Outside our complex, there is a little sign that says “Oasis Court.” I’m not sure who named it that, but now our one-room apartment has become our little “oasis.” Our room is the coldest room in the building since we leave our AC on all the time (our kitchen is the second coldest room), and we have gotten quite comfortable here. After a long day at the office or grocery shopping, it’s a relief to come back to our room and relax. We have everything we need within arm’s reach: gadgets, food in the mini-fridge, snacks in the mini-pantry, fluffy pillows, and bottled water. It’s not a bad set-up, and we often remind ourselves that it’s better than being at a hotel. We get to cook what we want, we don’t have to see other people very often, and it’s much quieter here. Of course there are negatives being here, but who wants to dwell on those?
Casey has been off for the past week because he was updating his license. It usually doesn’t take that long, but things happen I guess. He’s finally working today! He wanted to fly sooner, but we used the time wisely to do extensive shopping. There are four markets we rotate between, and we went to three of them last week to find everything we wanted! Plus, we just found a new market yesterday, making that five markets to juggle. I’m currently making a shopping list to remember which markets have what, so we can be more efficient when we want to buy things.
That being said, I was finally able to cook some big meals after we went shopping. First off, I made lasagna! I tried to copy my dad’s recipe for his Famous Spaghetti Sauce. Mine turned out slightly different, but it was still delicious. It tasted especially good after the canned sauce we’ve been eating. I added ground beef and spinach to make the lasagna heartier too. I couldn’t find ricotta cheese though, so I ended up using mascarpone (Italian cream cheese), and it turned out quite nicely. Mmm! Casey enjoyed this meal with a nice mug of Baron de Valls red wine.
Our next meal was pancakes for breakfast! Ok, I’ve made these already, but they were still good. Actually, I didn’t eat any, but Casey ate the whole plate, and he said they were good, light, and fluffy. During the week, we shared a sweet dessert of Oreos and milk. What could be better than that? And so simple! We were in the middle of organizing our closets for the umpteenth time and decided to relax with our cookies. Happy couple.
In between the days we spent shopping for food, we went to Computer Village (a huge, open-air market) to buy a backup battery, known commonly here as a UPS: uninterrupted power supply. It was raining that day, but we decided to brave the elements and trek through the Village in our rain coats. After all, he’s from Washington and I love the rain! Luckily, the rain let up soon after we arrived, so all we had to deal with were muddy puddles along the dirt roads. It took awhile, but we finally found a UPS for a good price! There really aren’t “set prices” for anything in Lagos, and people try to charge us more because we’re foreigners who might not know better, so we had to ask numerous sellers for prices before we found out the common price for said item. We found a decent seller and purchased the new addition to our gadget family. You can see the proud father below upon arrival at our complex. Also, instead of a taxi, we took a keke marwa back to our place. It was my first time in the popular, three-wheeled, yellow vehicle!
That night, we decided to treat ourselves to MORE GOOD FOOD! You can tell that our biggest thrill these days [besides recaulking the shower – that was amazing] is eating. (Don’t worry, Moms, we’re not overeating! hehe.) I had been craving Chinese food for a while, and we didn’t have any chicken yet to make our own Lemon Chicken, so Casey took me out to Zen Garden for dinner. How sweet! We shared a truly massive platter of shrimp wontons as an appetizer, and then had cashew chicken for the main meal. Delish! I was expecting a sweeter/tangier cashew sauce like you find in Thai restaurants, but this sauce was incredibly smooth and savory. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. We sat down afterwards to wait for a taxi, but didn’t have to wait too long, thankfully. Don’t mind Casey’s expression in the chair; he was very happy, I assure you.
All the days are blending together. We enjoyed meal after meal, so who really cares what day it was. I’ll keep better track of them later. One morning, I made Casey cinnamon French toast with two fried eggs. They were supposed to be eggs over-easy, but the yolks cooked a little longer than expected. I’m getting better at making them though! At least they looked pretty this time. I can’t eat big breakfasts first thing in the morning, so I enjoyed a bowl of frosted mini wheats instead. We went to the mall to go shopping at ShopRite later on and ate lunch at the food court. We decided to try a Margherita pizza from Debonairs and it was tasty! The crust was actually very close to the pizza crust we’re used to, and there was enough tomato sauce! Plus extra chopped tomatoes on top. And melted cheesy cheese. Mmm. We washed it all down with a tangy glass of lemonade. Another happy moment for CnL.
Now, just two nights ago, we made Casey’s famous Chili together! It turned out great! We bought boxes of The-Best-Cornbread-Ever in the US (Jiffy Cornbread!!!!!!!!!!), so I made that as well. Cheesy chili with butter&honey-slathered cornbread… Yum! You must agree that we’ve been having awesome meals lately. It’s been great having such filling meals too, so we don’t feel like we’re missing out on anything. Plus, they’re relatively healthy, I’d say. I read recipes all day on my tablet, and I love cooking, so it’s fun for me to make meals and see Casey’s reactions. He’s always pleased! I’m starting to write down our recipes in a cookbook app on my tablet, so I can have good directions and remember them better.
What’s next on our yummy food agenda?? All these meals, eventually: CnL’s lemon chicken, baked sweet potatoes/yams, tuna two ways (which is Casey’s tuna with grapes and Leanna’s tuna with sweet pickles), Boboli pizza, and pumpkin pie! They don’t have pre-made pie crusts here, so I am going to attempt to make my own pie crust by hand. Stay tuned and you’ll see how it goes! Happy Sunday!