Thank you with spiced apple cake

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Well done everyone who managed to navigate the Mazda site and vote for Andrew, it was so close which means every vote really did count, so thank you!

As we feel you are very much part of the Peek, eye care and bakery journey we thought we should perhaps keep up the blog and bit by bit explain these crazy happenings that we really hope will support eye care and the community.

We have been absolutely humbled at the support during the voting for the Mazda grant.


 

‘I got Madeleine’s e-mail I didn’t realise how close it was, I was doing a training session and we put the instructions on the big screen, we struggled with the internet and all morning we tried to vote’ Kisumu Kenya

‘I was running a training session and got everyone in their coffee break to get on line and vote’  Leeds, UK

‘I ran down the corridor getting all my colleagues to vote, we saw Andrew take the lead, it was so exciting’ School in the UK

‘I e-mailed it to all the contacts in the Liverpool Hospitals and have asked the Royal college of Ophthalmology to send it out to every member’  Enthusiastic eye doctor and old colleague of Andrew

‘I should have been in bed hours ago but hey, I can live on empty for a while.  I THINK YOU CAN STILL WIN.’ – Artisan baker, UK at 2am (had to be up at 5am)

‘It went through all my families networks back home in Canada …America …Australia  …Peru  …Egypt’


 

We are all connected and when the collective effort can lead to positive things it is awe-inspiring. The ripple effect was at work, each person voting and sharing with all his or her contacts. It truly was a case of every person’s effort combined towards this.

Of the grant 70% will go towards Peek development/manufacturing costs which means the team can keep autonomy at an early stage and keep driving the social mission above anything else.  20% to St Mary’s mission hospital which goes directly to eye care there and eye care education in the surrounding communities and 10% to the bakery set-up fund which will hopefully lead to long-term sustainable support for St Mary’s and multiple other benefits too.

As part of the Mazda grant they have employed a production team to take a series of small documentaries on the whole story and projects so these guys and Ben who runs E5 bakehouse in Hackney will be flying out in mid-November.

The above and many other strands all seem to be moving with some pace and we have yet to tell you the stories that have unfolded in the last 6 months, we will endeavour to tell over the next few blogs but for now this is our big thank you for supporting the story so far. Written in a rare opportunity whilst Lucas and Elena are sleeping!

As anyone who knows me well, also knows my addiction to apples! As it was October when I wrote this! and the plentiful month of English apples the bake had to be a spiced apple cake…

 

Spiced apple cake

Ingredients:

150g dark brown sugar

115g butter, softened

2 large eggs

4 medium apples, peeled, chopped and heated into apple sauce

65g molasses

1 tsp. vanilla

200g self raising flour

125g whole wheat or spelt flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. allspice

pinch salt

 

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 170°C

2. Butter and line a 20cm deep cake tin

3. In a medium bowl mix together the dry ingredients

4. In a large bowl beat the butter with the sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then applesauce. Add molasses and vanilla and mix until well combined

5. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat until well combined

6. Spread in the prepared pan and bake for 50-60mins minutes until knife clean when poked into the cake

 

Vote for Peek

Since we last blogged a few things have happened…

The bun in the oven was cooked and we are now a very happy family of four!

We are about to move house.

The Cholsey community has been amazing and run several events already as part of it’s “Big Project” for the year to support the bakery.

 

Peek is now being showcased as one of four inspirational projects in an online video campaign for TED.

The project with the most votes will be awarded a €100,000 grant and we are currently in second place with two days to go…

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How you can help

1. Vote for us

The voting system is a little challenging – to make sure your vote counts you need to register on the site, click on the link emailed to you to verify the account and then click on the link again.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to voting.

2. Share the link with your network

What will Peek do with the money if it wins?

The grant would be used to:-

  • Accelerate the production and distribution of Peek to those who need it
  • Support a hospital in Kenya to provide more treatment
  • Help a social enterprise bakery which is providing a long-term sustainable solution to the local eye care programme in Kenya by creating investment and employment.

Here is the video:

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 21.07.39Direct link: https://www.mazdarebels.com/en-gb/content/the-doctor/

Thank you to those who have already voted – we really appreciate it!

 

 

Epiblog | Cluster 101

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The sun has been up just half an hour, the air cool and as usual we met in town ready for one final eye clinic. However, there is no final eye clinic, we had already completed it the day before, the project is over but as far as the team believes, today is the final one. We have packed the van and gathered for what we have told everyone is a short one hour journey to set up the final clinic, business as usual. We move in convoy towards the Lake Nakuru Safari Park, a beautiful national park of Kenya that has been on our doorstep for so long but inaccessible to most who are not tourists. As we enter the gates the mumbles of surprise and questioning start. We arrive at the park gates and everyone is asked to leave the project bus and equipment van and get in to the three parked safari vehicles awaiting us. We are not going to work today, today is safari!

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We enjoy a day searching for animals and admiring the beautiful lake before arriving at the Lodge for 5* service and food and a chance for us all to reminisce on the 18 months that have gone before and prepare for the next chapters in all of our lives.


 

In the aftermath of Cluster 101, there was very little time to sit back and soak in the fact that we had finally finished what we felt for so long was beyond our reach. There was a TED Talk to give and a Bakery to open before we moved back!

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In the week after TED, we spent our time between packing, goodbyes, moving eye equipment, acquiring bakery equipment and running a workshop at the Maili Saba Camp where the Ujima Bakery is soon to open.

Teaching some healthy recipes to the bakery team

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Meet the Ujima Bakery Team

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The Nakuru Eye Study equipment in its new home in Kitale for future Peek studies

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The goodbyes…

Lucas and Elowyn

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The Brookes Family (with 14 children!), we will miss them and other many close friends

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The Eye Team and families – who made it all possible

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There were so many good friends we said goodbyes to in those last two weeks, not something we enjoyed but we took heart from a wise nine year old boy who once said to us, “don’t be sad for the goodbyes you have to make, be happy for the times you had together”. We plan to be back in Kenya pretty regularly now to support the ongoing eye projects in Kitale and  St Mary’s Hospital, the Ujima Bakery and to see our friends who became our family.

We came with a dream of living in Kenya, completing an eye study and sharing our adventures through a blog about baking. We never expected the highs to be so high and the lows to be so low, neither did we dare to dream of all that has happened. Thanks to the amazing and inspiring people we have met in our time here we hope with the help of Peek so many more people will get access to eye care all over the world and that the Ujima Bakery will be a model of sustainable healthcare delivery with the community at the core of supporting itself. We will continue to dream…

 

 

Ginger Bread Eye Clinic | We’ve done it!

Eye Bake - Kenya

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It started off like any other day, we packed the van and I hugged Madeleine and Lucas goodbye for the day, Lucas shouting “I love you Daddy, look for some tuk tuks” as I made my way down the stairwell, his little voice echoing of the concrete walls. We hoped this day would come and we’d imagined it time and time again in the hope that it might be a reality, there was however always the very real possibility that we wouldn’t make it. A single vital piece of equipment failing, a police officer impounding the vehicle, getting stuck but not getting unstuck, team members being sick. In fact they all happened but somehow this final day had come and it didn’t feel like it did on our imaginings.

The clinic ran as usual but as we looked around at the incredible people who have become our family, we knew…

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Ginger Bread Eye Clinic | We’ve done it!

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It started off like any other day, we packed the van and I hugged Madeleine and Lucas goodbye for the day, Lucas shouting “I love you Daddy, look for some tuk tuks” as I made my way down the stairwell, his little voice echoing of the concrete walls. We hoped this day would come and we’d imagined it time and time again in the hope that it might be a reality, there was however always the very real possibility that we wouldn’t make it. A single vital piece of equipment failing, a police officer impounding the vehicle, getting stuck but not getting unstuck, team members being sick. In fact they all happened but somehow this final day had come and it didn’t feel like it did on our imaginings.

The clinic ran as usual but as we looked around at the incredible people who have become our family, we knew this was the last time we would be doing this. The team however had been led to believe that this was the penultimate clinic (we had a little surprise up our sleeves for them which we will tell you about later) and so they were not experiencing the emotional roller coaster we were internalising.  We have learnt so much from the wonderful group of people we’ve been surrounded by and have at many times been humbled by their efforts and desire to serve the community.

Mid-morning a special delivery of the final bake was made. Two of the team were tasked to collect and deliver it, the look on their faces was very similar to the one on mine several years earlier when Madeleine’s mother asked me to carry out her only son’s wedding cake from the kitchen to the wedding marquee in the garden, an impressive cake she had slaved over for days. I knew that if I dropped it, the wedding would have been overshadowed by my blunder and the weight of the cake was nothing compared to the weight of pressure I felt.  Thankfully, both the wedding cake and the gingerbread eye clinic were safely delivered.

Four days of design and planning to build a replica gingerbread eye clinic that required us to take apart our cupboard (temporarily) to form a base, for the entire kitchen and dining room table to be inaccessible for the duration and Lucas adamant on eating the eye clinic nurses and equipment was a fitting end to the project and several thousands of photos were taken before it was broken apart and eaten, quite symbolic, apart from the eating bit…

The baking begins

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Piecing the clinic together

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Edible coconut grass

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A shosho (grandmother) with cataracts being led to the clinic by her grandchild

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A gingerbread and liquorice slit lamp!

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Many of the team will be involved in either the Kitale projects or the bakery and hopefully all are more skilled for whatever they take on in the future. The eye equipment has now been packed and installed in Kitale Eye Hospital for the next projects;

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Our flat has the feeling of transition. Pictures are coming off the wall, graffiti (or art work – depends on your perspective) is more noticeable than ever, our clothes and books in boxes and bags. The random temperature generator is being readied for its last encounters with us. We’ve just finalised the plans for the bakery renovations and this will start any day now. The bakery team have all met together and the initial training went really well.

All that remained was to find specialist equipment for the bakery. We had planned a trip to Kisumu on our way back from Kitale but the owner was out of the country. A few days later, our time coming to an end, the owner still out of Kenya we decided to send Andrew in with his bargaining skills and sparing Lucas eight hours on the road…


The email conversation between Andrew (in Kisumu) and Madeleine in Nakuru

Andrew/11.25: I’ve arrived, wish me luck

Mads/11.27: Use those Egyptian bargaining skills! Praying it works out

Mads/12.45: How’s it going? Are you out of signal? Xx

Andrew/13.03: I’ve seen all the equipment, it looks ideal, about to speak the boss on the phone

Andrew/13.21: Looks like it’s not going to happen, he wants to sell ALL or nothing 😦

Mads/13.23: What! It can’t be?

Andrew/13.51: All is not lost, having another conversation

Mads/14.04: Well? X

Andrew/14.09: Nope, not budging, we can’t afford to take all of it so we are stuck

Andrew/14.33: We might have a deal…

Andrew/14.44: He’s agreed to us taking the equipment we need but it is still 30% more then we can afford, I’ll keep trying

Mads/14.48: Keep going beautiful, p.s. I just cut Lucas’ hair while he was asleep

Mads/15.22: Any progress?

Andrew/15.31: We are getting close, just agreeing terms on delivery and installation

Mads/15.37: Keep going! x

Andrew/16.01: We have a deal!!! Ujima Bakery is actually going to happen xx

Andrew/16.03: Did you seriously cut Lucas’ hair?

Mads/16.04: Wahoooooooo!!!!!!!!


We’ve both been daydreamers most of our lives, dreaming of adventure, new worlds, challenges and excitement. Every so often the dreams fill our consciousness to the point that we can no longer only dream about it. The reality it turns out is rarely as it is in the dreams. Yes, there is adventure, challenge and excitement, but there is also, in equal measure: pain, fear, doubt and struggle.

The unlikely combination of day dreaming eye surgeon, passionate doctor/baker and blond afro toddler have not only been accepted in to this wonderful country but also have been given the opportunity to make dreams happen.

As this wonderful time comes to an end, we look back over the months filled with highs and lows. The single, overwhelming emotion above all others, is still gratitude. Gratitude for the opportunities we were born in to, gratitude for the incredible people who have become our family, who trusted us as strangers and dedicated their time, energy and passion to make the project a success, gratitude to our families and friends who have loved and supported us throughout (and read our blogs).

This is one of the very hardest goodbyes we have had to do.

 

 

Orange, Lemon and Pumpkin Kenya Cake | So nearly there | 1 to go…

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As we get ever closer to completing the study, mixed emotions surface: gratitude, sadness that amazing people who have been part of our day to day life won’t be for much longer, exhaustion, excitement to be close to family and friends again, apprehension at the difficult good byes to our beautiful Kenyan family and friends. Change is inevitable but it is rarely easy.


Here are some statistics from our time in Kenya:

Disclaimer – all statistics are best approximations and subject to change (one village to go) 😉

4,381 study patients were attempted to be retraced from six years ago

Almost 2,200 were re-examined (many had moved or died)

Over 7,000 people (many non-study) have been examined and treated as needed

Approximately 400 hours have been spent travelling to and from clinics by the examination team

At least 300 of those 400 hours have not been on tarmac (the equivalent of more than 12 days continuously)

Stuck trying to reach the eye clinic: 17 times (5 minutes to three hours)

Over 1,000 hours have been spent on foot by the advance team retracing patients and using Peek in their homes

100 different recipes have been baked and delivered to the eye clinics

Around 8 bakes never made the field or the blog…

Approximately 50kg of flour have been used

Approximately 350 hours spent baking in the kitchen with the random temperature generator

Seven baking related burns, four requiring bed time ice

Cockroaches in the kitchen: too many to count

Power cuts: too many to count

220 hours spent blog writing 😉

Bakeries established: 1

400 dusty runs

1,300 cups of coffee (at least) consumed between us

Lucas has spotted and described in detail over one million tuk tuk’s and tractors

Lucas has lived most of his life in Kenya

We arrived as a family of three

We leave as a family of four in the making: Madeleine, Andrew, Lucas and bump (15 weeks)…


 

Recipe – Orange, Lemon and Pumpkin Kenya Cake

Ingredients

Cake mixture (This make one cake but I multiplied it by three for a large cake)

3 medium eggs

160g caster sugar

200g peeled and grated pumpkin

Finely grated zest of two oranges and two unwaxed lemons

150g white flour

50g ground cashews (almonds can be used as an alternative)

2tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Icing (Enough for the large cake)

100g butter

400g icing sugar

Zest of three lemons

50g ground almonds

Two large spoons of plain yoghurt

Methods

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C

2. Beat the eggs and sugar for five minute till pale and fluffy . Whisk in the grated pumpkin, orange and lemon zests, followed by the flour and and ground cashews, baking powder and salt and mix for another minute

3. Ladle the mixture in to a baking tin. I had to make this twice in the oven tray (only thing big enough) to layer it for sufficient height. Cook for around half an hour

4. Remove and cool on a wire rack

5. To make the icing beat the butter and gradually add in the icing sugar and other ingredients until soft.

6. Once cool, layer the two cake sponges and using a stencil of Kenya cut out the sponge (off-cuts would make a great trifle if your son and husband didn’t eat them all) in to the desired shape.

7. Smoothly cover in the icing and decorate.

 

Ooooh, tuk tuks

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An amazing crescent moon with a small planet next to it.

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An old Mzee (old man/grandfather) having his vision tested

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LogMAR Tumbling E vision test for those of you who get excited by this kind of thing…

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A mzee inviting us in to his home to be examined with Peek

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Croquembouche/Choc-embouche… | It’s about the journey | 2 to go…

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Andrew could be kindly described as directionally impaired (that would probably be the politically correct term for it), to be frank, he has no sense of direction. Thankfully we are living in an era of technology and the invention of satellite navigation made it possible for us to see each when we lived in different cities for four years before we were married. He was well known for day dreaming and getting lost on routes he’d done a hundred times before and with out someone directing him at every turn he could quite easily end up miles away, ironic given the project has required the team to find 5,000 people spread over 100 locations, many of which are not even on the map. He has however always been someone who places more importance on the “journey than the destination”, which is all well and good except for when I asked him how far this village was and he gave me a typical Kenyan response of, “it’s not so far”.  To have reached 97 locations before today can only be described as a miracle. In fact, it has been down to an incredibly hard working team who have travelled to each and every location twice or three times before hand both preparing the clinic sites, meeting the village chiefs or elders, determining if the roads would be possible, whether we could get access to stable electricity and going to each and every home of the study patients to meet them in person, explain what we are doing and examine them with Peek.

Andrew’s “It’s not far” turned out to be four hours away, three hours of which were spent off road on what can only be described as roads with a very generous amount of artistic license. Not an ideal trip for delicate structure of the Croquembouche that is hard enough to keep in one piece when stationary. This French masterpiece, often used for weddings had 100 (representing the 100 villages) choux pastry balls delicately pieced together with chocolate (it was meant to be caramel but we ran out of sugar on my second failed attempt to make a suitably sticky caramel)

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After packing up the Croq into the laundry basket and sticking material all the way round to keep dust out, I was pretty amazed it was 80% intact on arrival…

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There are many things about our lives in Kenya which have become normal, but when we write or reflect on them we realise they are probably not. This week for example, not to mention transporting the delicate choux pastry tower baked late in to the night in to the middle of nowhere in laundry basket. Other slightly abnormal happenings included: buying our usual stock of UHT Milk when the bill came to almost £700?! They had managed to key in 888 Litres of milk rather than eight and it took several people to come and correct the error. It was even suggested that we pay it and be reimbursed, not an option we went for. We’ve had no electricity for the last 24 hours but are grateful that we still have water (for now), Lucas has spent a few hours Tuk Tuk spotting and we are working out the purchase of a load of bakery equipment this Friday if all goes well…

Recipe – Chocembouche

The Choux pastry balls were made as in this recipe

We fashioned a cone out of cardboard and Sellotape which we then covered in a layer of foil and baking paper.

For the chocolate sauce melt dark chocolate in a metal bowl over boiling hot water and when a fluid consistency apply to edges of the choux pastry balls to stick to one another. Finish by flicking chocolate all over it and be prepared to make a mess!

 A Peek inside the eye clinic

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Courgette and Lemon Honey Cake with Chocolate Avocado Icing | Sight for Sore Eyes | 3 to go.

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‘Let me think about it”

She had been almost blind without knowing it. In her sixties and seemingly losing her love of life with her family losing hope that she would ever be herself again. She no longer wanted to leave the home, had stopped cooking and socialising and her children were worried that she was going down hill fast.

The news that she was almost blind seem to come as a surprise to the lady and her family.
I explained that this was a condition that could be treated and we could put her on our list. A wave of anxiety spread over her and she agreed to think about it and get back to us. Usually when people say this we don’t hear from them again. The fear of the unknown grips them and myths of what happens in eye surgery are often shared.

One week later she called and said she would like to go for surgery… now! In an attempt to not let her anxiety prevent her having treatment she made a last minute decision and commitment to go for it.
At the hospital her stress levels remained high and she was very teary. When her turn came she almost refused but somehow summoned the will power to go ahead and lay on the operating theatre bed.
In just over five minutes her dense cataract had been replaced with a clear artificial lens and before the surgery was over she started shouting that she could see!

At home her family exclaimed that their Mum was back. Despite advise to rest, she was up and about, cooking and cleaning. She came to the clinic with her grandchild, feeding her and playing with a broad smile not leaving her face. She took a leap of faith and now not only was her vision restored but also her sense of self.

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Stuck again….

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With the health conscious bakery in mind and the high cost of soft cheeses here I was determined to find a way of making icing without using icing sugar….I was reading somewhere about the soft creamy smoothness of avocado ….that is when the idea came, avocados and honey are in abundant supply here so I had to try it, amazingly it worked.

Recipe: Courgette and Lemon Honey cake:

Ingredients cake:

4 eggs at room temperature

150g honey (runny)

350g grated courgette with skins removed

Finely grated rind of 3 lemons

140g ground almonds

220g plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

Ingredients – icing:

1 ripe medium avocado, needs to be soft

5 dessert spoons of honey

2 generous dessert spoons of cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

1. Prepare two 15cm circular baking tins with baking parchment.

2. Peel and grate courgette.

3. Wash and grate the lemons.

4. Whisk the honey and eggs for 6minutes until soft and airy, beat in the grated courgette and lemon.

5. Weight out the dry ingredients and gently beat into the mixture until well combined.

6. Divide equally into the two baking tins.

7. Place into a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 15-20mins until slightly golden and beautifully risen.  Listen before taking out if you cant hear any slight whistling it is ready.  Test with a clean knife, if it comes out clean it is ready.

8. Let cool in tins.

9.Whilst baking make the icing, mash the avocado and whisk with the remaining ingredients to a smooth consistency and place in the fridge.

10. When the cakes are cool select the best shaped cake and use this for the top of the sandwiched cakes, take the other cake and using a sharp serrated knife gently but firmly level the top of the cake.  Spread icing over this cake and place the other cake on top, then ice the top cake.  when finished store in an air tight container in the fridge.

Cheese and Rosemary Focaccia | Finishing or Beginning? | 4 to go…

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I am rummaging through the cupboards and I find the backing to the sticky Cath Kidston ducks we had stuck all over the tiles in our bathroom when we first arrived.  They had seemed such an important touch of making an alien environment feel like home (and they were light to carry), now I am peeling them off one by one thinking of all the giggles, bubbles and splashes they had become part of as we bathed Lucas in a laundry bucket for the past year and a half.

The rain outside pours down, the thunder booms around the flats, it is dark but cosy for mid afternoon. We are in the wet season, the much awaited rains have finally come and the dust has settled, its home.  As the rain draws in its like winter approaches in a single afternoon, the concept of seasons is distant, its either wet or dry.  When this village was completed the road was tough and very long and thankfully we just avoided the rains, what a blessing! Lucas happily plays in what to him is the home he knows and remembers, he is in a world of tractors, play dough mud, bales of hay and a tele-handler (we so have to live near a farm!). We have less than three weeks during which we are also due to travel to Kitale, Western Kenya to take the equipment for the further eye projects, as I write, two engineers are on their ay to Kisumu to check out the bakery equipment for sale, things are getting busy and so we take what opportunities we can to sort through whats getting packed into cases.  As one chapter begins to close others are opening, we are not sure if we are finishing or beginning….

Recipe – Cheese and Rocket Focaccia

Adapted from The River Cottage Handbook: No. 3 – Bread

Ingredients:

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 5g dried yeast
  • 10g fine salt
  • 325ml warm water
  • About 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for coating

To finish:

  • A generous drizzle of olive oil
  • A sprinkle of flaky sea salt
  • 150g of cheese, cheddar, blue cheese, parmesan what ever you feel like.  I used mozzarella and a strong almost cheddar like cheese.

Method

To knead by hand: mix the flour, yeast, salt and water in a bowl to form a sticky dough. Add the oil, mix it in, then turn the dough out on to a clean work surface. Knead until smooth and silky, about 10 minutes.
Or, to use a food mixer: fit the dough hook and add the flour, yeast, salt and water to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until evenly combined, then add the oil and leave to knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and silky.

Shape the dough into a round and coat with a little extra oil. Leave to rise in a clean bowl, covered with a plastic bag. When it has doubled in size, tip it on to the work surface and press into a rough rectangle. Place in a lightly oiled shallow baking tray, measuring about 26 x 36cm. Press the dough in with your fingers, right into the corners.  Sprinkle the grated cheese over half of the dough and fold over the other half to sandwich the cheese. Now leave to rise, covered, for about half an hour, it helps of slightly oil cling film to cover.

Preheat your oven to 220°C, or as high as it will go. When the bread looks puffed up and airy, use your fingertips to poke deep holes across the whole surface, almost to the bottom. Drizzle the top generously (but not swimmingly) with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, black pepper and even chopped rosemary if you feel like. Bake for about 10minutes, then turn the oven down to about 200°C and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Focaccia is best eaten warm, but not hot; leave to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before serving, or leave to cool completely.

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Queen’s Picnic |Peek being funded by the Queen! | 5 to go…

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We were sat in our neighbours garden two years ago celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen, surrounded by red, white and blue bunting hanging from the trees, barbecues cooking up feasts up and down the country.   We were sharing our plans, excitement and anxieties for our upcoming move to Kenya. The last thing we expected was two years on, a Trust established to give the Queen a lasting legacy would be supporting our work with Peek for the next five years.

Celebrating the Queens Diamond Jubilee in June 2012

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The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust is funding us to deliver five major research projects which will help us ensure that Peek reaches some of the goals we have dreamed of. Two of these studies will be here in Kenya and will answer two fundamental questions: (1) Can Peek increase the access to eye care, and in those who access care,  (2) can Peek increase the quality of care? These two studies will take around four years to complete in full but will answer a very important question about how effective Peek is to contributing to reducing blindness at a population level.

Other studies will be based in Tanzania, India and Botswana. To read more click here

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Recipe – Queen’s Picnic

Traditional cream tea’s have beautiful platters of sandwiches, scones and other delights such as macaroons.

As we’ve made scones and macaroons  already this bake focussed on freshly prepared bread and tasty fillings.

Ingredients:

For the bread:

  • 1kg strong white bread flour
  • 10g dry yeast
  • 15g fine salt
  • 600ml warm water

For the fillings:

Method:

1. Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl, then add the water. Stir to create a rough, sticky dough. The dough really should be quite sticky at this stage – if it isn’t, add a splash more water.

2. Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, rhythmically stretching the dough away from you, then folding it back on itself. The idea is to stretch and develop the gluten within the dough, not to beat the living daylights out of it. Avoid adding more flour if you can: the dough will become less sticky and easier to handle as you knead, and a wetter dough is generally a better dough.

3. When the dough is smooth and elastic, form it into a ball, coat it very lightly with oil and place in a clean bowl. Cover with cling film or put inside a clean bin-liner and leave in a warm place until doubled in size – in the region of 1½ hours.

4. Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and deflate with your fingertips. Reshape the dough into neat rounds and put on a lightly floured board to prove for around 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250°C, or its highest setting. Put a baking tray in to heat up.

5. When the loaves have almost doubled in size again, take the hot baking tray from the oven and sprinkle with a little flour. Carefully transfer the risen loaves to the tray. Slash the tops with a sharp, serrated knife and put in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 190°C and bake for about 30 minutes more, or until the crust is well-coloured, and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it sharply with your fingers. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before slicing.

The sandwich bread

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