This and that: lets try this

Friday, March 30, 2012

lets try this

So, it has been on my to do list for a long time, to start blogging but I had many fears, what will I write about, will it make sense, can I do this.  I have followed many bloggers and have decided to make a stab at it.  So, then the big question came.  What do I blog about?  What do I know except eating, sleeping and working?  The answer came...eating.  I love to eat.. and with eating you have to cook and I love to cook.  And besides cooking, I love to take pictures.  So that is what I am going to blog about eating, cooking and taking pictures.. well maybe a few more things but we will see.
   I love to cook and over the last few years, after my husband finally got his visa and was able to join me here in United States, I have learnt to cook many African meals. During this time I have also learnt the joy of using many new spices and putting food together... I love African food.  The first time I made something African was after we got married -- I made rice and beans with a tomato sauce for a fundraiser we had at church... well I can say that I have come a long way in 6 years.
   One of the favorite meals that we make is black eyed beans, onions, tomatoes and gari with fried plantains. This recipe is very easy, although you do need to think about it early, but otherwise takes very little to make it
black eyed beans with fresh tomatoes, onions and
gari, served with fried plantains

frying plantains
                                                    Black eyed Beans
  1 to 2 cups of black eyed beans - wash in water first and pick out any beans that are discoloured.  Cook beans in enough water to cover and salt to taste.  Cook for approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until beans are soft.  Watch beans while cooking and add water as needed.  Water should be gone by the time the beans are soft.  Once cooked place on plate and added fresh onions, tomatoes and gari (we buy the gari from an African Market).
                                                   Fried Plantains
    Cut 1 -2 plantains in quarters and place in bowl, add approx 1 tbsp water and 1 tsp salt and mix.  Fry plantains in hot oil until a deep brown colour.  Enjoy.


  1. hello there! Bia Rich sent me! What a lovely blog!

    ~Melissa Placzek

  2. Thanks Melissa, I appreciate you popping by. Now I am getting excited to continue...Just have to figure out what to do.

  3. Congratulations on starting your blog Marlys :) Im looking forward to hearing about your adventures.. What is Gari?
    Well, I started out with a shot gun approach , but now have decided on series , like Good Food, Cheap ... Creative Leftovers ... Less Words, More Food etc... just find what works for you , and when you have an idea for a post , jot it down immediately .

  4. Thanks Rich for stopping by... Gari is made from cassava tubulars-- To make garri, cassava tubers are peeled, washed and grated or crushed to produce a mash. The mash is placed in a porous bag and allowed to ferment for one or two days, while weights are placed on the bag to press the water out. It is then sieved (or sifted) and roasted by heating in a bowl. The resulting dry granular garri can be stored for long periods. It may be pounded or ground to make a fine flour.
    We have the dried gari and sprinkle it on the black-eyed beans-- it kind of has a fermented taste to it but very flavorful. It is a flavor that a person has to get used to as the first time I tasted it I really didn't like but over the last few years, I add more and more to my food :-). We have bought some from an African Market that we frequent in Indianapolis but occasionally have had it sent from Togo.
    Please feel free to give my comments and hints that may help my blog. I appreciate your feedback. Marlys

  5. Hello Marlys!! I got your message on my website and decided to check you out.
    So you took the BIG step into the bog world!!
    If you need any help setting up your blog with gadgets, widgets and all that stuff, feel free to give me a shout. Just send me an email to and get back to as soon as I can.
    Again, congrats!!! And that photo of your plantain made my mouth water .. YUM!
    Huggs ~ Kay Johnson

  6. This is so great, Marlys!! I am so excited for you!! If you need any help you know you can email/message me anytime. I can help you set up your FB, twitter, etc. on the blog if you need help!! The only suggestion I have for you with recipes is to separate the ingredients & directions. It makes things easier to understand and follow... and believe me MANY people will start following you!! YAY! Welcome to the foodie blogging world. Nothing will be the same now!! xpxp

  7. Greetings, Marlys! I saw your comment on Kay's blog and just HAD to stop by and say hi. Congratulations on jumping into blog world!

    The first photo in your post is so rich in detail -- beautiful faces, beautiful fabrics -- and your beguiling caption "A little bit African" makes me want to know the story BEHIND the photo! (No rush, no pressure... just write whatever tickles your fancy.) Thanks for the recipe, too!

    P.S. I also like your "bookshelf" wallpaper -- looking forward to you filling them up with your stories and your life! :)

  8. Thanks Kay, Mel and alittlelunch... it is wonderful that you stopped by and checked out the beginning of my blog. Each one of you gave me ideas for further blogs ... and I hope you continue to read about my adventures with African cooking. Although I hope that you don't expect new blogs everyday as that won't happen. Mel - thanks for your comment about my writing of recipes, I didn't realize how I wrote it until I reread after your comment. Marlys

  9. Welcome to the world of blogging! You're going to love it and we are going to love seeing the foodie creations you come up with. I know very little about African food so this is totally up my alley my friend! :)

    1. Thanks for your comment... Do have an idea for the next blog, now just need time to sit down and write it and also find the pictures I want to go with it.... But will have to wait for next week I am sure as I work the next 5 (12 hr) nights, but may take my computer and see if there is downtime.


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