thanksgiving africa styles.

I dedicate this entry to sammi smith.

1. because I have now vanquished the pests you always feared, first hand and in abundance. And…
2. because I have also become the cook extraordinaire, you and the food network, always hoped I might be for the past two years we lived together.

A few Saturdays ago, it was becoming increasingly clear that we had a cockroach problem. After a june-bug-thought-cockroach incident at 383 queen west two summers ago, (which caused hours of google-image-searching to ensue), I have become quite the expert on distinguishing what is and what is not this dreaded insect. And we most definitely had roaches.

One day there was one. The next day there were twenty. However, the last straw was the day Kathryn woke up to a roach nearly two inches in length beside her pillow. So the war was on. My pacifist ideals set aside for a day.

The first item on the agenda was to gut the kitchen; a dimly lit closet of a room, with wooden shelves running the length of one wall, two petrol burners on cinderblocks and a sink that drains onto the floor (this was before the glorious addition of a bar fridge and toaster oven last Wednesday). They scattered with every object removed. Black streams pouring over edges. Encampments within precarious stacks of dishes. Families in paper bags. Six or more under each egg. Cinder blocks the equivilent of an apartment complex.

Equipt with cans of BOP (the African version of Raid), bandanas, fly swatters and a giant bottle of bleach, we won the war – after hours of washing everything on the lawn.

Now... we suspect that rats are living (and fighting?) in the ceiling.

In other news, to everyone's suprise (specifically ours) we had a thanksgiving dinner! Granted it took place in shorts on a humid monday evening, but thanksgiving none the less! Using our joke of a kitchen - now cockroach free - Kathryn and I managed to cook up a dinner for seven; including a honey glazed ham, stuffing, brown sugar carrots, curried green beans, apple & japanese plum chutney, mashed potatoes, french rolls, hot apple cider, and our crowning achievement of not one, but two, PUMPKIN PIES from scratch. Who knew pumpkins even exist in africa? Although, I think we may have found the only one.

We were regular 1950's housewives. Although, I doubt those women had a sing-a-long to the weakerthans while they cooked.

In conclusion we have established that we are a cooking powerhouse, and upon returning to canada, will be the ultimate canoe-tripping, camping duo.

It was hard being away from home, when my entire family was at the cottage together for the first time in six years. There was definitely more then one moment where all I wanted was to be bundled in a sweater and toque, lying on the dock. A crisp fall day, the forest the colour of fire. But I chose to be here, and it was still a good weekend. There are just times when i wish i could transport myself home for one afternoon, one evening. At least being here reminds me I how much i really do have to be thankful for.

happy (slightly belated) thanksgiving!



Christine said...

If it makes you feel any better, it was weirdly hot this Thanksgiving, and was raining so no dock time at all. Keaghan and Kearnan kept Jack very entertained. Most recent Jack news - he is trying to climb stairs - and has made it up one so far -- and only one. He also swims like a fish in the bath tub - on his back kicking like you would not even believe - like his legs start at his shoulders! I don't think we ate much better than you - actually I think the opposite is true! Although when the weather did clear, we had made our way to the beach and Jack and I went wading in Georgian Bay. Glorious. I wrote in the sand: Be Wise. Advice for myself, but you can have some too. I love you love you love you. Happy Thanksgiving.
btw. I thought you would die for sure at the mere idea of roaches or RATS, but you are obviously braver than I (and I'm thinking even you) imagined. Love you - did I mention that already?

NewVillain said...

my mouth watered while reading this post.

ps. you are a superhero (roach killer AND chef extraordinaire? oof!)

sarah said...


We missed you so much in Canada. It was lovely to talk to you on the phone though.... :)

Hope all is well and that you vanquish more pests ande make more pies.

Love love!