I swear this isn’t a food blog.


alright, today I am going to start with an unpleasant truth. but then then I am going to make it delicious.

development work (mostly when you’re in your early 20s and sitting behind a desk in Washington, DC) is sometimes HUGELY unsatisfying. I’ve held countless informational interviews for people who want to get into this field because they think it’s all g-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s (ooh the flossy, flossy). there are perks for sure, like the travel and the weeks when you’re in the field. but there are also times when I spent days ONLY vetting expense reports. which REALLY sucked. and even when you do the cool work, results are so slight and can take so long to achieve that you may forget what it is you’re really working for.

as with most things worthwhile, development (of a person, a business, or a community) has its ups and down and takes commitment, patience, and a lot of love. so fine, I still love my job.

but how do you manage that day-to-day fluctuation of feeling? what cheers you? me, I like to cook and tend to a garden. there is something so satisfying about making something delicious from scratch, or watering something every day and seeing it bear fruit. and taking a mallet and hammering the crap out of a piece of meat. my mom says it’s like therapy. I love these activities because they provide immediate gratification, something I don’t get to experience at work too often.

well, guess who else uses cooking as an outlet? lovely Emily, my best friend and teacher here. who said herself that her most favorite thing to do, and the thing that she is best at, is cooking. isn’t she lucky? isn’t that what we’re all striving towards?

I wasn’t really expecting to make good friends while I was here, but I got really lucky. anyway, so remember a while back I told you that I enrolled in Emily’s Africuisine for Dummies course? quick refresher of the lesson plan for you forgetful types:

  1. sour porridge
  2. chapattis
  3. mandazi
  4. fried fish, tomato and onion soup and warm kale salad

wellllllll, this weekend I happily graduated. the office kitchen doesn’t allow us to fry (good idea) so Emily hosted me at her place. here are some pics of our labor. and of the delicious results.

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so, I just need everyone to mentally prepare for a Stephanie that is, ahem, a few pounds extra. please pretend that I look fabulous and that I don’t look ANY different at all. seriously. I do plan to get on a psycho workout diet routine the second I hit the west coast, but I don’t have the time nor the willpower to do that here. right now, I’m wayyy too busy stuffing my face with chapattis.

what activity gets you through a less than perfect day? and why?

***special shout out to my girl TLo for sending her recipe “Teresa’s Outrageously Healthy Berry Oatmeal Cookies.” my coworkers and I inhaled these cookies (guilt-free!) AND I was able to use all of my extra dried fruit and oats. more bird killing with stones. love it.


4 thoughts on “I swear this isn’t a food blog.

  1. 9, I can’t wait for your visit and will happily cook for you! I’m still dreaming of that scallop and jumbo shrimp dinner you made me before YOUR marathon… xoxo

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