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Join me as I share my thoughts, my world and my days with you. From recipes (I love cooking), to success nuggets and the word of God; I will be sharing with you keys to success, long life and yes...good cooking!

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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Crunchy Nigerian Chin-chin

So, here I was trying to make chin-chin. I made one batch and while it was nice it certainly wasn't as crunchy as I liked it. Tried again, no difference. Then I came across this recipe, and it made the tastiest crunchiest chin-chin ever and guess what? I didn't use egg! I am munching as I type and enjoying it. This was my first time trying chin-chin without egg (first time I'd heard of it even) and it came out really nice (not my words!.) This took me about 1hr 30 mins to 1hr 45 mins no joke. So...Here it is, enjoy!

What you'll need: 

800g of plain flour
60ml of milk or 1 egg & 40ml of milk
160g of granulated sugar (ground finely in a dry mill)
100g of Margarine
1.5 tsp of nutmeg
Vegetable/ Sunflower oil (for frying)

What to do:

1. Mix the sugar and milk (and egg if using) together and leave to soak. (Original recipe I used said without egg, I used egg and milk by second attempt and it came out crunchy still!)

(egg, milk and sugar)                          (milk and sugar)

2. In another bowl, mix the flour and ground nutmeg.


3. Then rub in the butter with your fingers until the flour is smooth and there are no lumps.


4. Add the sugar/milk mixture to the flour and mix until it forms a smooth dough. The dough will be a bit hard/ stiff. Do not add more liquid no matter how tempted you are, maybe just a few drops to ensure the dough forms if it still seems crumbly.

5. Roll out the dough gently using a rolling pin until it is flat.

6. Cut the dough into sizes as you desire.

7. Line a colander with newspaper. Fry in hot oil and drain in the colander. 

(without egg)

(with egg)

Leave it to cool, store in an airtight container and enjoy at your leisure!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony...a question of culture.

So, the long awaited London 2012 Olympics is under way. Gold medals are already being won and controversies have already cropped up. I just think some of these controversies are sour grapes but that’s not what I’m discussing today. I’m looking at the Olympics opening ceremony.

Now, I will agree a few bits didn’t quite interest me such as the readings and some of the music. However, credit to where it is due, I think Danny Boyle (Emmy award winning Director of Emmy Award winning movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’) did a fantastic job. From the changing scenes, to the lighting effects and the fireworks, Mr. Bean and the Queen’s arrival and of course the delicious sexy dish that is David Beckham on a speedboat. it was stunning in quite a few bits. I fully applaud his effort to pay tribute to the people who while the in most vital of professions are often the most underappreciated – the National Health Service (NHS), Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) even the Creator of the world wide web...who I must confess I never knew was British. For me by far the most poignant and significant of moments was the choice to hand over the torch to the ‘next generation’ to light the cauldron. That showed to me that Danny Boyle ensured that the people who mattered participated.

While I agree that it could potentially have been a bit more entertaining in bits, certain statements I have heard about Brits lacking culture actually make me laugh out loud. Let’s look at it this way, what makes up culture:
  • Family, social classes (occupation, rank, status): Most family structure today is father, mother and children except for same sex couples, and of course extended family. Then the social classes. Every single country in the world has upper-class families, middle class and lower class families). Guess who pioneered this? Well the first ever documentation of the term ‘Middle class’ was in James Bradshaw’s 1745 pamphlet Scheme to prevent running Irish Wools to France. Guess what nationality he was....shock, horror – British.
  • Rules of behaviour: there are so many ‘polite’ things you must do. For e.g everyone stands for the singing of the Hallelujah chorus the world over, guess why? Well, according to Wikipedia, <<the custom of standing for the "Hallelujah" chorus originates from a belief that, at the London premiere, King George II did so, but there is no convincing evidence that the king was present, or that he attended any subsequent performance of Messiah; the first reference to the practice of standing appears in a letter dated 1756.>> A British tradition among many that is replicated the world over.
  • Language: This one is obvious ‘innit’? Majority of the world speaks the British traditional language ‘English’, it only fairly recently that French started gaining prominence but still not on par with English. Also the ‘normal’ shirts and skirts and trousers you usually wear if you were not aware are typical English attire. Most of the ‘so-called pop music’ you listen to is composed by British musicians...the Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney, Elton John, Spice Girls etc. That is their traditional music that is listened to the world over.
  • Religion: Well most people again are Christians and quite a few nations e.g US and Nigeria’s constitutions and anthems among others are based on Christianity. If you were not aware Christianity was spread by the British missionaries.
  • Forms of government: again quite a few countries including Nigeria base their constitutions on the British constitution.
  • Economic systems: Well every country has a stock exchange, office/ blue collar work etc. That’s based on ancient British ‘customs’. Banks are typically British.

(Now before you ask ‘what of the US?’ note that the US of A was colonized by England...yes. The true owners of North American land are the ‘Native Americans or ‘Native Indians’. Pretty much all you see in America is English and amix of other cultures)

Also, culture is changed in a variety of ways one of which is technology. Were you aware that one of the greatest technological advancements of all time (arguably the greatest) – the world wide web – was designed by a British Man?

What am I getting at? Look around you. Without realizing it, you live, speak, eat (sometimes), operate and act British. This somewhat unassuming island that is UK has pretty much succeeded in indoctrinating the world in British culture – even USA – and the world does not know it. So next time you go accusing the British of having no culture, take a deep long look around you, yep, you are living English at least 50% of the time. I have to doff my hat to their ancestors they were smart. So stop being ‘ethnocentric’ (judging other cultures by the standards of yours). Their culture may not be as flamboyant as some but it has shown itself to be the most adaptable and widely known and accepted. #Food for thought.

(And for those who want to bring the slavery argument here, no-one forced your ancestors to trade their people in for goods, did they? Yes some were kidnapped/ captured but much as is done today all that was needed would have been some way of ensuring better preparedness against the captures and if necessary for war much like the Native Americans fought not just lying down and giving up. You see one can not take from you what you don’t give them authority to. Even a thief or a robber coerces you to give up authority by force before he can steal. It is easy to blame them but please tell me why the ancestors didn’t plan and fight back? Oh yeah...GREED.)

For me, London 2012 opening ceremony was a show to celebrate the best of British. The wonderfully bonkers, sometimes funny (I have always loved Mr. Bean), imperfect as is everyone, seemingly understated compared to others but still deeply cultured country that is Great Britain. I may not subscribe to everything that is British, but I do respect the nation for the strides it has achieved and urge them to vote in somebody else as the Prime Minister post-haste!

Someone...(or someTHING) has the Olympic spirit!

Dear Husband...a word if I may (part 2)

Yes, protect her because as strong as she is, if she breaks it will be fatal or very debilitating. If a rib breaks you can almost be sure that it will puncture one of the internal organs. Men, if your wife breaks, you can be sure you will feel the effect and it will be painful. If the rib is bruised it will inhibit movement and be very uncomfortable. If she’s uncomfortable, you should be, if she’s hurting, hurt with her and care for her. Be careful what you say because as strong as she is, hurt her enough times and she will eventually break.
Men, if your rib is bruised, the whole body will give testament to the pain. Same. You want to know the value of your woman? Look at how your house survives when she is ill or away or down. If your rib is hurting, you don’t start saying why did you allow blah blah to happen, you simply sit or lie down and take it easy till they are healed. If you have a rib injury there is always an external force responsible and you will always attribute the injury to that external force. Dear husband, why then do you insist on blaming and berating your wife for everything? Sometimes, an ‘I hope you are ok’ is better than’ But I told you not to do that’. It takes two to tango, you know? From time to time she also needs to relax and have a vacation. She needs a break sometimes. Don’t forget to thank and appreciate her. Do you know that being a mother and wife is about the most thankless job you can ever imagine.
We want to please you, so please appreciate us. Let us know that our labour of love is appreciated. There is nothing so sad as an under-appreciated woman. Sometimes, all we need you to do is hold us in your big strong arms and we’ll be alright. 

And, hey don’t forget...Love conquers all!

And for those of you men who think the perfect man doesn't exist, here's irrefutable proof that he does!