#104: Nigeria

Happy Independence Day Week-ish, Food Friends!

It’s no secret that my favorite season is the fall, followed very closely by winter. In fact, my least favorite “season” is the summer because I’m not sure I’m built for the heat. That being said, it’s one of my most favorite times of the year when I get to enjoy long days where there’s still daylight at 8:30pm. My longer days are filled with laughter at BBQs and badminton games; cold adult drinks and time by the water. I love that feeling like the days are endless—because it sort of makes time stand still. So while, I’m definitely not a fan of melting in the 100 degree temps… I took a page from Frozen’s Olaf and I’m starting to write a little love song for summer in my winter-centric heart.

THE DINNER: This week we hit up a double header to make up for some lost weekend time the last few crazy months. So our first stop was in Africa to make some of Nigeria’s famous lime cake. Nigeria, like so many West African nations, has been settled by the French at some point, which means their food  signature looks similar to a French profile— but they have all the awesome spices available to the Africa trade belt. It’s no surprise, then that some of their most popular snack foods are baked things like wheat dumplings, hand pies and beignets. Along these lines, what could be more refreshing for the Colorado heat, than some lime cake?! Nothing comes to mind…outside of a mojito.  While the cooks of Nigeria and other African nations have the added adversity of working through drought effecting the agricultural pipeline, they are domestically very content with rice, millet and sorghum. Which as a baker, makes my heart skip a beat (and not in a good way). I get nervous when we talk about baking with things other than flour. Luckily, they do have that also and the recipe called for it. We look to be on track here, people!

Niger Lime Cake: http://www.food.com/recipe/west-african-lime-cake-recipe-173349

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: ONE STAR out of five this meal!
I’m not saying this one is a complete “one star” for trickiness… I am saying that it’s almost one star. Baking, as I have admitted before, is daunting to many people. So I think psychologically, it’s already a one star. That being said, this one was simple baking. There was no “separating of eggs”; there was no “folding” or “sifting” or “kneading”. This was “add it all in, stir and throw it in the oven” kind of baking. So overall, it’s nothing to get your apron in a bunch over. As with many light battered things, however, doneness can be hard for some people to judge. All the ingredients were found in our local grocers. So it was “a piece of cake” if you’ll indulge me the pun 😉

Best dish of all time scale: THREE STARS out of five for Meal!!
While it was certainly a “piece of cake” that’s where the analogy leaves us, I’m afraid. It was just… cake? I mean, it was certainly edible (unlike a certain flourless mess we will refrain from reliving *cough* cough* #72: Gabon…) but it wasn’t memorable or magical and where does that leave us? A three star pick up: the graveyard for “wouldn’t write home about it” cuisine we have encountered here on AW195S. What would have made it better? More lime! That would have been yummy. It was more of lime-essence for this one. Icing or Frosting! Maybe a little lime juice and powdered sugar glaze? SOMETHING more. It was just begging to be added to. It was lovely building blocks though. Great texture and not dry in the least (which is surprising when you look at the ingredient list and see very little wet ingredients).

#105 is a stop off in the Philippines for some traditional noodle fry up! ❤ some noodles!

You’re an Adult— Eat Cake for Breakfast,
– L & K

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