In our home we love to cook... We love to gather around the dinner table and partake in the eating of a delicious homecooked meal, whilst enoying wholesome conversation and fellowship...
As we are young women who hope to one day have families of our own, we believe it is extremely important for us to learn to cook, and each of us have started at an early age...
I can remember assiting my mother as a little girl and then moving on to trying simple recipes by myself.
I can recall the first loaf of bread I ever made at the tender age of ten, and the meals I prepared as a twelve year old when my mom was expecting Gabrielle and too ill to cook...
Now my sisters are the ones in training and as I have a passion for cooking, I count it as a privilege to be able to let them help me and teach them things I have learnt along the way...
They also cook and bake quite a bit with my mom, and she allows them much more freedom than I do...I am sure this is a special gift as I find myself worrying about trivial things and not giving them enough room to try, fail and learn...as I did.
Each week Nancy and I take turns to cook. Right now the younger girls keep my mother pretty occupied with their schooling, and as we love to grow in our abilities in the kitchen, we have the responsibility of seeing to each evening meal, with the exception of one day a week when Beth cooks with Mom.
This works very well for our family, and while it may not work for yours, I would heartily encourage any young woman to work on her cooking skills as it is not only a richly rewarding experience, but it prepares her for the highest calling of any woman - being a homemaker...
Last week was my cooking week, and it is always a good challenge to work within a budget and also cater for the various preferances of each family member.
Fortunately none of the girls are very particular about what they eat, but I do have to ensure that a meal isn't too spicy for their tastes.
And my friends, can you imagine what I did one evening...? I added too much cayenne pepper to a meat ragout, and spent many anxious moments trying various 'remedies' to cool it down a bit!
Now, I love hot food and so does my dad, but my poor sisters and mother have very sensitive mouths and I knew the second I tasted it that I had made a serious error...
Thank goodness there was a spare meal in the freezer which was just large enough for the younger girls.
Despite my fervent efforts to cool it down, it was still hot, but thankfully quite bearable and also wonderfully tasty!
I shall attempt the recipe again sometime, but I have crossed out the 'teaspon of cayenne pepper' and replaced it with, 'cayenne pepper - to taste'...:)
Thus ends my sad story of the meat ragout, but I am sad to admit that I repeated my mistake two evenings later and made this meal a bit too spicy for certain people in the family...
It was not hot, only spicy... I did reduce the amount of spices considerably, just not enough.
But, as the flavour of this dish was truly delicious, I thought I would share the recipe with you...
Just please do remember to adjust the amount of spices according to your own preferences...:)
This spicy chicken dish has a lovely tomato sauce which is complimented by the addition of the peppers... The fresh ginger gives it a wonderful tang, while the fresh coriander finishes off the delicious flavour perfectly...
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
30ml olive oil
10ml each ground cumin, garam masala, tumeric and mustard seeds (adjust if necessary)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped (I used 1 cup homegrown bell peppers which I had preserved)
5ml each finely chopped garlic and root ginger
4 chicken breast fillets, cubed
1 tin chopped tomatoes (I don't use tinned tomatoes, so I just cut up 6 whole tomatoes and added a 50g tin of tomato paste)
Rice and fresh coriander, to serve
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add spices and fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Add the onion and red pepper (if using bell peppers, add later on) and saute for four to five minutes or until the onion is soft.
Add the garlic and ginger and fry for another two minutes.
Add the chicken and tomato and stir well. If using bell peppers, add them now.
Lower the heat, cover and simmer for seven to 10 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked.
Season to taste and serve with rice and fresh coriander.
Have you ever made a dish too spicy before?
Do you enjoy spending time in the kitchen?
~ Blessings ~