From Kenya to my kitchen

You know how it is!

You’ve had a houseful home for Christmas for several days. Lots and lots of wonderful food has been prepared and immensely enjoyed. There’s a little of this and a little of that left in the freezer; also fruitcake in the frig and a bit of Jane Glander’s wonderful fudge on the counter. Of all your leftovers, however, there’s nothing really suitable for serving to first-time guests coming at 9 in the morning for coffee and conversation.

You’d love to greet your guests with an aroma of something from the oven, but there’s no muffin mix on the shelf and no frozen cinnamon rolls to thaw. On top of that, it’s minus 20 degrees (with wind chill) and you sure don’t want to run to Hugo’s at 10 at night.

On the bright side, the sugar and flour canisters are full and there are two lone eggs in the refrigerator.

After nothing jumps from the pages of a couple cookbooks, you call on Mr. Google. He brings up a recipe for Almond Peach Muffins from Taste of Home that sounds awfully good. To add to the glory of your glee, you recall there are frozen Colorado peaches in the freezer from last summer’s Youth for Christ sale.

Jackpot!

I have chronicled for you my Tuesday night and my Wednesday morning. Those muffins came out of the oven moments before my company pulled up. They are so good I will make them again and again.

Who were my guests who warranted such thought and preparation – Eunita Odongo, from Kadongo, Kenya, and Roger Weinlaeder, Drayton, N.D.

Eunita spent the past week, including Christmas, in the home of Roger and his wife, Sheila. On this day, Roger was taking Eunita to Fargo to catch a ride to her next speaking opportunity in Minnesota. But first, he dropped her off at my house for an interview as she is the subject of my Jan. 12, “In the Spirit” column for the Herald.

Eunita is a deaconess representing the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya. In her position, she works closely with Project 24 which was spearheaded from North Dakota some years ago and whose goal it is to build six Orphan Rescue Centers in each of Kenya’s four dioceses for a total of 24. Eunita also works with the 1001 Orphans Program, a partnership between the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s World Relief and Human Care and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya, to connect Kenyan orphans with Christian families.

In 2011, Eunita came to the states to study Sustainable International Development at Brandeis University in Boston. During this Christmas break she took the opportunity to speak to a few congregations in North Dakota and Minnesota about her work. The passion she feels for her people and her mission is so evident. You’ll for sure want to read her story on Jan. 8 in the Herald.

Roger ran a few errands as Eunita and I chatted and when he returned he poured himself a cup of coffee and had a couple muffins. On first bite he asked, “what is this? It’s REALLY good.”

And, indeed they are – so good that I must share the recipe. Are you like me and just love it when you have everything it takes to make something new and warm and wonderful and you didn’t even have to back the car out of the garage?

Almond Peach Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-1/4 cups chopped peeled fresh peaches
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, beat the eggs, oil and extracts; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in peaches and almonds. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.

Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.

Editor’s Note: A 14-1/2-ounce can of peaches, drained and chopped, may be substituted for the fresh peaches.

Nutritional Facts 1 serving (1 each) equals 253 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 35 mg cholesterol, 211 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Incidentally, I eventually also placed fruitcake and Jane’s fudge before my guests. They were a hit as well. Eunita adores chocolate and nuts and she had never encountered fruitcake before. She loved that, too.

Turned out to be a heart-warming and tummy- warming morning in every which way!

Until Soon

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