All posts filed under: Lesotho


Monday Meal Review: Lesotho

THE SCENE I sink into the couch, tired from cooking all day. Malky makes tight circles on my lap, looking for a place to settle. I weigh my options. An entire espresso machine is out of the question. I only need to froth hot milk, for goodness sakes. No need to be extravagant. The clock ticks past 4:30 p.m. There isn’t time to shop around for one of those fancy, battery-operated, milk-frothing wands either. The closest store is too far away. And, if I am going to get pictures of these lattes before nightfall, I need to make the tea within the next 45 minutes. Malky finally settles into my lap, purring. Too distracted to pet him, I pick up the phone. I stare at the black screen a moment, before waking it up and dialing. Two rings and he answers. “Keith,” I say, ” I need you to stop by the coffee shop on your way home. I ran out of time and it’s almost dark” “What do you need?” he asks. “A giant cup …

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African Papa

I find that Mr. Not-as-Picky, Keith – even with all his progress on the adventure – can still be rather fussy about food that looks soft and mushy. Especially if he has to eat it with his fingers. If you ask me, some of the best food is soft and mushy – mashed potatoes being the prime example. So I’ll you what I told him. Papa, a stiff white porridge from Lesotho, is not that unusual. Especially if you eat grits for a living, which – apparently – many people do, here in the south. The best way to approximate Papa is by simply taking grits – the white ones – and make them a bit thicker than usual. When you’re done whisking, whisking, whisking, you’ll have a beautiful, scoopable papa – not unlike polenta in texture. It looks soft and mushy, but in fact, this papa is rather solid once cooled. Serves 2-4 Ingredients: 1/2 cup white grits 1 1/4-1 1/2 cups stock (your preference) salt Method: Bring stock to boil. Stream in grits, …

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Moroko Mash

Today I’m partnering with your mother. It’s cold outside. Let’s all bundle up in our favorite fuzzy-wild-animal-looking hoodies. Let’s wear face masks and giant mittens. And let’s definitely eat our vegetables. Lots and lots of veggies. Today’s recipe is inspired by moroko, a dish enjoyed in the African country, Lesotho. Typically, Moroko is made with onions and greens, sauteed in oil with a bit of broth, not unlike the Kale (Sukuma Wiki) we made recently for Kenya. Moroko  can be made with any dark greens you’d like, such as kale, spinach, chard, or mustard greens. Optionally, beans or potatoes can be added. But I have a secret – the most wonderful mash around is when you add mustard greens to potatoes. And this mash, inspired by Lesotho, is what we’re serving up today. Turns out this is the mashed potatoes your mother always dreamed you would eat. Loaded with nutrients. And really, really green. Serves 2-4 Ingredients: 1 bunch mustard greens, chopped finely 3 fairly large russet potatoes, peeled and roughly cubed stock, as needed – I used …

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Red Rooibos Latte

Friends, it’s time. Let’s have a tea party. Cabin fever is setting in. Bring out your favorite dishes and your fancy hats. Shake things up. Wear those shoes you never wear and paint your fingernails red, red, red. Or, if you’d rather, we can do it in our PJ’s, fuzzy slippers and robes.* As for what we’ll drink? I haven’t been this excited about a new tea since I had my first “London Fog” which, for the uninitiated, is Earl Grey tea made with half steamed milk. (It literally makes my toes curl). Today, however, I bring you something even more fantastic – from the Southern hemisphere – the Red Rooibos Latte. Or the Red Love Latte, as I’ve come to call it. This is the hot drink of choice in the big-city coffee shops of Lesotho and South Africa. Of course they just call it a Red Rooibos Latte or Red Latte. I even like the idea of calling it a Rooibos Fog. The friendly baristas brew Rooibos tea very, very strong – they actually have …

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Menu: Lesotho

Weeks like this make me really happy. First of all, I’m learning about a country I knew nothing about last week. Turns out I’m a big fan of Lesotho and today’s menu. Anything with steamed milk or potatoes is a near automatic win. And who wouldn’t want to drink tea and eat papa in their pj’s? Second of all, my two year-old daughter is singing in her first ever musical performance (ahhhh). I’m not sure my heart can take it; the cuteness is going to be ridiculous. Third of all, I get to travel back to Estonia to make gingerbread cookies for the party after said performance. This is simply the most wonderful time of year. That being said, let’s eat Lesotho. What sounds good to you?* Red Rooibos Latte  [Recipe] Double-strength Red Rooibos tea, topped off with steamed milk, honey and cinnamon. It’ll make you sing. Papa  [Recipe] While this is what Ava calls Keith, we aren’t serving him up for dinner. No, in this instance, papa is more like the grits of Lesotho. The staple is eaten on it’s …

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Maletsunyane Falls in Lesotho. Photo by BagelBelt.

About the food of Lesotho

If you’d like to go Lesotho, there’s only one way. Through South Africa. If you have trouble imagining what I mean, visualize the yolk of an egg. Now squish it a little and set it way over to the right. That’s Lesotho. Inside of South Africa. Despite being entirely surrounded by South Africa, Lesotho asserts her presence in a big way – by being the world’s tallest country. The entire country is 3,281 ft (or more) above sea level, which is more than any other country in the world. But what about the food? Let’s start with the city. If, as the sun grandly rises on a frosty winter morning, you decide to slip into a local coffee shop, you can warm yourself with a big, red latte, made with extra-strong rooibos tea (aptly nicknamed red espresso)  [Recipe]. Rooibos is grown in this part of the world, making a red latte (and cappuccino etc) a very local specialty. Once you’ve walked around a bit and worked up an appetite, you can slip into a restaurant and have any number …

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