Spoiled Birthday Girl!

So I am feeling very spoiled indeed as Ed has just been given a Vitamix Pro 300 for my birthday!  I have wanted one for ages but couldn’t ever justify the eye-watering price tag.  But when you add up the cost of your magimix, juicer, ice cream maker and then add on the number of days of your life you will save because the Vitamix is so insanely quick and efficient it is mind-boggling – and you can somehow arrive at a point where £600 on a bot of kitchen kit seems like rather good value….!

Anyway… this is my new love:

VITAMIX Professional Series 300 blender and food processor

I love her at least 3 times a day and sit and admire her for the rest… She makes my morning juices, my evening hot chocolates, my lunchtime soups, my curry sauces, my pestos, my hummus, my ice creams, my milkshakes, my smoothies, my sorbets, she is amazing!

The biggest advantage she has over previous lovers is her speed and efficiency.  She is so easy to clean that it never puts you off as it did with the juicer and the magimix.  So you don’t find yourself making a cup of tea every morning instead of the  healthy green juice you promised yourself but now can’t be faffed to make.  I love that there is zero waste with new lover.  Everything goes in, apple cores, pineapple cores, lemon and lime rinds, nuts, seeds, you name it.  And to be able to make fresh, piping hot soup in just 5 minutes is just amazing!

So to anyone hesitating over whether to get one or not – I say go for it!  Even if you have to live on baked bean puree for a few months – it’s worth it!

A vegan in Uganda…

We’ve just returned from 2 weeks in Uganda.

We had no idea whether we’d be able to continue being vegan or not and so were pleasantly surprised to find that it was actually pretty easy.  We were staying in an area called Masaka which is a large sprawling town 140 km from Kampala.

masaka011

Cooking and eating revolves around the weekly food market that descends on the town every Friday and Saturday.  Local farmers bring their produce in large wheelbarrows to sell and the streets are literally groaning with fresh fruit, veg and spices.  Every stall looks identical and is selling identical produce at identical prices so I have no idea how people decide who to buy their week’s bounty from!  But there are plenty to choose from.

Unused spices

What’s available is obviously entirely seasonal but there seemed to be plenty on offer in October.  Potatos of various varieties, colours and textures, avocados the size of pineapples, passion fruit, jack fruit, sweet potatos, tomatos, green beans of all kinds, pineapples galore, mangos, aubergines, chillies, bananas and plantain absolutely everywhere, oranges, lemons, limes, paw paws – absolutely plenty to keep you satisfied!

jodhpur_skyline.jpg

market

Avoiding meat was very easy as meat is such a luxury that it is actually quite difficult to come by.  The meat that was available was hanging very uninvitingly in the sun from large butchers hooks, dripping blood and still covered in fat, gristle and patches of skin.

Meat on sale. Uganda’s beef industry is facing quality and organisational challenges.

Dairy is relatively hard to come by also.  We didn’t see any cheese for sale in Masaka.  You can get it in supermarkets in Kampala but it’s very expensive so presumably is imported in.  We got long life soya milk in Kampala so we didn’t have to drink cow’s milk.  Vegetable butter is easy to get so that’s not a problem.  When eating out there was almost always a vegan curry option but I confess we had the occasional non-vegan pizza when we were all curried out!

I was interested to know how people would react to our being vegans and was surprised to find that everyone was very accepting and understanding of it.  As soon as we explained that we don’t eat any animal products people just nodded and seemed to understand.  Which just goes to show that you should never underestimate people.