Jams, Breads, and other Goodies!

Written by: The Bridge on Monday, June 30th, 2008

This is my garden basking in the burning sun. I have to admit, it’s not doing too well. I told you about the corn, how they stay so small and skinny, and I still maintain it’s too hot for them. Jonathan, Keystone, I put these two pictures here for you to analyze. See how one plant stayed so tiny and the other is bigger, yet they were planted at the same time? The small one basically grew a head of corn, a teeny tiny one. Most of the corn were very tiny, but I managed to pick over half a bucket. Let me tell you, what they lacked in size, they made up in taste! It was no difficult task to eat all of these babies. I got two meals from all the corn I planted. I planted some of the African corn when I saw how scrawny mine were. They are under a foot high now. We’ve had some of their corn and they are very fleshy; so much so, in fact, that when you eat one, you don’t make a mess at all,. Unlike when you eat our Canadian corn, they don’t mush and fall all over the place when you chew on the cob. Compared to ours they are not sweet at all, but they are still good if you cook them with lots of salt or bake them in coals. They are still fresh corn on the cob, while you Canadians will have to wait another 2 or so months, ha!

Now these are my cucumbers. They are not doing too well now. There are so many insects willing to ingest the leaves, the plants don’t stand a chance! You have to make them grow up on a branch of bamboo, otherwise the leaves will be covered with sand when it rains. Now this is mango jam that I once made for eating at the dining room. I used mangoes and some limes. Funny part is when they had it at breakfast with their white bread, most of the people didn’t even try it. They don’t like sweet things like the white people do. I figure I don’t have to make some again, knowing the effort is unappreciated. And this is how I make bread without electricity or baking it. I make Brian and myself a loaf ever so often, using whole wheat flour, flax, millet, oatmeal and a few other healthy ingredients we brought in our suitcases. I don’t think I could find these in the Abak market, but I believe they would be available in the further away towns like Aba. Then they would cost too much, so it just isn’t worth buying them. Buying a small jar of instant coffee in Abak alone costs N1000!! I couldn’t believe it when I saw that price tag, so I left it standing on the shelf…. Next time I might just give in…some good coffee is something we haven’t had since we finished the Columbia Coffee Joel from Starland brought us! Sigh! Those small pleasures in life! Anyway, I knead and I ‘bake’ this bread in this large Crystal Spring Seagull pot. I put a few inches of water in the bottom, let it cook, then once my bread has risen, I put it in the pot on a rack, close the lid tightly and let it cook for approx. 20 to 25 minutes; that’s all it needs! It’s so moist and good! Here is a happy customer. I find that whichever of the young people happens to come in when we are “nashing”, or they come looking for something to eat, that they enjoy my bread very much. So it’s not true when I said that they only like white bread. I think most people here only know white bread, since that is what is available in the stores and market. Big loaves, small loaves, sweet loaves, less sweet loaves, but still sweet, eggy loaves, ‘fortified’ loaves…. white bread anyone?


(And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19 )

Showing 9 comments

Ian/Crystal said:
On: 30th Jun, 2008 at 21:29

Indeed, it seems that God is helping you to provide for yourselves! Way to go! When you two come home, you’ll have to give everybody survival lessons on how to survive in Africa. Great idea with the bread oven!

Hmm…no coffee…that’s a tough one…I’ll think of you both next time I’m sipping on a smooth expresso or latte. lol

God bless!

anon said:
On: 1st Jul, 2008 at 07:34

Isn’t it amazing on how little we can survive, if we have to? Good to hear you guys are keeping well and enduring ’till the end. Keep on doing what you’re doing, and I am sure you will be blessed beyond measure. Take care!

jonathan said:
On: 1st Jul, 2008 at 07:38

Hi Brian,

I’m wondering myself why the corn wouldn’t have grown since the last picture. That was almost two months ago! Did they have sufficient moisture during this time? Did they get any nitrogen at all?

From the picture of the corn in the bucket, the lower kernels on the cob were well formed, but when it came to finishing off the top, it seems like the corn plant ran out of juice. This could be due to running out of water or corn borers weakening the plant. Is the weather the same now as when you started them?

Anyhow, they sure look tasty, and I’m sure anybody in Manitoba would grab them. 😀

God Bless!

MH/ CS said:
On: 1st Jul, 2008 at 08:35

Wow, du mochst uhs zu klustle mit dah esso, and we’re sitting here in Canada with the tables loaded every day! Unt yo, we have to wait for our corn, so you can gloat about that. And not to rub it in too much, but we’re gonna have peas soon! I’ll think of you when i’m munching them. We want to pick strawberries this wk, if we can find a grower to accomodate us. That means we’ll be up to our elbows in strawberry jam. So we’ll be eating baked bread and strawberry jam while you two are eating steamed bread and mango jam. ( 🙂 )


Anonymous said:
On: 1st Jul, 2008 at 09:11

Leanne, I’m baking this week, so I found this blog very interesting. You are quite the resourceful lady! Thanks to a GOOD cook my brother is eating the best of the land…. My mom thinks your baby corn look real cute! She’s sitting here beside me and chuckling to herself. 😀 She envies you being able to cook and bake without electricity…. Her idea of a long camping trip! But then we know it’s not as easy as it looks…. Thinking of you, Debra

nelda said:
On: 2nd Jul, 2008 at 21:55

Hi my dear, Just to thank you heartly for keeping us posted. You know, I also sit down here with my sons and use the blog to teach them about Africa and what we are doing there.

The other day I cleverly thought I could sneek an apricot into a smoothy by disguising it with icecream for Judas who doesn’t eat his fruits. I was dead wrong! We finally got him to eat it by telling him that food is something we can’t take for granted, but he was never so willing to share as then.

AMS said:
On: 4th Jul, 2008 at 14:32

Hi there i’m glad you two are holding out in Nigeria stay strong for Christ. the corn look good but small, sure will need quite a few to fill up a working person. God Bless

leanne said:
On: 8th Jul, 2008 at 11:11

well, jonathan to tell u the truth this blog is a bit old already. about a month and a half….blush!! well, we’ll get more going! maybe we are falling into the ‘rhythm of africa’, which is doing everything very slowly!

jonathan said:
On: 14th Jul, 2008 at 07:11

Posts a month and a half late?? Do they have BUHEP over there too? 😀