Let me set the scene:
- we have a gas stove and an electric oven.
- We often have load shedding – for those who don’t understand Africa, that is when the electricity supplier feels the demand is getting to much for what they have in stock, so they cut the power to the whole area, without warning, until their supplies build up again.
- We normally become aware of it when there is silence as our neighbour plays his music rather loud. So loud in fact and with increased base makes his tin roof vibrate, not enhancing the experience for us.
- Our immediate reaction is to ensure we have enough cold beer to last the distance.
- These down times are generally from about 5 in the evening and last anything from an hour to 3 hours. A time when you are cooking dinner.
- Having the gas stove generally helps us through the cooking bit anyway.
Except last night when I needed the electric oven for dinner – all the preparations were done and the oven was heating nicely when we were cut. Hoping it would be a short break we had another drink, then another and then … another (Coke of course).
After 2 hours we decided to cook something else for dinner. I found a packet of meat in the deep freeze which I assumed as mince, and in the candle light set out to defrost it over the gas stove. Sue started some spaghetti.
Of course it was not long before the power came back, so we blew out the candles and decided to revert to our original dinner. Turning on the stove caused our power to trip, probably owing to 2 fridges, a geyser and now the stove all drawing current. So we turned off all apart from the stove. But with the whole town suddenly drawing far too much electricity so suddenly, and being one of the coldest nights we have had up here (hence heaters) the whole system crashed and we were plunged into darkness again.
So it was back to candles and spaghetti. I couldn’t understand why the mince wasn’t beginning to fall apart. In the flickering light of the candle Sue noticed I had taken out a fillet rather than mince, thank goodness it wasn’t dog food.
Our top quality fillet was cut into strips and stir-fried with veggies and served on spaghetti, somewhat different. Even so having a candlelit dinner with Sue made it special.