Day 3: Welcome Dinner

March 16, 2009

I was happy to spend the afternoon recharging for our trip tomorrow and hope to get out to see the Nairobi market on Friday. We begin our tea tour at 6am sharp tomorrow! After breakfast (and mango juice heaven!), it’s back to the airport to catch a charter plane for our group to Kericho, where we’ll immediately start on the day’s agenda learning all about the tea estate (after a cup of Lipton tea, I hear ;) )

I had a great workout this afternoon, and after 2 days of seated travel it was wonderful to work up a sweat. The health club was packed with all different nationalities speaking different languages over their workouts. After some ellipticaling and biking, I ended with a short YogaDownload session on my iPod in the empty aerobics room. I felt just like Elizabeth in Eat Pray Love doing yoga in a tropical climate (minus the chanting!) The people who work in the health center (and the whole hotel, for that matter) are so friendly. They always have a big smile on their faces and are not only very pleasant, but they have a real enthusiasm to get to know you and ask lots of questions.

For cocktail hour Kelly and I enjoyed drinks and snacks poolside. I had a sparkling water, a few tarro chips and small handful of peanuts. Perfect to tide me to dinner.

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The arrowroot chips were so pretty – like they came from the ocean. Tasted great too!

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After a quick shower and a mediocre video chat with Matt (in quality of video, not of company!), I went back down for dinner. Several more of the journalists have arrived. French was floating all around me! Joining us were two women from France, a man and woman from Australia, more Parisians with Unilever, and a member of the Rainforest Alliance from England (I think!). And another American photographer from National Geographic arrived after dinner. I feel so honored to be here. (And I think the others find the KERF food diary concept quite unique!)

We had a few bottles of South African wine for the table, along with some sparking water. I started with a small glass of the white, which was great – kind of a cross between a Riesling and a Sauv. Blanc.

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Plus a buttered slice of pumpernickely bread

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If you can read it, here’s the buffet menu -

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I had a taste of almost everything. My favorite was the zucchini, which I believe had a cilantro sauce. The lamb in puff pastry was actually quite good too! I liked the stuffing, but left some of the meat. I ate about 75% of this (that’s the magic number these days) verrrrrrrrrry slowly since others ordered from the menu. It was so satisfying to eat that slowly – I need to do that more often.

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After a while I tried the red wine too. Wine in this event was purely to complement the food – the best kind of drinking! It was so nice as a contrast to cleanse my palate.

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Catherine beside me ordered the a dish that came with ugali, which is the traditional staple of Kenya. Ugali is described in my Kenya guide book as “a thick maize dough made from yellow maize, millet or sorghum flour. Ugali is eaten with a stew of beans, goat, beef, lamb, chicken or fish”.

Um, you had me at DOUGH!!! It was like grits meets mashed potatoes meets dough. So bland, yet so delicious!! It needed salt, but I love me some dough. Can’t wait to have this again at our local dinner on Wednesday night!

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I ended with a sweet bite of some kind of chocolate-y mousse and a pear + almond tart, which reminded me of marzipan. There were 10 other things I wanted to try, but I held restraint knowing we have an early morning and I don’t need to feel sickly on sugar!

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I’ve got a 5:30 wake-up call and am getting in bed now (3pm, NC time!). If I haven’t mentioned it flat out, tomorrow night we’ll be staying on the tea estate, so I don’t know of my internet capabilities. I hope to put up a post in the evening, but it could be Wednesday (or worst case, Thursday afternoon) before you see me again.

Take it away Matt!

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 BethT March 16, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Wow, Kath, impressive company you’re keeping! When you return I wonder if you will share how you got this opportunity – did someone from Lipton simply find the blog? Did you contact them? Either way, it’s great they included a blogger along with other writers and photogs.

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2 brandi March 16, 2009 at 2:29 pm

i can’t wait to see pics of the tea estate!

glad your trip is going well :)

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3 Kath March 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm

BethT ,
I think I’ve said a few times that Lipton found me through Foodbuzz..

K

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4 Sharon March 16, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Oh wow, awesome! And Arrowroot chips look so neat!

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5 Danielle March 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm

All your food looks great, and I’m sure there was some awesome converstion goin on at that table as well!
Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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6 zestycook March 16, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I am so impressed with your food Kath! I am in awe over here… loving it.

zest!

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7 Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) March 16, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Mmm dough…

Oh I am so jealous of your Elizabeth-esque yoga experience =) Love that book!

Glad to see you are having a fabulous time!

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8 life coach jen March 16, 2009 at 2:49 pm

I am so glad you can blog from there, it’s so exciting reading about what you’re doing!

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9 Katie March 16, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Wow! Everything looks amazing. Those chips do look very interesting.

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10 BethT March 16, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Well then, sorry I missed it.

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11 VeggieGirl March 16, 2009 at 2:51 pm

DIVINE EATS!!

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12 Meredith (Pursuing Balance) March 16, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Looks like you’re having a great time!!!

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13 Moran March 16, 2009 at 3:23 pm

I LOVE reading your recaps! Such amazing photos, too!
Keep them coming!

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14 rhodeygirl March 16, 2009 at 3:26 pm

i’ve been watching but not commenting… looks like it’s been fabulous so far. a day to recoup before the tour sounds like exactly what i would have done. and swimming in such gorgeous weather sounds pretty awesome.

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15 Emily W. March 16, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Fun fun!!

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16 Weekly Bite March 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Great looking meal!

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17 sue March 16, 2009 at 3:52 pm

wow that looks like an amazing dinner and great company!

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18 Sarah (lovINmytummy) March 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I have to remember to pace myself like you did with your yummy buffet plate. I’m a scarfer, that’s for sure!

Can’t wait to read all about the tea estate visit!

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19 Sarah (Tales of Expansion) March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm

ahhhh, i’m just dying with every post you do on this trip. it gets better and better! can’t wait to see what it’s like when you get into the thick of the “tea-ness”!

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20 Jaclyn March 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm

It’s so interesting to see the cuisine you’re trying–
good luck/have fun on the tea tasting! :)

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21 kraileen March 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm

i think those chips (with the purple squigglies) are actually called taro root chips? anyway, i love your blog. i’ve been following you now a couple weeks and have already tried making pimento cheese, butternut squash and kale soup and kale chips! yum.

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22 kraileen March 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm

oh! sorry sorry… just wiki-ed it and they call it arrow root in kenya! :-D

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23 Runeatrepeat March 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm

You’re keeping some great company over there on the other side of the world :) Great food too!

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24 K March 16, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Mmmmm dough (I feel like Homer Simpson saying that ;) )!!!

Every post just gets better and better! I didn’t realize that you would be with people from other countries as well. Simply amazing, Kath! Enjoy your time there!!

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25 Laura March 16, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Don’t worry, Beth, I missed that too and was wondering as well, so thank you for asking!

Looks great, Kath. They’re obviously giving you the five star treatment!

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26 Beadie @ What I Ate Yesterday March 16, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Looks like you are having a great time!! I can’t wait to see how your trip to the tea estate goes!!

and as the others have said:

mmmm….dough :)

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27 Meaghen March 16, 2009 at 5:45 pm

Dinner looked delish!

How fun to be amongst such an interesting array of people!

Can’t wait to hear about the tea estate.

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28 joe March 16, 2009 at 5:50 pm

How dare you not remember bethT, lol just kiddin!

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29 The Duo Dishes March 16, 2009 at 6:35 pm

You had a great dinner. The tart really sounds good.

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30 thepinkpeppercorn March 16, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Wow! Wow! Wow! Totally loving these updates!!! Keep ‘em coming!!!!

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31 stephanie March 16, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Ooo, I love me some Ugali! I hope you get a chance to try some of the “local” real-to-life food while there. It’s pretty interesting and surprisingly subtle in taste compared to the vibrant, colorful culture. I’d be curious to know what the conditions are like for the workers who harvest the tea at Lipton plantation. I had the chance to walk through neighboring tea fields when I was there, and it was pretty eye opening the labor.

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32 Lisa D March 16, 2009 at 7:52 pm

haha, I think you had me at dough sounds much better than you had me at hello..just saying

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33 Cole March 16, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Kath,

I just tuned into your blog and I am so jealous of your world tour! And all that great food! I will definitely be reading again…

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34 seelee live (for the love of peanut butter) March 16, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Looks amazing, enjoy every second!!!

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35 Heather March 16, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Everything looks so amazing!! I can’t wait to hear the recap of the tour of the Estate!! Keep enjoying yourself Kath and take advantage of this amazing trip!

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36 Erin March 16, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Wow, what a swish place you are staying! The food and wine looks faboosh.

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37 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) March 16, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Great food!

Can’t wait for the rest of your recaps!

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38 Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) March 16, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Kath,
What an amazing trip thus far. I am so excited for your Kenyan adventure!!!

I’m so curious about ugali. My husband is very interested in the typical Kenyan diet as he is a huge runner and has done all kinds of research on the way the Kenyans train and what they eat. I’m interested to hear more about it.

Enjoy your day tomorrow – sounds so cool!

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39 Hil March 16, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Your food and overall vacation sound amazing. Thanks for keeping us posted!

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40 Anne P March 17, 2009 at 12:49 am

gosh i have to admit i am super jealous of all this! what an amazing opportunity! enjoy it!

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41 jessi March 17, 2009 at 3:07 am

Kath, I am a missionary in Zambia, Africa and was so excited to hear that you were traveling to Kenya! So excited, in fact, that it forced me out of blog stalking and into commenting. The ugali post was just too much for me being that I eat the Zambian version, nshima, everyday for lunch. I never thought about it being like dough before…

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42 Alison March 17, 2009 at 7:31 am

Kath, just wanted to say how cool I think it is that you got to take this trip to Africa! You are great and definitely deserve it. And Matt, how hilarious that Kath goes out of town and you wind up at a party with beer cricket and a rope swing- while the cat’s away the mice will play!

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43 megan March 17, 2009 at 8:20 am

These posts are fascinating! I hope you get to go on more of these awesome trips in the future! Have a wonderful time!

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44 Abby March 17, 2009 at 8:58 am

Hey Kath – looks like you’re having a fantastic time! I completely admire your restraint at all of those delicious-looking food buffets. To answer your question, yes, Marc from Rainforest Alliance is based in our London office! Hope you’re enjoying your trip to the tea farm today!
-Abby from Rainforest Alliance

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45 HeatherBakes March 17, 2009 at 11:27 am

This is so fun to read! I’m kind of drooling over the buffet menu.

Have a great time… can’t read to read more :)

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46 Meg March 17, 2009 at 7:39 pm

That ugali looks delicious. Glad you got there safely!

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47 Cole March 18, 2009 at 2:55 pm

All those views! All that great food! It looks like you’re having a blast :)

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