“Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.” – Margaret Thatcher
In the past two years, I have spent Christmas with the Moruri’s in Virginia, this year was not an exception. On the chilly Sunday morning of December 24th, I jumped into my car and began the four and a half hour road trip from Newark, DE to Chesapeake, VA. Though I was truly looking forward to spending quality time with my loved ones, I also couldn’t stop thinking about the savory taste of Kenyan delicacies I would soon be eating.
This year’s exquisite menu consisted of Sukuma wiki, Maandazi, Samosas, Goat curry, Roasted lemon chicken drumsticks, Chapati, Ugali, Ndengu, Curry oxtail, and both plain and honey glazed barbeque pork ribs. This finger licking flavorful dishes filled the house with their pleasant tantalizing aromas as we patiently waited for all the meals to be ready.
They say talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships. Teamwork certainly pulled off some of the best dishes I have eaten in a long while. Not even the chefs at the popular Swahili village restaurant in Maryland could beat the masterful culinary skills of the dynamic duo “Dennis & Caro”, these top chefs even partnered to make sure that they served the sautéed “Sukuma Wiki” in an artistic, palate-pleasing, layered display.
Dennis couldn’t stop bragging about his curry oxtail. I was hesitant to try it, after all, my first experience with oxtail was at the Jamaican restaurant right outside my house 6 months earlier and I absolutely hated the spicy hot dish. However, upon his insistence, I gave in to his behest and I must humbly admit that his scrumptious curry oxtail dish was my favorite dish of the night. He was also the chef behind the Goat curry and both plain and honey glazed barbeque pork ribs. I must silently whisper that he is indeed a master chef when it comes to meaty dishes.
Caro is the queen of Chapati and Maandazi. I cannot recall any one given time when I have eaten more than one full chapati, but this night was an exception, I went for a second serving. I have made Chapatis’ before, but there was something different about hers. I cannot tell if it was the mixture of sweet and salty that left me wanting more or that I hadn’t eaten chapati in a long while, either way, i didn’t care to figure it out. She was also the top chef behind the finger-licking lemon roasted chicken, Sukuma wiki, Ndengu and Ugali. I told her,” if I could cook half as good as you do, then maybe I would have had a husband by now“, she laughed heartily.
Priscah always makes “bomb” Samosas. My attempt to get her to consider making them for sale has landed in futile ears. “Mary, you know I am too busy,” she says.
It was with great joy that we exchanged stories of our lives. I also met Evelyn for the first time and she left me squirming with laughter.From Left to Right: Caro, Priscah, Evelyn and myself
As for me, I did what I do best; I was the both the “Dish washer” and “Energy producer” of the night as i entertained everyone with my unending shameless stories whilst washing the dishes 🙂
I am not related to the Moruri’s and yet they are my family. They have loved me and made me part of their lives and as such we are a chosen family. Every Easter, every Thanksgiving and every Christmas, I am reminded that though I am far away from home, I have a place in their hearts and in their home and that is what family is all about. Thank you for another beautiful Christmas.
The Dynamic duo master Chefs “Dennis & Caro Moruri”
Photo credits are by eleven year old, Jasmine Moruri. I promised her that her “left eye” will make a cameo feature on the blog as an artistic expression of her new found love for photography, a figurative reminder that she just needs one eye behind the lens to capture the best moments of her life.
I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas holiday. Wishing you a happy new year!
With Love, Iro