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Man Knit?

Knitting? I like it! I don’t know why I started it. It was just an impulse really. I remember asking why there aren’t many doing it any more, both sexes included. Back in the day when growing up, it was common seeing one knit or crochet. You wouldn’t miss a ball of yarn in a home. Local shopkeepers were even selling yarn! It was normal seeing our mother’s knit us sweaters, socks and hats. A more common sight was seeing our mothers crotchet away for hours those colorful furniture drapes with lovely patterns. It was nice.

So that got me thinking, why not learn to knit? That was October last year. I got myself a pair of standard knitting needles and some yarn from markiti (an old local market), studied a few you-tube videos and within no time I was knitting a scarf. Actually it was not so hard but I knew I was getting better as I carried on.

scarf

scarf

Why Knit?

Knitting is good and I like it very much. I find it very enjoyable. It really relaxes the mind. It’s not like I have a lot of free time on my hands to kill, No! No! I just feel that everybody needs something that he can do for himself in his pastime, In his alone time, and mine is sometimes knitting.

I particularly like knitting at this one place called zing, a restaurant in my neighbourhood. The place is quite private, which is good for knitting. The other interesting thing i have noted is that this activity is really a conversation starter, which is good. It makes people smile especially when they see it’s a man doing it, and if they have knitting knowledge, in no time you will both be having a happy talk about wool.

Coincidence?

When my mother learnt about my little pastime, she told me that my grandfather was very good at knitting. I really did not know this before I took on to knitting. He was so good at it that he was making us little sweaters when we were toddlers using porcupine quills as knitting needles and making yarn from scratch by spinning it from wool.

The knowledge that it’s not a gender thing was a good feeling, not that I was too concerned anyway. Men were knitting long before I started 🙂 My wife doesn’t mind me knitting, she finds it quite amusing seeing me do it. She’s used to it now 😀 Planning to make her something warm in the near future.

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Cooking an Octopus at Home

I’ve always wanted to cook an octopus at home, so this weekend I went ahead and got one at the local fish market. Living in Mombasa makes it easier to finding fresh “pweza”. I got mine at the Likoni ferry fish shops. The best time to finding fresh octopus at the market is from10A.m to noon. That’s when the tides are low and fishermen are able to find them easily from the coral.

1The octopus is not an uncommon dish at the coast. In Likoni and the South coast, this special delicacy is prepared in many homes and a few roadside restaurants. But still, you will find that many people are uninterested in it or have no idea where to get it. How to cook it is also a problem to many.

Properly cooked octopus is well known for its delicious tender texture, it is also a very nutritious food, with a high source of vitamins and minerals! It is a lean protein source and low in fat.

Preparing it!

I asked the fish monger about this and he was happy to prepare and wash the octopus for me. When I got home, I did not like the head so I sliced it off, removed the beak and gave the “pweza” an extra cleaning with running tap water.

Cooking the Octopus

I was lucky I had a cheerful fish monger who was glad to share a few recipes on how to cook my octopus. What I gathered from him and from reading other sources is that you must tenderize the meat first before the cooking process begins. A way of doing this would be by beating it with a kitchen mallet (whatever you can find) or boiling it. I chose to boil it.

Using a sufuria large enough to submerge the octopus, I let the water come to a boil with enough salt. Then I dipped the octopus in the boiling water for 10 sec and removed it out for 3 seconds. I did this 3 times. This repeated hot and cold blanching process was very important as it tenderized the meat. Next, I placed the octopus in the boiling water (including my seasoning of ginger and garlic) and let it boil for 50min.

Cooking the octopus is very easy. If you have cooked beef, you should have no problem cooking “pweza”. The process is almost identical.

When I was sure that the octopus had cooked to my liking, I removed it from the boiling water and let it cool a bit. I then cut it to manageable sizes just as you would do when cooking beef. I had chosen to do a stir fry (from this point on you can choose to cook how you want your octopus to be; roast, stew, soup?)

I poured a little vegetable oil on the pan and let the oil heat up. I added the octopus and fried it to a brown. At this point the aroma filling the kitchen was irresistible 🙂 Next, I added the onions and continued frying till they were soft. I added green hot chilli to taste, green capsicum and served.

Delissssss! 🙂

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