food is actually vegetarian and/or home raised. Let's break down last nights dinner (quiche) to see:

Eggs--I get about 8 to 10 a day from my chickens. Organic, incredibly fresh--can't get better eggs. What I or my staff don't eat usually goes to feed my dog--he gets about 4 eggs a day for protien since he very rarely gets meat. Mostly he eats cornmeal mush and eggs--you have to cook for your dog here instead of buying dog food.Hello from Uganda-jojo1websize.jpg

Flour, salt, baking powder, cheese, spices--from what they call here a "supermarket" which is like an old fashioned mom and pop general store about the size of a small 7-11. Generally here there is not much refrigeration, but the "supermarket" does have a freezer and refrigerator so you can get a selection of about 4 or 5 frozen goods. Cheese here is fairly exotic but I can buy one type of cheese (gouda) frozen fairly regularly. Power here is fairly unreliable, so stores like this need to have a generator to power the cold and that gets pretty expensive in petrol costs so most places don't keep cold items.

Onions, spinich, tomatoes etc-- I grow a number of veggies like onions, lettuce, tomatoes, spinich, collard greens, cucumber, green beans plus basil for seasoning. When not ready in the garden or things I don't have I buy from the market square. The market square is an open market with many stalls mostly selling fresh veggies stacked in piles on the stands or in baskets. Meat hangs open in front of butchers, live chickens in cages, sacks of dried beans, rice, cassava (tapioca) etc. Very colorful, a bit crowded and even a little noisy as people bargain--no prices dispayed and bargaining is very common. At the moment, my tomaotes have suffered from my neighbor's free roaming chickens so I bought some from the market. Virtually everything here is organic, fresh, vine-ripened etc so again wonderful quality. The spinich grows really well here--a local type called "dodo" and I have tons in my garden so used that. I also have two large fields I plant for staples--this season I planted maize, soybeans, red beans and white beans. The maize grew very well, but I lost most of my crop to monkeys--I am next to a swamp where people have recently started planting more land driving the monkeys out and they are running around eating everybodys fields. Despite hiring a guard everyday to chase them away I still lost a majority of the crop. I can't complain too much though because for me that doesn't mean starvation--it is just an annoyance. Soybeans and other beans did quite well.

Hello from Uganda-backyard-chickens-goatsdocsize.jpg Hello from Uganda-grey-baby-goatdocsize.jpg
Chicken--when you raise your own food, you don't slaughter an animal lightly. But from time to time you will want meat, have an extra animal, or want to host someone etc. I had a young rooster who suffered a leg injury (caught by a dog) which never recoved well with him remaining lame. Since he really wasn't going to be useful otherwise he eventually became roast chicken and the leftovers into my quiche. In additon to chickens, I keep a small number of goats and ducks.

So that gives you an idea of food here. You can eat really well here if you can cook. No fast food--made from scratch, additive-free, organic, fresh food is the norm. While I do at times long for a Whopper with Cheese, actually it likely would taste very strange to me now and the additives etc would be hard on my system--still long for one though!

--Janine

Last edited by Janine M. LeGrand; 12-30-2009 at 11:47 PM. Reason: clarity
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  #105  
Old 12-31-2009, 03:14 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 1,436
Default Re: Hello from Uganda

Hi Janine,
wow,, sounds like it could be difficult at times, but also sounds very interesting ..... Once again I applaud you and your efforts.. Did you ever make any progress with the Rocket Stove ?

Thanks for giving us an insight to your world

Cheers
Mark
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  #106  
Old 12-31-2009, 01:33 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Masindi, Uganda
Posts: 48
Default Re: Hello from Uganda

Happy New Year everyone!

I was thinking about Mark's question about where I get my food and I went to the market today to buy a few things so I snapped some photos so you all could see what shopping is like here.

Freshly slaughtered beef arriving at the market:
Hello from Uganda-meat-coming-marketdocsize.jpg

The beef being hung for sale. You might notice the stomach is also being carried in for sale--offal is part of people's diet here:
Hello from Uganda-meat-market1-copydocsize.jpg

Fish is mostly tilapia with some nile perch and a sort of catfish:
Hello from Uganda-fish-market2docsize.jpg

Lots of veggies of course:
Hello from Uganda-cabbages-marketdoc-size.jpg

I went in the middle of the day when the market is not particularly crowded, but there are still people milling about, shopping and kids playing. Half of the population here is under 15 years of age so there are kids everywhere:
Hello from Uganda-children-marketdocsize.jpg

Hope the picture brought this a bit more to life for you--it is hard to describe things well with only words.

---Janine
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  #107  
Old 12-31-2009, 02:41 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: Hello from Uganda

Happy New Year Janine! (and all fellow Forno Bravo addicts!)!

Your story has been inspirational to many of us! Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!
Jay
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  #108  
Old 12-31-2009, 05:25 PM
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Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,208
Default Re: Hello from Uganda

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Happy New Year, Janine!
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  #109  
Old 01-02-2010, 03:53 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 1,436
Default Re: Hello from Uganda

Hi Janine,
Thanks for showing us around, though it must be difficult at times.... It in a way sounds very appealing to live in such a simple way (simple but difficult) Hope all remains well for you and would love to see more pics of your "neighborhood" Good luck to you and your mission in the new year !!!
Cheers
Mark
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  #110  
Old 01-02-2010, 11:34 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Masindi, Uganda
Posts: 48
Default Re: Hello from Uganda

Hi Mark,

You're quite right that this simple life does have a lot of appeal--it is a good way to live despite some real hardships at times. God's plans for us are for good and He prepares and chooses us for things based on how He made us, so this is the right life for me. He also is with us through the hard parts, strenghtening, enouraging and at times guiding us if we just listen to Him.

Here are a few more pics from here. The first is some members of a church group in a program called "Family Life Program" which I am working with. Here some women show off a low-firewood stove which they learned to build through the program. By reducing the amount of wood used for cooking there is less of a burden financially to buy wood or they save a lot of time by not having to gather so much wood. (Also help reduce deforestation, too) I have done a number of teachings such as clean water, nutrition etc with this program. I am also working with the leader of this particular local group to try to build a "rocket stove" (See earlier in this thread--here is where I found out about those) and will meet with him again on Thursday.Hello from Uganda-hi-five-cookinglowfirewoodstovedocsize.jpg

In the next picture I am teaching on nutrition at a local church:
Hello from Uganda-teaching-nutrition-local-church.jpg

Below, I am working with a group of church leaders who did a course on sanitation--here we were making it practical by rebuilding a latrine.Hello from Uganda-dtc-latrine-repair2docsize.jpg

It is not all work of course, and here is a picture of some elephants I saw when I went up to the conservation area on the Nile River. Also, no pictures on the computer yet but for New Year's Day I went to see some White Rhinos--got within about 20 feet of them while on foot. Pretty amazing!
Hello from Uganda-elephant-triodocsize.jpg

--Janine
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