I think we’ll just become vegetarians was the line we were taking as we considered life in the North of Chad and the fact that meat was only available for parties when people decided to kill a camel.
Then we thought well maybe a tin of something meaty once a week. How-ever choices in Ndjamena seemed limited and expensive when we visited the supermarkets and then how much weight are you allowed to take in an aeroplane or how much space can we have in a pick-up. What about the fact that vegetables are not too readily available and don’t even mention cheese. So how to have a balanced diet- maybe just dried beans would be fine.
Finally one of our new team mates arrived in Ndjamena and we took her advice, followed her expert tuition and started drying meat. Boil mince meat for an hour or so then slow dry in the oven was her advice and its ready when it looks like light coloured coffee granules! So now we have several jam jars of meat ready to go with us. It’s amazing how much water there is in it.
Inspired we moved on to fruit and vegetables- we hope we may grow our own- but as we are not going as agriculturists we may be a little hungry at first and even later on. Some veg will be available but it all depends on trucks coming into the town with supplies and on us not being too busy and getting there before it’s all sold.
So we have dried green beans(chewy) and cabbage (not sure) and peppers (definitely nice like roasted ones). We have also dried pineapple and guavas (a bit seedy), apples and bananas soaked in lemon juice. Sadly it’s not mango season because as many of you know from the summer they are very tasty. We’ll have to get Rebecca trained when we’re away to do some for our next trip.
We’re still waiting for tomatoes and carrots to go down in price and then we will add them in. All these have been done in the solar cooker so no extra cost, not too difficult and finally no weight or space to transport them. It’s amazing what advice you can get on the internet when you’re not sure how to do things.
So now all we need is some recipes and we’ll be cooking on gas well not quite actually we will be using kerosene stoves and our solar oven!
The other good news is that we now know all the words for these things in Arabic and are even allowed to say them. So far we haven’t ended up with any of the wrong things at market but bargaining in Arabic money is not always easy but that’s another story…………