What is in your purse?

Okay, I am outing a friend but she has been duly warned before hand!

I truly love my friend Sheila who is originally from Kenya. She is incredibly brilliant, funny, caring and as addicted to dancing as I am. And that is where this story begins.

You see, she and I find a way to dance almost every weekend. The last couple we haven’t for one reason or another. So it was a given that we just needed to dance this weekend. Thanks to our other dance co-conspirator, Erin we found out about a Dance Battle taking place at Alliance Francaise. After what had been an incredibly busy and stressful week for all of us we were eagerly looking forward to it.

Sheila and I had planned to meet for dinner before hand so we could have some time chatting and destressing before heading to Alliance Francaise for the main event.  After what was an enjoyable visit we decided to walk to the event from the News Cafe where we had eaten.  As it is not that far we decided to walk it instead.

Less than two minutes into the walk, Sheila fessed up. Like me, she is tends to carry a very large purse with a multitude of items within. So I really can’t be judgmental but in this case I definitely am, or at least highly amused.

As I mentioned before Sheila is from Kenya which is an African country like many others that has gone through tough economic times. In fact, Sheila through her employment is able to send significant sums of money home to assist her family. She is highly budget conscious and a genuinely caring person. Oh, can I also add as a tiny woman, she loves to eat. In fact, when she comes for lunch or dinner at my  place she almost always leaves with leftover for her to enjoy at a later time.

So as we were walking she started to complain about how heavy her purse was. Knowing that she had not gone home after work I suspected that her purse was full of work items. Oh, so not true!

Here is  a sample of what she was carrying in her purse:

  • a couple cobbs of cooked sweet corn
  • diphaphatha (flat cakes) 
  • chocolate cookies which I had baked for her early in the week
  • shower soap
  • lotion

No wonder it was heavy! Needless to say that I abused her all evening by telling her that we need not have paid for supper we could have just eaten it from her purse 🙂 And if we got hungry during the dance battle and dancing afterward, no problem.  We had ready access to food.

So women, what do you carry in purse? I know that we all are guilty of carrying bizarre items in there at some time or other. But I am still giggling because I discovered my friend Sheila is always prepared with a meal in her’s!

Fat Cakes!


I finally got to taste a well known Botswana delicacy called a fat cake.

My first taste of Fat Cake!
My first taste of Fat Cake!

A Fat Cake or as it is referred to in local languages , Magwinya, is a dough fried in oil. It is considered a fast food here in Sub Sahara Africa and I have been hearing for months how yummy they are.

So having spent almost five months here without tasting it, I took matters into my own hands as you can see above. Our office staff has an amazing cook and baker in it’s midst. Masego is our operational support assistant who recently won a South Africa magazine’s recipe contest. There was no one better to go to with my quest to taste the best fat cake.

Masego - the best cook in Gaborone!
Masego – the best cook in Gaborone!

Hoping that she would simply tell me where to go to buy the best, she instead generously offered to make some for me. Due to the power outages all week – the power went off again mid-afternoon yesterday and did not come back on until after 9 pm last night – she couldn’t bake. So this morning she got up at 5 am to make them for me!

All I can say is that it was delicious and I will probably never taste another while I am here as I am positive that they will not live up to the yummy batch she made for the office. Once you have tasted the best, why eat ones that aren’t!

So Masego, Thank you so very much for graciously preparing fat cakes for me. The wait was truly worth it!

Post Script:  AND here is Masego’s recipe for Fat Cakes

250g flour
1 sachet of yeast
100g sugar
5g salt
oil for frying
luke warm water
mix  all the ingredients with luke warm water, mix till the dough is very soft
Bring oil to stove, when its really hot, cutyour dough in to ring, size doesnt matter, put the dough in hot oil, keeping turning when it turns light brown, remove when its brownish.
enjoy, nice with soup*:) happy