A diary & a notebook for writing

It is wise for  a writer to always keep a pencil, pen, hardcopy diary, and a small note-book, which can fit easily into a handbag, etc. My note-book is so small that it fits also into my pockets. I make notes in my note-book as soon as something appeals to my writing senses. Thus, I carry my note-book wherever I go. It is a lifestyle for me to carry a note-book. Besides, I write my personal quotes into my  note-book as often as I can.

I also think that keeping a hard copy diary makes it easy to have access to a writing tool when possible. Each time I want to write something immediately, I simply do so without using my laptop or struggling to reach one. If you have an Ipad, or a mini laptop, you can keep a diary for easy access. I have two systems of keeping a diary:  the electronically generated diaries and hardcopy diaries…

Next Month, we are taking a different route, we shall begin writing a story…a short story for both adults and children…

Cheers,

Chipo

A Kitchen-note

This week’s special menu: South African Local Food

Our accommodation officer gave me this special local food for South Africans. She said that it is eaten with a little salt. I am excited about it. It gives me yet another opportunity this week tasting local food in South Africa. So, I froze it because I want to experiment with it on Sunday. I have never tasted it before, but it looks like eddos (a local potato-like crop in the South east of Liberia). If you have any interesting ideas about the different styles of cooking this food, share it with me. I love diverse food tastes.

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Grill-Cooked Chicken

As I said earlier, you can use the remaining of the Butternut-vegetable mixture for several other dishes. In the dish below, I used it to marinate chicken, added hot chilli and cider vinegar, and cooked it in the oven-grill for 1 hour with the lid on. Make sure that the  oven baking dish has a lid on. It is important for tenderising, and keeping the aroma within the chicken. Ha! It produces a unique taste and aroma. Try it! The term grill-cooked chicken means a chicken, which is boiled from the oven as opposed to cooking it in a pot on  top of a stove ring.

Method:

  • Put the chicken in the baking dish, add the left over butternut and vegetable mixture, and soak it completely into this mixture, ensuring that the mixture gets into the chicken flesh

      Marinating source 

  • Add hot chilli to make it very hot (optional); or any other hot spice like black pepper

                                              Fresh-green hot chilli

  • Add 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar, and mix well with your fingers rubbing into the chicken flesh

   1 tablespoon of vinegar

  • Put the lid on (because you are not roasting the chicken into crispy, you want a chicken with a tender flesh), thus, put it in the oven to grill it at 120 degrees. Make sure you turn it with a wooden spoon at least twice.

With the lid on

 

Voila! It is done…sizzling taste and flavour

  • Put it on a bed of spinach and eat it with anything (rice, potatoes, Nshima, etc)

 

Juicy Chicken for you today

That is what I have in my Kitchen today,  enjoy

@ 2012 March 28, Chipo Muponisi

CHICKEN IN BUTTERNUT & VEGETABLE SOUP

Ingredients

  • Chicken (upper drum stick) marinated in ginger, garlic, and little salt
  • ¼ Butternut
  • ½ green pepper (Or any other green vegetable)
  • ½ yellow pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 raw hot chili
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 leveled teaspoon of butter
  • ¼ chicken cub

Method

  • 1. Roast Chicken

After marinating the chicken-drumstick for 30 minutes, remove the chicken skin (optional), and grill it in the oven for about 45 minutes at 120°C. Then, boil the remaining chicken stock for 10 minutes on high temperature to kill the salmonella germs.

  • 2. Boil Rice

Then, boil the rice according to your taste. Add butter and a ¼ chicken cub when it is about to get ready, and mix well, and continue boiling until the water finishes completely.

  • 3.      Prepare Butternut-vegetable Soup
  • Wash thoroughly all vegetables before chopping them.

  • Use a blender to grate each vegetable separately. I say grate because you need to feel the vegetable flakes in your mouth as you eat the soup. Grating is optional.

  • Do not blend vegetables into a fine paste except for butternut and tomatoes. It is important to blend butternut into a paste because it is the main ingredient, which thickens the soup, and the tomatoes work as a fluid to soften all ingredients. Butternut is again important because it sweetens the soup, and prevents a sharp taste of onion and green pepper, and the sourly taste of tomatoes.

  • After chopping all ingredients separately, mix them into a jar with a wooden soup. Remember not to mash them into a fine paste. Simply mix them.

  • Scoop 2 ½ half tablespoons only to make soup for 1 chicken-drumstick. Make sure the spoons are full.

  • Preserve immediately the remaining butternut-vegetable mixture in the refrigerator. You can use it for any other meal. It works perfectly like any other tomato paste, which you have to cook because of the butternut. Do not forget to put the rest of the mixture into a tight container, and wrap it into a foil paper before putting it in a refrigerator. The remaining mixture can serve 6 extra chicken-drumsticks.

  • Put very little oil into a saucepan, and add the 2 ½ tablespoon of the butternut-vegetable mixture, mixing well until it starts to boil. Let it boil for at least -4 minutes.

  •  Add the chicken stock to the butternut-vegetable mixture (optional). Let it boil for 2 minutes, while steering well. Remember, if you are using the chicken stock remaining from the marinated chicken, make sure that you boil it well enough before adding it to the butternut-vegetable mixture! Boiling it before use prevents salmonella infection.

  • Add the roasted chicken to the boiling butternut-vegetable mixture. Then, add a little water to lighten the butternut-vegetable soup, and boil for about 3 minutes. NB: I realized towards the end of my recipe that boiling the butternut for 5 minutes, before adding it to the rest of the vegetable mixture, helps prevent over boiling other vegetable ingredients, and it reduces the amount of time to boil all ingredients together.

  • Finally, the Chicken in Butternut-vegetable Soup is ready for eating.

STILL REFLECTING ON SUCCESSFUL WRITING

READING IS CENTRAL TO WRITING

I argue that, at the core of writing, is the art of engaging with other authors through reading. This means that it is very important not only to practice our writing skills, but also to get out of our writing-comfort zones, and explore other people’s written material through reading. This grants us the opportunity to interact with pieces of well written work, care-free written materials, etc. We get to a level, where we improve on our writing, when we are able to find gaps and weaknesses in written material, including our own written pieces of work. There is so much we learn from other writers, and other writing genres such as creative writing in narratives. This is about flexibility, which is also necessary for us to experience the diverse in writing skills that helps to polish one’s writing abilities.

Cheers,

Chipo