Some of the best journeys we take in life start completely by chance. On a whim, through a bright idea or last minute circumstance. For me, it was a decision to go to Mozambique for the Easter weekend. After failing to find accommodation for the same weekend back in January this year (because the struggle was real), I had resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to be going. Long story short, a Greek ninja came along (thanks Stef) and pulled a Mozambican rabbit out of his snap back.
So there Ryan and I were. In a car at 3 am driving with two complete strangers to meet up with another 4 people (2 of which, we also didn’t know). And yes, in the beginning it was more awkies than Julius Malema at a spelling bee, but after an hour and forty minutes of waiting to cross the border and encountering a sugar cane farmer named Charl (let me tell you, Vaalies were rife), we entered Mozambique. And one R’nR later, we were practically besties. (There was no sign or Charl after the border though. I don’t know if we were relieved or not…)
If you’ve ever been to Mozambique, you’ll know who Fernando is. If not, he’s the proverbial Willy Wonka of the tourist scene. Except he doesn’t deal in chocolates and candy, but rather in Tipo Tinto “rum”. I say “rum” because I use this term lightly. No one really knows what it is and would probably prefer to keep it that way… Symptoms of its consumption can include epic bravery, temporary blindness, memory loss, multiple vision (becuase you see far more than double), thrills and spills (normally in ditches), bed wetting (there’s always one) and of course major LC the next day (this stands for “loser complex”).
But in honour of this trip and beautiful place as a whole, here’s a list of things that let you know you are in Mozam:
- When everyone passes out on the first night by 9pm (a rookie error, but totally a reality).
- When you consume your entire weight in fresh coconuts (and opening them preps you for a machette fight in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse).
- When you have blisters from your flip flops (what ludicrous trickery is this? They’re supposed to be the height of comfort).
- When you pack waaaay too much food (eggs, bacon, bread rolls and boerewors anyone?)
- When 12 o’clock R’nR’s cannot be frowned upon. EVER.
- When you buy all the touristy knick knacks and counterfeit sunglasses that you most definitely would have walked past in your home town (hey, someone’s got to support the local economy).
- When you come home with at least 3 bottles of Mozam Chilli sauce that you won’t even eat. (Cue Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” and yes, you feel it in your bones…)
- When your right knee is the size of a small melon from walking on sand all day errday. (Look, It’s a small price to pay for a jam at Pinto’s Beach Bar).
- When there are zero f*%ks given in demolishing an entire kilogram of local prawns. (When in Rome…)
- When you drink so much Tipo Tinto that you fall into a ditch, get lost on your way home from the jol or eventually pee yourself…
- When you do all three of the aforementioned things. AKA “The Mozam Hat Trick. (No names mentioned).
- When your phone becomes a shameless hub of cloud and sunset porn. (“Taaake me to the clouds above!”)
- When you braai for any and every meal. It’s just easier, plus, I think Greek okes (Stef) really like to braai.
- When ridiculous drinking rules result in long arm straight pours in public places that end in R’nR’s up noses and in eyes…
All in all, it was a cracker weekend, but that’s not the point. What I’m trying to say here is that sometimes the most unlikely of meetings lead to the most genuine of friendships. We ate, drank, danced, fell, laughed and (some of us) even pee’d.
So this one is for the unexpected. The journeys we never thought we’d take, the people we never thought we’d meet and the ditches (or stairs) we never saw coming. Ha. It’s for Stefanie, Jeanie in a bottle, Wayne’s world, Wiam, Deep House Ed, Marock and Buffalo Bill.
It’s also for Fernando and for the R’nR’s he pours that are dacker than a first team DHS rugby player.
Yours in Baking, Bitching and general shennaniganery (because “xoxo” was too mainstream and let’s face it, there’s always time for some shennaniganery).
Mozambique Meringue Pie
For the Base:
1 packet of Digestive Biscuits
90g of Butter (melted)
For the Filling:
4 Egg yolks (keep the whites aside, you’ll need them)
1 x 400g tin of Coconut Milk
290g of Condensed Milk
30ml of Gelatine
118ml of Water
160ml of fresh Lime Juice
For the Meringue Topping:
The 4 reserved Egg whites
60ml of Caster Sugar
1. Pulse biscuits in a blender until fine and add melted butter. Press into a removable bottomed tart tin. Refrigerate for ten minutes before making the filling.
2. Make the filling by whisking the yolks in a saucepan until light and airy.
3. Whisk in the coconut milk and condensed milk and bring to a simmer on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
4. Lower heat and simmer until foam is gone and mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Then remove from heat.
5. Place water in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatine over. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
6. Microwave gelatine mixture for 30 seconds and stir to dissolve.
7. Add to the custard mixture and whisk in, followed by the lime juice.
8. Make meringue by whisking egg whites with an electric mixer on high until soft peaks form.
9. Add sugar a tablespoon at a time and beat in until whites are stiff but not dry.
10. Spoon or pipe meringue on top of filling and bake in an oven preheated to 180 degrees celsius, until it is lightly browned. Finish off with a blow torch if need be.
Health Hack: Holidays aren’t for health people, come alive!