November is a busy time for most cooks. The holiday season is just around the corner, so much to prepare, so little time. Folks, it is no different in Africa. Kenyan people are amongst the most hospitable in the world. Their houses are always open. “No room at the Inn” is not an option here! Rich or poor, there is always enough for one more guest.
In modern times this often translates into stress, especially at holiday time. Tradition must be adhered to, but with both parents working, children to take care of, the extra guest, although welcome is not easy to accommodate.
Here is a great culinary standby found in many a Kenyan home:
Most of you already know that Pili Pili is the word for red hot peppers. We are not sure where the “HO HO” came from. In any event we promise you, when you try this you will think of your own version!
A few drops of Pili Pili H0 H0 will turn any simple soup, tinned stew, or fast food, into a royal meal. It is the ultimate standby for the busy cook. And best of all: it’s not considered cheating!!
Pili Pili Ho Ho is best prepared a month ahead of first use.
You will need a bottle to store it and serve from. A tall pretty clear glass bottle, such as used for fine Oils or Vinegars looks good on the table later.
Purchase some of the hottest fresh or sun dried tiny red and green peppers you can find. You will also need some green peppercorns and a couple of small sprigs of Thyme and Rosemary. Add a little bark of cinnamon. Now stuff all of this into your bottle until it is full. Now comes the best part. Raid your best friend’s bar and fill up the bottle right to the top with:
- 1/3 dry Sherry
- 1/3 Gin
- 1/3 Vodka
Cork the bottle and hide it in a dark place for at least one month or as long as you wish. (The longer the better the flavor)
If you can remember where you put it and have not meanwhile been accused of being a “lush”, you are now prepared. You’re just in time for the onslaught of holiday visitors. Replace the cork with a dropper and invite your guests to try just a few drops on your quickly thrown together soup or stew…
HO HO, indeed!!