Unlike my son, Joel, who would be satisfied with French baguettes every day and my husband who uncomplainingly ate bread and cheese sandwiches every day for his entire high school career, I am easily bored by the same food.  In order to curb my boredom and find meals that my family enjoy (they’re quite difficult to please!), I like to try new recipes.  I especially enjoy baking, but more recently have tried my hand at ice cream and marshmallows – and with an ice cream machine and Kenwood Chef these have been made that little bit easier. 

I don’t have a lot of fancy equipment (e.g. no candy or instant read thermometer, no offset spatula and no pizza stone), my ingredients are of dubious quality (e.g. margarine instead of butter, no name brand flour and cocoa powder which probably means bleached flour and normal cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)) and I have the use of only one rack in a gas oven on which the temperature dial is now pretty much erased.  But, after some on-and-off nagging, I have succumbed to peer pressure and have embarked upon this baking blog. 

As I am blogging out of deepest, darkest Africa, the approach will be a simple one:  each post will feature a recipe with accompanying photo/s and some, perhaps limited, commentary (undoubtedly I will have to adjust some recipes to local conditions and will find it difficult to resist the temptation to further the cause of home baking, just a small step in the direction of artisan breads and confectionery).

Each recipe will also reflect a “Sahel Family Rating” which will indicate the popularity of that recipe in our (rather fussy) family of five: each family member, to my husband’s chagrin, has a single vote (“Like” or “Don’t Like”) and the number of stars reflects the number of likes. My husband says that, since he has a more mature palate, his vote should count for more, so don’t be surprised if you see adjusted ratings of these recipes on his Facebook page!

Although, for the most part, these are tried and trusted recipes, I hope that you will venture to experiment with them as I have, adjusting them for availability of ingredients, the tastes of your family and, indeed, the whim of a new culinary adventure!


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