We packed up the kids, bug repellent steeped in DEET, cameras in every format, four packs of gum and a 22-day supply of anti-malaria pills and headed out on a 30-hour trip from Los Angeles to Nairobi, Kenya. They say, and by they I mean the voices in my head, we go on safari to live among the animals and to experience an exotic adventure in a tented camp within the wild kingdom where giant elephants and ferocious lions roam freely.
We humans become the captive, confined within the safety of a 4-wheel drive landcruiser and the reinforced canvas tent, and watched by a few armed guards who might ward of any charging beasts. But, the reason I share any of this with you at Crunch Time, is that amid this travel adventure of a lifetime out in the remote wilderness with limited electricity and plumbing, I was captivated by having the freshest of foods with abundant produce, properly cooked vegetables and prepared salads, and of all things succulent soups. Who knew that Kenya, a country that straddles the equator, would be the place to find amazing soup. Truly, I thought we’d be lucky to have a biscuit and banana for breakfast.
Although each of our seven different accommodations offered fine food, it was really the mastery of Chef Jackson and his team at Governors’ Camp that deserved to be on a pedestal. Governors’ Camp is in the heart of Masai Mara and run by just the nicest and most professional bunch of people. It was established thirty years ago and has remained untarnished. Our tents were nestled into a riverbank forest within the mara and open to large game and any other creature that made its way into camp. Many evenings we were detained by guards to avoid the “dangerous” elephant eating from trees outside of our tent. I swear I brushed my hair in the bathroom while the elephant yanked the brush just ten feet away “Is that you Dan?”
Yet, within this remote and savage environment,the dining team at Governors’ Camp was able to create wonderful, healthy foods for all the guests three times a day.
Chef Jackson was kind enough to share some of his food preparation secrets with me and I am passing them along. I was most impressed by the quality of the bread products, the fresh salads, vegetables and the soups.
Today: “Granolla” Bars
Start with an inventive mixture of cereals, seeds, nuts and any grains. Chef Jackson includes bran flakes, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, oats, sliced almonds. Melt together brown sugar and butter until the sugar dissolves, add honey and brings to a soft boil. Pour the hot mixture of brown sugar and honey into the cereal and combine fast and press into a greased pan. You have about five minutes before it gets too hard to work with. Slice into squares while still warm and somewhat pliable. Check here for refined recipe.
The cooled bars will becrunchy hard for those hardcore game drives, but if you prefer softer bars, add more honey.