Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category

Greetings to the few of you still out there.

I am currently off work with a bad shoulder and feeling rather sorry for myself especially seeing as Mrs Bunny Chow is away on business so I thought I would throw together one of my favourite all time meals which incidentally she isn’t a fan of. This is a loose guide chili is not something that should use a real recipe more something you make your own but it will give a good baseline.

I started out by browning some seasoned chunks of Oxtail in a heavy potjie (dutch oven) with a little oil, until they had some good colour. To these I added three or four diced medium onions.

At this point I added some mixed herbs, a good couple of tablespoons of powdered, cumin, powdered coriander and dried garlic powder. Honestly all chili type dishes are based on this spice mix and if you want no heat just leave it there or work your way through to whatever level of stupidity you’re comfortable with. I am not know for my cleverness so I made myself a little tea with some dried african birdseye chillis and a beef stock cube (picture before I added the stock cube) I was not cautious about how many of these chillis I used, be cleverer than me!

Dried African Birdseye chillis otherwise known as peri-peri

These chillis are commonly known as peri peri under a variety of different spellings depending on which portuguese priest first wrote about them they’re all essentially the same thing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peri-peri

This was simply a process of rehydrating the chilli’s in some boiling water and adding the resulting stock and whole re-hydrated chillis to the cooking pot. I also added a little ketchup for sweetness and to cut some of my newly introduced intense heat. I simmered on a medium heat for a few minutes.

Ready for a long slow cook.

This was covered and placed in a low oven for four or five hours, oxtail is a tough old cut, your meat might not need this long but I planned well ahead to allow for this time with just the occasional stir.

At around 5pm (I started at midday) I added a tablespoon or so of tomato paste, a couple of tins of tomatoes, mine we whole but chopped are fine I just broke them up with a spoon and some sweet potato fries that have been languishing forgotten in the freezer and needed using. Use whatever veg you need to use up.

Upon tasting I decided that the chili heat was a little one dimensional so raided my extensive collection of chilli powders and oils and added a little bit of this and that to add sweetness, fruitiness and smokeyness, this is your chilli, add what you like.

I also added about a tablespoon of flour to help thicken the sauce and I know this is in some circles considered controversial (but I like them) kidney beans.

This went back into the low oven for another couple of hours and was served simply over rice with a squeeze of lime, and quite a lot of low fat yoghurt as it is stupid hot even for me the idiot who once did this.

Anyway, that’s a lot of rambling from someone you’ve no heard much from in a long long time.

It was yummy!

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow AKA Rob

Cancer Sucks Balls

Posted: 02/11/2015 in Africa
Tags: ,

Just a quick one today guys, sadly I recently found out that my godmothers cancer has returned and she’s being flown to India for further assessment and hopefully treatment. This is the woman who introduced my parents to each other and without whom I wouldn’t exist.

I implore each and every one of you to speak to your friends and family about cancer and donate whatever money you can either directly through me or any number of worthwhile cancer charities wherever you are in the world because together we can beat this terrible disease.

If you would like to join me in looking like a dork for a month then please sign up to http://moteam.co/team-little-mo

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Rob

 

Howdy blog reading people,

I continue to be rubbish about keeping you in the loop but today I thought I’d do something different and upload a video with terrible audio of my trying my old school buddy Tim’s Hot Sauce that he very kindly sent me all the way from Dallas Texas.

I hope you give it a watch and let me know if I should record any more video’s of me making a fool of myself on camera.

ttfn

Rob aka Mr Bunny Chow

Hi!

I just signed the petition “Allow international observers to monitor this year’s general election.” on Change.org.

It’s important. Will you sign it too? Here’s the link:

http://www.change.org/petitions/allow-international-observers-to-monitor-this-year-s-general-election?share_id=abfbNReUIj&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

Thanks!

Mr Bunny Chow

Forgetful?

Posted: 17/04/2013 in Africa

now we’re at the end and please don’t forget to show ZARDA your support please. https://www.facebook.com/ZARDAHARARE

Birding in Zimbabwe

Oh my !   How forgetful and dumb can one be ?

Ooops – not dumb – just forgetful …..

I completely forgot a whole country !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you want to visit this magnificent part of the Nyika Plateau as a Zambian, or from Zambia, you, unfortunately, have to first come into Malawi and go in from the east !!

We popped over – because we could – and added country five to our journey!

And on the subject of anybody having an appalling memory …

http://www.facebook.com/ZARDAHARARE

This fantastic society is run by by wonderful wife Jan.  She won’t let me forget anything.  Bless her little cotton socks. Which are invariably multi-coloured.

Thanks for watching and please visit her Facebook site and LIKE everything.

Cheers

Tony

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Above the tree line!

Posted: 17/04/2013 in Africa

nearly at the end of my father’s epic journey to Tanzania and back

Birding in Zimbabwe

Hi all

I’m back for the final stretch …….

When we left off last time we had made it all the way back to Mt Rungwe just north of Tukuyu in south western Tanzania.

We made an early departure (another big thank you is due to the Clowes family) and headed for Malawi.

After crossing the Songwe River and doing all the normal customs and immigration stuff we were off southwards back down Lake Malawi, past Livingstonia and back up onto the escarpment.

Then onwards inland and south to a little town called Rumphi.  A critical stop to purchase beer and off westwards for several hours on crap dirt roads to Thazima Gate.

This is the entrance to the Nyika National Park.  Take very careful note of the stated altitude !!  1646 metres above sea level is already in the region of 5000 feet a.s.l.

We drove into the park and through…

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I know the below article from Outdoor Life Magazine is controversial but I want to share it anyway because as a Zimbabwean it is a subject close to my heart. I know the article is about Tanzania but the subject is transferable except that the percentages in Zimbabwe’s case are even higher with regular tourism not bringing in anything like as much as the big game hunters.

I personally have never hunted a lion and even if the national lottery came a calling would the desire ever possess me, I have hunted plains game for meat though and would do so again tomorrow if the opportunity and finances presented themselves.

What do my readers think?

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

Hunting: The Only Way to Save the African Lion 

The New York Times ran an editorial Sunday arguing that the only thing that can save the African lion is legalized hunting.

In the piece, director of wildlife for the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism Dr. Alexander N. Songorwa explains that American sport hunters constitute 60 percent of that country’s trophy hunting market and that money from this group finances Tanzania’s game reserves and wildlife management areas. Yes, Dr. Songorwa points out that some of the money for these operations comes from tourists but “[hunters] pay thousands of dollars to pursue lions with rifles and take home trophies from what is often a once-in-a-lifetime hunt. Those hunters spend 10 to 25 times more than regular tourists and travel to (and spend money in) remote areas rarely visited by photographic tourists.”

The editorial continues by breaking down how that money impacts the country.

“In Tanzania, lions are hunted under a 21-day safari package. Hunters pay $9,800 in government fees for the opportunity. An average of about 200 lions are shot a year, generating about $1,960,000 in revenue. Money is also spent on camp fees, wages, local goods and transportation. And hunters almost always come to hunt more than one species, though the lion is often the most coveted trophy sought. All told, trophy hunting generated roughly $75 million for Tanzania’s economy from 2008 to 2011.”

If the United States Fish and Wildlife lists the African lion as endangered, as many are proposing, the decision would be “would be disastrous to [Tanzania’s] conservation efforts.”

Lion hunting, of course, is heavily regulated in Tanzania.  Females and lions under 6 years of age may not be hunted.

For now…

If the USFWS lists the African lion as endangered, no one from the US will be hunting them.

 

it’s been a while since I’ve done any random waffling and warbling in these pages and I thought it was about time I changed that.

Christmas is rapidly approaching and as usual I am woefully unprepared, Mrs BC is impossible to buy for that only guidelines I have are that kitchenware is out for some reason, things that smell nice are out, clothing is out, jewellery is out. That doesn’t leave me with a whole bunch of choices, never mind that fact that all of our friends will also turn to me for guidance as they too are fully aware that she’s impossible. I’ve even tried the hugely unsubtle, “what do you want for Christmas dearest, sweetcheeks?” the response was the very helpful “A present”.

The boys should be easy but are proving equally frustrating, they have so many toys and the youngest at 16 months is clueless about christmas, I have no doubt he’ll enjoy ripping up paper and playing with boxes but as yet he has no concept of sharing or ownership, basically he see’s the world with everything being his. The Monkey on the other hand just wants everything, his obsession with Scooby Doo is still showing no sign of abating and whilst I can think of worse things, I mean he could be obsessed by a purple dinosaur or the teletubbies, there are only so many Scooby Doo related accessories and toys one very small house can hold.

It is now only three weeks until I finish paid employment for the forseeable future and I’m beginning to panic about how I’m going to entertain the boys day in and day out, I know I’ll never be fully prepared it’s just one of those things I’m going to have to practice and work on. My only starting point is that there will be no daytime television. Thankfully they are both great readers and I have at least a couple of art projects in the back of my head to get us started.

It’s all very daunting and exciting though.

My other news for the week is that the sweet little disease ridden darlings have been kind enough to bless Mrs Bunny Chow and I with colds. I’m not a fan waking up feeling like I’m still a smoker (I haven’t been for years) or that I’ve been inhaling pure pollen through my nose through the night, seriously I’ve spent the day leaking from every upper orifice whilst hawking up crunchy stuff from my lungs, I mean surely that can’t be good.

I know winter has arrived (Canadian readers I know you’re tough) but I don’t approve of having to scrape ice off of my car in the mornings or the fact that there is still frost on the ground at lunchtime. I’m from Africa though, I can deal with cold as long as it’s safe for T Shirts and shorts to be worn by the middle of the day, in fact I don’t like anything below about 20C (70ish F). I’ve lived on Mud Island for fifteen years by the end of this year and I still struggle with winter. I mean seriously is global warming such a bad idea, can I afford a V8?

Ok that’s enough whining from me.

I hope you have a great weekend

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

for some reason Tuli and the Shangani Patrol keep coming back to me at the moment with references in novels etc now I find that my father has been on another adventure back to Matabeleland and these remote and unspoiled historical regions largely forgotten by the worlds tourists.

If you’d like to visit Zimbabwe please do check out his blog http://www.birdingzimbabwe.com

Birding in Zimbabwe

Hi All

I’m back…………

Let’s continue on our journey.

We left off last time with a fantastic breakfast of the Nesbitt Castle and me telling you that AJS is not a birder but he is passionate about the history of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe – a passion he has had since a boy.  We filled up with fuel and headed south, past Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage, (whose founder Viv Wilson sadly died this week) through Esigodini and Gwanda.  About six kilometres later we turned right and our direction now became south-west.  After about eighty kilometres the tarred surface abruptly ended and an hour later we passed through the metropolis of Hwali !

We were now in the deep south-west of Zimbabwe and Baobab country. The nests are those of the Red-billed Buffalo Weaver.

It is very dry down there and there were plenty of these spiny beasts.  Anyone out there know what they are ?…

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first off I wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you who read these random ramblings of mine, I’ve now reached the landmark of 100 wordpress.com followers and having that support and following has been great. As some of you longer term readers will know I started rambling around on the web in frustration at shoddy customer service and to give poor Mrs Bunny Chow a break from listening to me whining. At the time I’d never even read any blogs and had no idea that this community even existed or dreamed that I could become part of it.

Blogging has become a hobby for me and keeps me out of trouble, I became really down a week or so ago when a close friend began questioning why I would be “doing shit drawings and putting them all over the internet” well my friend I do them because it’s my hobby and I gain pleasure from it and thanks to you good people out here in the blogosphere seem to gain something from my photography and art, I could have retaliated in person and attacked his passions and questioned what led him to do what he does in his free time but I was grown up enough to drop it and remember that art is subjective, just because he might not like what I am doing that’s entirely his right to make that decision and whilst my feelings at the time were deeply deeply hurt and poor Mrs Bunny Chow had to listen to me griping and whining, having allowed myself time to simmer I realise that in reality I would defend to the end his right to his opinions, I may not agree with them but the internet is a wonderful democracy and if he chooses not to enjoy my artistic that’s his prerogative, I’m not going to give up my hobby because it doesn’t float the boat of someone else, be they a real life friend or the occasional internet troll.

Next I’d like to talk about artistic inspiration, it’s a topic I’ve covered a couple of times before in these pages but would like to touch on again inspired by the lovely Patricia over at Pixygiggles who asked about artistic Mojo and how creativity can be commanded, well the simple answer is that it can’t be commanded, well at least not by me, there are plenty of weeks that go by where I battle to keep taking pictures but I keep going. I draw my inspiration and ideas from a variety of sources, Google+ and especially the Project 52 list have thus far inspired at least 34 posts with plenty more to come, Nick and Shannon from www.nickexposed.com and http://seeingspotsphoto.wordpress.com/ have been equally inspiring with their monthly community collaboration projects.

Then there are just people like the aforementioned Patricia who goes out of her way day after day to share her interpretation of the world and what it means to her at any given time, I’ve discovered so many people who inspire me to go out and create on a daily basis, I don’t share every failure with you but I do share plenty of them and do you know what sometimes I cringe but more often I’ll just look back with pride and think I created that, sure I’ve learned a lot about photography in the last year or so and might approach things differently if faced with the same opportunities today but isn’t that what learning is all about, do golfers ever shoot that perfect round and think sod it that’s enough I’ll quit now?

Phew this is turning into something of a rant, deep breath, I started writing today because I wanted to thank all of you who have welcomed me and inspired me to keep going and enjoy myself, at the end of the day this is my little fiefdom but all of you make it a happy little fiefdom so thank-you for being you.

My last little ramble is to ask opinions of phonography and the proliferation of filter apps like instagram and hipstamatic, I keep changing my mind about them, they’re fun, they’re quirky, they’re always in your pocket but the pictures that come out of them are crap, yet it’s that same crapness that I somehow like about them and keep finding myself drawn back to even when editing my photographs from my camera I find myself drawn back to retro feeling editing styles, is this because of the cliché or just because it’s what I’ve always found aesthetically appealing, I’m not sure I can answer that at the moment so I’ll leave the floor open for your thoughts.

The pictures interspersed throughout this post are not new, they’re just a few I’ve chosen because I liked them and felt like sharing them, I’m pretty sure they’ve all been seen in these pages before but if they’re new to you I hope you like them and if you don’t then that’s fine too.

Comment your lives away.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow