Forbidden Delights….

You know what they say about “when you go black…

I did and whoa… it was worth every single bit….

No, it is not what you are thinking…

 

I stumbled upon Black Rice when grocery shopping a couple of weeks ago. I had read about it being a super food and all so I purchased some. I didn’t have much expectations of it other than it being more nutritious than white rice. I don’t particularly care for brown rice, which I think tastes like cardboard so I got the black rice only because it sounds exotic…I’m so glad I did….

 

Black rice sometimes referred to as forbidden rice, emperor’s rice or longevity rice is fairly tricky to grow and is revered as a healthy food. Oral history suggests that only the richest of the rich were able to afford the delicacy hence the name.

Black rice is a particularly odd duck; its deep, dark color, which is something like a purplish black, is a rarity in the food world. The dark color is due to an excess of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that is the culprit for most darkly colored plants.

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One-half cup serving of cooked black rice contains approximately (in daily recommended values)

  • 160 calories
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 34 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 5 grams of protein
  • 4% DV for iron

Black Rice vs. Other Varieties of Rice. 100gm serving

  • Polished white rice – contains 6.8 protein, 1.2 iron, 0.6 fiber.
  • Brown rice: 7.9 protein, 2.2 iron, and 2.8 fiber.
  • Red rice: 7.0 protein, 5.5 iron, and 2.0 fiber.
  • Black rice: 8.5 protein, 3.5 iron, 4.9 fiber, and the highest amount of antioxidants of any rice variety.

 

I’ve made two black rice dishes both Asian inspired….

  1. Black Coconut Rice served with Sweet and Sour Tilapia chunks and Chinese Pickled vegetables
  2. Rice Paper Wraps stuffed with Black coconut rice, Raw Kale and Spinach, Avocado, Nile Perch flakes, Tomato all drizzled with Sweet lime juice. And a side dip of African Kaya Sweet Chilli Sauce and Soy Sauce.

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P.S Black rice water stains everything it touches….use ceramic or glass utensils to prep, cook and serve.And paper towels to clean up unless you want to color stuff up.

P.S.S African Kaya make the most amazing artisan sauces and butters. My absolute to die for are the Sweet Chilli Sauce, Bacon Jam (Yes, you read that right) and Pumpkin butter. Yummers!!

BLACK!!!

 

 

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Black is beautiful…..

Melanin..

Dark Chocolate…

And black Panthers…..

But black is also my color of doom and depression…..

And that’s my current zone, at least as far as my hair is concerned…..

I took out my faux braided locs, washed and conditioned my hair. All this time I was crossing my fingers that the tangles and webbing that had beguiled my hair before would have disappeared like wisp of smoke after a witches spell. (Someone once called my washday process a ritual hence the reference)

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As I lay crumpled up in my bathroom drained from crying, all I could feel was an overwhelming sense of helplessness. Half of my life is spend encouraging ladies to love and care for their natural hair, I help them find solutions and fix whatever problems their hair is having. And here I am with this insurmountable challenge which I can’t fix.

 

Why do I feel like the hair gods are punishing me?

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Onward and Upwards till the next one.

 

 

 

Of Planets in Retrograde and Kinkyfaris

 

This week Saturn and Jupiter are in retrograde and Mars is in shadow retrograde. According to astrologers this is the perfect time for meeting people and planning ventures. That’s the good part…..

During this phase we may also experience heightened perceptions, feel unstoppable and go through life charging straight with little or no regard for others.  There will be major contradictions and actions driven only by ego. As well as feelings of internal conflict and identity crisis.This is the not so easy part…

However, introspection for me heralds growth. I’m using this phase as a liberating ,eye-opening period where I question

Who am I?

What do I represent?

Do I stand firm to my ideals or sway whichever way the wind blows.

 

It’s the perfect time to reflect, center and re-align.

May the force be with me!!!

As the planets play mind games with my mind….and I go through my bad hair month .I am dealing by re-creating my persona…I’ve christened myself a Kinkyfari!!! Did I just create a new word? woop woop!

Kinkyfari

..adjective

/ˈkɪŋkifeəri’/

A loose haired natural who likes to think she’s a locstar…..

The appeal of being a kinkyfari is the feel of liberation(this word again) and giving zero chills about everything…..this is where I feel it all ties in with that planetary manenoz. There is something about this hair that is more than just a look for me…..I can’t quite put my money on it but there is something !!!

So, this whole piece could be a legit exploration of hair and identity and personal reflection….or it could be a sorry excuse for leaving the style in too long….you be the judge…Me, imma do me!!!

Duces.

 

 

Love, Peace and faux locs!

 

 

Mummy’s Mukimo

12935378_10154068073976672_1534970530_n.jpgThat my mum can cook is undisputed…Yes I know everyone’s mama is the best cook but Jos (What dad calls her) graduated at the top of her class Home Economics class in Uni. Her reward for her First Class Honors was a set of beautiful cookbooks and a gift voucher or something like that. The books, Cookery in Colour and Cake and Cake Decorating were my first introduction to culinary delights. Growing up I always looked forward to days when we would experiment with the different recipes.

Years later, my dad does way more cooking than my mum…..and he is way more experimental but when my mum decides to cook…. you can be sure it will be mind blowing.

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Breakfast by Daddy….yeah he has no qualms serving pork ribs next to fluffy pancakes….and it comes complete with freshly picked flowers…..Amazing.

During the Easter break my mum made this mukimo (mash) that made even me who’s not a big mukimo fan go gaga. And when she drops lines like caramelized corn you can be certain I’m listening and watching very keenly…

I didn’t take any photos of the Easter one but I sent my mum a note saying I wanted to blog about it could she send pics and she said “sawa (cool)”.

 

The twist in her version is very minor but it is sheer genius. Using roasted green corn as opposed to boiled corn. When you roast fresh corn it gets this yummy,sweet, almost caramelized taste to it…adding that to the mash takes it from good to awesome. She also throws in a wee bit of butternut and the result is just amazing.

She is very proud of the fact that the ingredients are organic and fresh from her garden. Also that she is health conscious and energy efficient in using her air fryer to roast the corn.

Without further ado….the recipe

Ingredients

Potatoes

Roasted Green Maize

Pumpkin leaves

Onion

Salt

Pureed Butternut (Optional)

Lots of love (Mandatory)

Method

Roast corn on the cob

Shell the corn (avoid eating it all up…. it is not easy, I promise)

In a large pot boil the potatoes in salty water.

When the potatoes are nearly done, place the pumpkin leaves on top so that they cook via steam. This way they don’t cook too long and you retain most of the nutrients.

When done, mash the potatoes, greens and butternut puree in a food processor.

Fold in the caramelized corn.

In separate pot or pan, fry some thinly sliced onions in olive oil till golden brown then add the mash. Keep stirring continuously for 3-5 minutes then serve.

Enjoy the meal and thank God for mothers!!!

I love my mukimo with pork…

When I say I love good food, making it, eating it and sharing it with loved ones you know I got it from my daddy who got it from mama. It’s a family affair.

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I am My Hair…

I am My Hair

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“I am not my hair

I am not this skin

I am not your expectations no no

I am not my hair

I am not this skin

I am a soul that lives within

 

What’d she do to her hair?

I don’t know it look crazy

I like it. I might do that.

Umm I wouldn’t go that far.

I know… Ha ha ha ha

 

Good hair means curls and waves

Bad hair means you look like a slave

At the turn of the century

It’s time for us to redefine who we be

You can shave it off

Like a South African beauty

Or get in on lock

Like Bob Marley

You can rock it straight

Like Oprah Winfrey

If it’s not what’s on your head

It’s what’s underneath and say hey…

 

Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person?

Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend?

Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity?

I am expressing my creativity…

 

If I wanna shave it close

Or if I wanna rock locks

That don’t take a bit away

From the soul that I got

If I wanna where it braided

All down my back

I don’t see what wrong with that

 

Is that India Arie?

Ooh look she cut her hair!

I like that, it’s kinda phat

I don’t know if I could do it.

But it looks sharp, it looks nice on her

She got a nice shaped head

She got an apple head

I know right?

It’s perfect.”

Abridged lyrics from India Aire’s I am Not My Hair

 

 

Sorry India Arie, I am MY HAIR.

Yes, I said it…..

If I am having a bad hair day, I am having a bad life. On a good hair day however, I have a spring in my step, a twinkle in my eye, a swing in my hips, my world is golden and nothing is insurmountable.

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It may seem silly, frivolous even to assign so much ‘power’ to a body part let alone one made of dead cells. But if an Armani suit, killer heels or red lipstick can 100% sway how your day goes, then by all means, I can let my hair be “that thing”.

riSo what happens when you are ‘your hair’ and are having not a bad hair day or bad hair week but a bad hair month?

I love to experiment with my hair, I am a certified product junkie and I’m constantly trying to figure out this natural hair business. Recently, one of my experiments went awry, something just didn’t work and as a result my strands were jacked up. My hair would tangle and form ridiculous knots just by looking at it, heaven forbid I manipulate it. The texture did a complete 180, my hair felt coarse and lost all its elasticity.

I know it had something to do with my strand PH being off balance and the cuticles opening up yada yada….(story for another day). So here I was with this mess going on ….I wanted to cut my hair and start afresh…. it’s only hair it will grow..right? Wrong!!! My hair takes forever and change to grow…and also I am liking this length we’re at so cutting it would depress me.

Thankfully as this was happening, I was reminded that my hair is beautiful and strong and magical…that it has an energy. My hair carries my DNA, a history of all the things happening to me. My hair strands can show if I have been taking adequate water or not, whether I’m eating well and my diet healthy. If I am on medication or stressed, whether I have a thyroid or hormonal problem, am I in love or not….. Not only does hair in people, including facial hair in men, provide an information highway reaching the brain, hair also emits energy, the electromagnetic energy emitted by the brain into the outer environment. Yes folks, it is not just hair.

 

For now, my hair is hidden away under DIY wigs and braids and only comes out to play if it must. I am on a mission to nurse it back to its glorious healthy self because then and only then will I be whole again.

 

 

Peace, Love and fros

 

Wachu

The Gift of Ghana

 

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Turning my gorgeous accessories into an artwork

Ghana was a beautiful gift literally and figuratively. It had all the elements of a great gift; unexpected but timely, impractical yet necessary, the sense of discovery after removing the layers of wrapping, and the reward of vibrant color and amazing people

On arrival in Accra I was slightly underwhelmed. Where was the old world charm, the glitter, the bustling capital decked in gold? These things of making up stories of what to expect from places based on fiction novels and movies can be quite dangerous.

I quickly recovered and started to see the place for what it truly was and was pleasantly surprised.Accra grows on you.

The city has a rich political history that reminds one of how far we’ve veered off from the ideals of the founding fathers of this continent; the struggle for an independent, progressive and united Africa. Present day politics jades one faster that you can say when is the next election. However, reading through the history at the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and watching a clip on Jerry J. Rawlings I was reminded of that struggle and what true leadership means, but even further, that those who agitated for these things were ridiculously young. Will I change my current apolitical stance, I am not sure, but I know that Nkrumah is probably turning in his grave at the current state of African Politics.

Meanwhile, I hear the Ghanaians love my president so much they want to grab him. http://nairobinews.nation.co.ke/news/ghana-grab-kenyas-president-uhuru-kenyatta/

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Kwame Nkurumah’s Mausoleum, the final resting place of Ghana’s first president.

These Ghanaian people are so clever!! It must be something in the water or the fufu or pepe. It was quite enlightening listening and eavesdropping on brilliant conversations particularly on business, entrepreneurship and development. These folks were everywhere, in fancy hotels and malls to the vendors at the Arts Center. This I like!!

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Accra by Night; Bright lights, City Lights, Mad Traffic, Crazy Tro Tros 

Talking about people, Ghanaians are very gracious (see what I did there) and are surprisingly very nice. They are polite and cordial to each other and to strangers. They are patient too…sitting in a local restaurant over a meal of jollof rice and fish, it was astounding to see the locals queuing without grumbling or yelling for over 20 minutes to get their takeout jollof rice or banku. This jollof rice must be quite something  I think to myself. Now I get this this lyric in Tiwa Savage’s OYI song  “Baby i dey catch cold ,My jollof rice eh how you dey do today ?”

But ah, they are so animated and loud in their speech and make excellent storytellers.

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Girl about Jamestown and sights in Accra…

Accra, well at least the part I saw in the 2.5 days I was there, is teeming with artistic expression and color. From gorgeous African fashion to architecture, sculptures and paintings. It is quite the thrill for the artistic mind. One of my highlights was meeting acclaimed Ghanaian fashion designer Kwaku Bediako. Kwaku is the brains behind the men’s clothing brand called Chocolate. How apt is that name. Ghana is home to cocoa, base ingredient for chocolate and Ghanain men are oooh so chocolately…#winning!!

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Kwaku Bediako 

I did not get to eat fufu…. so to Accra or to Ghana I must return.

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Meanwhile, I continue to dance in the rain, to the music in my head….I star in my show and applaud when the curtains fall…because life is for the living.

Oh-yen-rah-don for the gift of Ghana.

XOXO

Wachu.

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