We live in a better and more prosperous world than any human being has ever lived in before.
The most recent report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a great place to look for proof of this. The human race has eradicated polio. Since 1990, the number of kids dying before their 5th birthday has been cut in half, largely due to advances and investments in simple, inexpensive measures in developing countries, like malaria nets and new wells to give access to clean water. 30 million more women in the 69 poorest countries in the world used birth control in 2016, compared to 2012. Supporting charities works. It makes the world a better place.
And we’re not done yet. Incredibly, there are still children going hungry. There are still children missing school to look for food.
That’s why we encourage all our supporters to join in with The Great Big Supper Club once a year, inviting some friends and family round for dinner in exchange for donations. It’s a campaign for people who love food, and want to give more of the world’s children a seat at the table.
Of course, you can hold any kind of event you like for the campaign. My boyfriend Sam and I will be cooking Chinese food. Eat Me Supper Club are planning an Asian menu. We've heard from supporters who are suggesting tea tastings, Moroccan feasts and raw food nights. The variety is inspiring. If you'd like to draw more of a link to the work you're supporting with the event, you might like to consider an African menu, like Melanie and the East London Soroptimists...
I recently attended a pan-Africal Luncheon, held by Soroptimist International East London, in support of Child.org’s Meru Women Garden Project. Our hostess Melanie cooked up a feast of Kenyan delights, having purchased this African Cook Book (with recipes from Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia), which she would recommend.
Take a look at the feast Melanie cooked up:
Melanie’s delicious cooking was a testament to trying new ideas and ingredients. Picking a cuisine you're not familiar with can be daunting, but it can also make a food event something a bit special. So be brave and try something new at your supper club!
If you love cooking, and you would like to help us change more lives in Kenya, visit thegreatbigsupperclub.org and sign up to host your own fab food event! I'll send you a link to request your free Supper Club pack.
Me with the Soroptimist International East London group, including our hostess Melanie (far left) and Alison Charles, Regional President for London and Anglia Region.
Swahili fish curry and coconut rice
On a recent visit to Kenya, some of the Child.org team took some time out to stay in Diani, on the south coast. A chef there cooked a delicious Swahili fish curry, and Amanjit recommended I share this recipe with you so you can cook something similar. On the right is a photo of the curry our team had in Kenya - they are still talking about how delicious it was! Plus - if you're cooking for a crowd, curry is an absolute winner.
1 large onion or 2 small ones
4 or 5 garlic cloves
3 star anise
2 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp of chill flakes
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp of salt (adjust to taste)
Half tsp cumin
Half tsp fennel
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Half tsp garam masala
Large fish, cut into medallions. Cod or Haddock work well, you could also try tilapia.
1 tin coconut milk
Juice of 2 limes
1. Fry the onions in a large saucepan on a low heat for about 4-5 minutes.
2. Then add the garlic, star anise, cumin and fennel. Keep stirring – you want to end up with a dark rich brown color. (Not burnt though!) This could take up to half an hour or longer depending on how low your heat is.
3. Add the salt, chili, turmeric and garam masala and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Then add the chopped tomatoes.
4. Keep on a low heat and put the lid on. After a few minutes, add the tamarind paste. Keep on a low heat and keep the lid on. You want to end up with a rich,
aromatic and pungent curry paste. You may need to add some more salt or a little vegetable stock. This whole process should take an hour.
5. Once you are happy with the paste, add the coconut milk. Stir and heat so all of the flavors mix. You should now have a sauce that you can poach your fish in.
6. When ready, poach the fish for about 5 minutes depending on the size of the fish medallions you cut.
7. When about to serve, add plenty of finely chopped coriander and lime juice to taste.
8. Serve with coconut rice. Make rice using a ration of 1 cup rice, 2 cups liquid. Liquid should be half water, half coconut milk. Remember to soak the rice.
9. Serve with a simple salad of very thinly chopped tomatoes and onion with lime juice.