You are invited!

e5-Ujima Bakehouse Supper Club Poster 4

You are invited to e5 Bakehouse on the 4th, 5th, and 6th of August for East African food and music. All proceeds going to support the Ujima Bakehouse in Kenya and the opening of the Ujima Bakehouse Cafe.

We will be in London on the 4th (Thursday) to do a short talk and give an update on the bakehouse and plans going forward. We also have some exciting news to share on the day!

Hope to see some of you soon and feel free to share with any one who might be interested.

🙂

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Another great reason to visit e5!

 

 

An Eye Hospital with a difference….

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The team behind the eye care in Kenya

“Why has nobody been feeding her?”

Mama Jane, an elderly grandmother was skin and bone. Jane, her daughter assured the eye care team that despite her mother being blind she was well fed and cared for. With a short hug she waved goodbye as her mother climbed aboard the truck.

She arrived at St Mary’s, greeted by Roselyne’s beaming smile that she could not yet see. She gently guided her to the female ward where a meal of fresh vegetables, fruit and stewed milky Kenyan tea awaited her, all produce from the hospital grounds including the milk. There was no doubt despite her frail frame, she had a very good appetite. Everything was gobbled up which raised suspicion further that she was not being fed at home.

The following morning, Dr George expertly operated on her and she was retuned to the ward to rest and she soon demolish another mountain of fresh fruit and vegetables.

After a hearty breakfast and education on post-operative care, Mama Jane was taken home where she would see her daughter Jane’s face for the first tome in many years and see her multiple grandchildren who didn’t understand what the fuss was about. A member of the hospital team gently mentioned to Jane that they were concerned her mother was being neglected as she ate so well at the hospital and yet was painfully skinny. Jane claimed her mother ate really well but must have some condition that meant she couldn’t put on weight.

The hospital truck left with advice on coming back to the hospital for follow up and with a plan to keep a close eye on the situation.

That night, Mama Jane settled back in to her routine but now appreciating the familiar and new sights in her world. As the sun went down, a large bowl of corn maize and vegetables was put in front of her to enjoy. As soon as Jane was out of the room, four of her grandchildren creeped in to the room, spoons and bowls in hand and started to help themselves to Mama Jane’s meal. For a moment she watched as the stealth operation unfolded in front of her now seeing eyes and a wave of realisation as to why her belly hadn’t been full for so long hit her like a poke in the ribs. As the oldest child went in to load his spoon, she grabbed his wrist with surprising strength, looked him in the eyes and asked what he thought he was dong? Nobody was more surprised than her eldest grandson who dropped his bowl and ran outside, the other three following. Mama Jane was heard laughing as she filled her belly with Jane’s cooking.


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The Ujima Bakehouse has committed to providing a minimum donation to St Mary’s Eye Hospital and the Ujima Foundation which will cover the costs of ten sight-restoring operations and ten training places for young adult orphans on the Ujima Hospitality training program every month for at least six-months. The hope of course is that this minimum figure will be far surpassed and that the bakery will run for years and years.


The Maili Saba Wild Sourdough test batch – Real Bread

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The four of us enjoying a ride to the nearly ready bakery in a tuk tuk

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Heading back to Kenya…

Peek EyeBake Mazda Video 1


 

4am: “Is it morning?”

“No Lucas, it’s the middle of night, go back to sleep”

“Can we go to Kenya now?”

We never got back to the sleep, the house in chaos, our plans of packing early never happened and a three year old beside himself with excitement about going back to Kenya.


The excitement, anticipation and frustration over the last few days has resulted in Lucas become an untameable ball of energy leaving general destruction in his wake: unfinished conversations, piles of toys and clothes, unpacking packed bags and leaving us no time to think.

We got out for a drink in a café near home (Lucas had somehow decided to be an angel for the dentist so this was his treat) when Elena started crying for milk, only at this point, having not had a moment to think all week, did I realise I was inappropriately dressed wearing a knee length knitted jumper dress that required me to practically strip off to give her some milk…


We are on our way back to the country that became our home for the first time since completing the eye project and the baking challenge, and this time, we are four.

There is a bakery to open, old friends to hug and a new eye project starting

Before we get there we have to somehow encourage our constipated four-month old daughter to shift one before we get on the plane (we don’t want a repeat of the Lucas poonami incident [link chocolate log]), she is becoming increasingly agitated as we attempt to pack, we try massaging her abdomen, filling her up with milk, singing rhymes that we think might for some reason encourage a bowel motion, all the while Lucas is chomping at the bit and becoming more and more like a caged animal.

After lunch, granddad arrives. He is kindly taking us to the airport and has picked up some oven insulation that Ben the baker requested. It is a little bigger than we’d anticipated. Oversized baggage here we come. Elena still hasn’t pooped and the situation is getting concerning. We are half packed, it’s time to go, Elena is threatening us with making a huge mess on the plane, we have oversized luggage including a bag full of phones, gadgets, tractors and two large rolls of insulating wool for the oven.

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Eventually we make out the door and head to Heathrow. Once through security our flight was being called but we figured we had at least 20 minutes before we needed to get on. Time for us to enjoy a much anticipated coffee and a breather at Carluccio’s.

We all sit down together, almost smug that we had made it through with no dramas, our coffees arrive and simultaneously Elena decides to release the biggest poo of her young life so far. Her nappy made a poor attempt at containing the escaped four day build up, it had somehow managed to find its way over every part of her body, hair included. Normally this would call for a dunk in the bath but with our flight being called and Lucas now deciding he wanted to do a wee (nearest toilet a two minute run away) we left our coffees to go cold so we could split the workload and deal with the delights nature had brought us.

Lucas takes his time to piddle, the days of “Are we going on the plane now?” seemingly forgotten at the very moment we do need to be getting on NOW. Despite an impressive effort using baby wipes, our beautiful little girl has a baby poo yellow tinge.

The relaxing drink and moment to reflect before what is undoubtedly going to be an emotional return never happened, we made it to the desk, no queues, just the familiar look of flight crew impatiently waiting for us to get on the plane.

 

Everything seems to happen at once…

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We find ourselves lost in the miracle that is our beautiful baby girl, staring at her face and being overjoyed when she smiles back at us. Then we turn around to see boxes everywhere, emails arriving by the bucket load, builders calling about the work on our new home, a film crew asking if they can film us baking in our house that doesn’t really resemble a place that people live in and we stick the kettle on, brew some coffee and enjoy the ride…

I think it would be fair to say that our lives have in no way settled in to any kind of rhythm or normality, but then again we haven’t been looking for it. This is a brief recap of the last couple of weeks:


 

Following the amazing support of friends and family pushing hard for us to win the Mazda grant, the film crew who will be following up on the work with Peek, the Bakery, Ujima and St Mary’s Hospital called to ask if they could do a little interview at our home and get some action shots of us baking.

Normally (not that this is a normal happening anyway!) that would have been absolutely fine. However, it was the day before we were due to move home, we had a baby who was not yet 6 weeks old, the house we were moving in to was covered in paint, plaster, tools and the flat we were moving out of had boxes being unpacked by Lucas in search of his tractor-digger faster than we could pack. To complicate matters a little further, Andrew was in Mexico (another story for another day) until the day before they were due to come round.

At the same time, the renovations for the Bakery were getting close to completion and flights had been booked for Ben (possibly the most amazing Baker on the planet and dubbed the “Jamie Oliver of baking” by the film crew) from the e5 Bakehouse to fly out to Kenya and start training the team.

The film crew, who are a great bunch of guys and seem to have got to the core of what we are trying to do, visited us in the depth of our chaos and spent several hours filming as the Lucas show took over. His mastery in the kitchen ended up absorbing most of the time as he cracked eggs, scattered flour and educated everyone on the multiple types of farm machinery and tractors that can drive through piles of flour. A set of short (2 minute) documentaries are being made on the progress of the bakery, eye care and the various strands involved and this was filmed as an intro to them.

Ben and the film crew were to fly out on the Saturday and a timely message popped up on our phones on the Friday (the day we moved home) notifying us that the renovations for the bakery building had been completed.

We looked at each other, so excited and relieved that progress was being made. Equally, we know that there are no guarantees this will work but we will work as hard as we can to support the team who are making it possible.

We’ve had regular reports from Kenya this week. Ben has been training the team and it seems that things are working well so far. This Tuesday (tomorrow) the much anticipated delivery of the equipment is expected. This is no simple job. The 4-deck oven ways a ton and the road to the bakery is really tough going. Then there is the issue of if we can fit the equipment in to the building with out having to take a wall down. We will let you know how it goes…honestly I feel nervous!

We have managed to start unpacking and our house is starting to feel like home, at the same time, the dream of a bakery that supports the community is beginning to look more like it may be a dream come true?

 

At home with the Bastawrous family…  lucas
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Training at the Ujima Bakehouse

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Bakery renovations being completed

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Moving house

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