Rain & Red Velvet
We all watched the rain teeming down with a reverence and awe that this magnificent natural occurrence instills in the bone-dry Selous.
One morning this past week we received a decent bout of early rainfall – usually rain only comes in November, and we were all surprised at the amount of water that fell. On this wet morning, a Lake Tagalala outing was postponed, game drives and walks were recalled and the kitchen cooked up a storm due to the masses of water pouring from the heavens.
The guests and guides (poor Walter came home soaking wet and looking like a half-drowned little rat) returned to camp for a little bit of shelter from the deluge. The activities in the bush were exchanged for the only thing to do in inclement weather: comfort-food; hot cooked breakfasts all around; steaming pots of fantastic Tanzanian-grown coffee and cuddles on the over-sized couches under traditional Masaai blankets.
By lunchtime the rain had stopped pelting down and by tea-time, the sun was out and everybody ready to go into the wild again, replenished.
With the sudden burst of early rainfall we’ve experienced this past week, the scenic area around Beho Beho has come back to life, transforming from a dry and barren landscape with only sun-scorched earth, bleached grasses and leafless trees to an opulent, iridescent Eden. The flowers are in bloom, verdant grass shoots push through the bare soil and the air is fresh, all the hardship from the difficult dry season washed away pretty & clean.
I absolutely love the rain.
This revival of my immediate environment has given me a renewal of inspiration as well, and today we made the most charming little Red-Velvet Cupcakes for our afternoon tea. Something adorned to go with the beautiful area we find ourselves in – and who’s to say that you can’t have a little bit of glamour in the bush?
As the name implies, it has a velvety texture, a mix of rich & creamy buttermilk with (usually) a bit of cocoa. In the olden days the red colour was caused either by a chemical reaction of more alkaline cocoa powder with the buttermilk, or if cocoa powder wasn’t added, sugar beets were used, giving it the cardinal pigment. In today’s time it is usually the addition of food colouring.
Dressed in pretty little frocks and frosted with a buttercream icing, a bit of sparkle and voila! Delightful little Fairy Cakes to brighten up any gloomy day!
Ps. Nandi – this one’s for you.