Thursday, 3 January 2013

Christmas and Plums!

My Christmas dinner this year, eaten outside on the sandy banks of the Athi River in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya, was very un-traditional. We did get to pull Christmas crackers, and wear the obligatory paper crowns, but had a delicious meal of tilapia, potatoes, vegetables and salad in place of the more usual roast turkey (that said, I’ve not had turkey on Christmas Day for 3 years now!). And pudding (or dessert, for American readers (we had a number of conversations on this subject amongst our group of 3 Brits, 1 American and 1 Canadian on safari)) was no different, with mango crumble in place of the traditional Christmas pudding. However, a few days later, I made Plum Pudding (as Christmas Pudding can be called) when some friends came round to my apartment for dinner. However, this really did have plums in it! Mid to late December is when local plums become available in Nairobi, street sellers selling them to occupants of vehicles as they sit in Nairobi traffic, in long thin bags, as well as being on sale in grocery stores. Unlike English plums, these are small, but equally tasty and sweet (when ripe, at least).  I’ll eat about 6 at a go! The first time I saw them, I actually mistook them for cherry tomatoes, and got quite a surprise! Plums aren’t exactly what I'd expected to find in a country on the Equator! However, they’ve become a fruit that I now associate with Christmas. I’ve done quite well for plums in the last few months. The house that was my base in Horsham during my furlough, had a plum tree in the back garden. We had plums coming out of our ears for a few weeks there in August! Sorbet, crumble, stewed, on their own, …… And now, here are plums again!
Plum pudding in the preparation stage

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