Natural history adventures sailing the culinary seas...

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Green Homes

Leaf-cutter bees (Genus: Megachile) are absolutely awesome! Have you gone into your garden or bit of wilderness and seen leaves with perfectly cut circular or semi-circular holes in them?  That's the leaf-cutter bees at work. They carefully stick these bits of leaves together to form the most beautiful, neat and complex nests. Gorm, Mr Dal's Phd partner, has been putting out paper tubes to attract wasps to nest in them. One morning we were called by an excited Gorm to come see this amazing construction inside one of his tubes. With his permission I share this photo with you.

The puppy that adopted us was very ill. We haven't even known him for very long but it is surprising how quickly we fall in love. After some frantic calls to all the vets we know and some medication he seems to be doing fine. Here is Casper, the puppy with Bruce, his mama (we didn't name them).

Janet lives on the same hill as us. We are very lucky indeed as she makes mean chapatis.  I always thought chapatis were an Indian thing but they are very popular all over Kenya. They are made slightly differently though. Make your dough with 1 kg of wheat flour, warm water and lots of salt for 13-14 fat chapatis. Knead it till its quite soft. Then make three huge balls and roll them out. Put oil all over them and cut them into four strips each. Then each strip gets rolled into a smaller ball. Then roll these balls out into round chapatis about 3-4 mm thick and 6-7 inches wide. Now heat your pan and put a spoon of oil on it. Cook your chapatis on both sides with sufficient oil. When they have big brown spots on them they will be ready. They obviously taste so good because people here are not worried about oil consumption! :)

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