21 October 2015

Happy fall y'all!

Happy fall y'all!  I have about 172 posts I could of updated on here since the last time I wrote.  But before I get to some of those updates, I'll start with a fun light-hearted one about the physical season change.

Somehow this picture popped up on my iPad, so I just had to start this fall themed post with it!  That's our one and only girl at 2 years old in a pumpkin patch. It was a rare season of us being stateside for the fall.  Nowadays our children have no idea what a pumpkin patch is.  However, they do know it's harvest season in Kenya.

When I went to Congo, my missionary friends there taught me a new positive phrase for living in a culture you weren't raised in.  Rather than having "culture shock" (which is a real thing and I'm not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water) you can turn your perspective for good and they called it "culture appreciation".  So that is sort of what I'm doing here :).  We miss seasons in America.  I very much miss Friday night lights during this time of year. But there are definitely great things here in the season changes.  There are small ways that are actually similar.

All around Mattaw Children's Village, maize is being harvested.  80% of the countries' maize is grown in the region we live in.  Recently we took a road trip and on the way stopped to get some of the best roadside maize you can find this time of year.  After living here for so long, you learn little things like this.  When maize is freshly harvested and roasted the right way, it can be oh so sweet and tasty.

The above picture was snapped on the way to Naivasha.  On the way back from Nairobi, my husband fulfilled one of his goals he has kept on this on going list he has in the back of his head.  I love the motivation and passion he has to see things checked of this list.  So he finally bought turkeys.  And he bought them off the side of the road.  There was something more adventurous about roadside turkeys.  These turkeys should be advertised as miraculous little birds.  They survived being in a box in the back of our vehicle that went over MANY bumps and through massive pot holes.  They also had three curious children that kept trying to see what they are and what they'll do when poked.  We've named them Gululu (the word for Turkey in Swahili) and GobbleGobble.  So they'll be a fun new project around the Mattaw Farm.  The goal of this project is Thanksgiving dinner.  But we are not sure they will be invited to that dinner this year or not :).

This last weekend we celebrated our second oldest son's birthday.  Ian has been part of our family since 2007.  He has always been quiet but confident.  We've loved watching God grow him into a young man and bring out such strong leadership characteristics.  He is also a very opinionated young man.  He knows what he likes and doesn't like.  He does not like icing on cake, popcorn or cookies.  He does like salad, pumpkin bread and banana bread.  So for his birthday we had salad and pumpkin bread.

Making pumpkin bread was a nice taste of fall.  That and the combination of what they say is El Nino, has provided a sense of fall for us here.  At a time it would usually be getting hotter and dryer, it is now cooler with more rain. 

SO, when I went to search for my chocolate chip pumpkin bread recipe, I noticed I had posted about it five years ago.  Since then, I've given this recipe out about a hundred times and figured I should share it again.  And side note: ignore the sugar content! I originally found this recipe in a runner's world magazine as a snack that was suggested to eat to help refuel after a run.  So SURELY it's good for you :).  I also found that it's less calories when shared with family and friends :).  And here's the link for the original post if you want to know how to easily turn pumpkins here into mush and use in recipes: http://huffmansinkenya.blogspot.co.ke/2010/10/happy-pumpkin-month.html

Pumpkin Bread with Mini Chocolate chips

Dry Ingredients
3½ cups flour
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1½ cups of semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (or I chopped up a bar of baking chocolate for choco chunks)

Wet Ingredients
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup water
2 cups canned, plain pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine all dry ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a large mixing bowl and mix well.

In a separate bowl, slightly beat the eggs with a fork or wire whisk. Add the remaining wet ingredients to the eggs and stir well. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir just until evenly mixed. Fold in chocolate chips.

Coat 2 bread pans evenly with cooking spray. Pour half of the mixture into each pan.

Bake for 50-60 minutes.

All this inspired me pulling out what fall decor I have here.  That involves a free printable off pinterest to go in a frame at our entry way.  And a squirrel out of the beanie babies left over from what teams brought.  Hey, it's the little things :).

More updates to come!


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