Monday, November 24, 2014

Recipe for Chocolate Mint Ice Cream. . .African Style!

A couple weeks ago someone out in the village gave Amber a couple of coconuts. It's getting pretty hot here, so we got the brilliant idea to make sorbet. We made our own coconut milk/cream, added lemon from our tree and some fresh squeezed orange juice, and we had some pretty good sorbet. 

The only problem was the recipe we used called for way to much sugar. So we really needed to try making it again to see if we could perfect the recipe. Amber graciously volunteered her chocolate chips (yes, we ration those out here!) and we decided this time to make chocolate mint with coconut milk.

Fresh from the market, the mint is on the right. We also bought basil, coriander, and spring onions that day.

Here are the two coconuts we bought off the side of the road. Because neither of us need to be using a machete (trust me on this one), we had the lady cut off the tops because we needed to save the water.

Once we got home, we poured out the coconut water. Next step. . .

. . .crack open that coconut. Thankfully no fingers or toes were lost in this attempt!

But you can tell I'm being very careful. How someone can chop open a coconut open in their hand with a machete,
I will never know! (or try!)

Amber takes a whack at it.

Voila! We can now get to the coconut meat!

Next you scrape out all of the coconut flesh.

And in the meantime, make a syrup with sugar and water. . .
. . . and our mint leaves!

We added the coconut water to the coconut flesh. . .

And blended it up.

This time it came out a bit more watery than the first time, but we still ran it through a sieve, and came up with. . .

Really smooth coconut cream!!

Not wanting to be wasteful, Aria got in on the action and was grateful for the husk.

THIS is what was left when she was done with it!

Once everything was mixed together, we put it in the freezer.

Once it was pretty frozen we added those chocolate chips. . .and. . .

Here is our chocolate mint ice cream Africa style!!!

Now this is perfect for a hot Africa summer day! We've decided we still haven't quite perfected the recipe, but that just means we'll have to do a bit more experimenting! When we cut down on the sugar we should have cut down the water as well, because this time it's a bit more icy and less creamy, but we're not complaining at all. It's so yummy and refreshing. We also learned that using real mint leaves and not just a flavoring definitely gives you a different 'mint' taste, but in a good way!

Happy summer from our side of the world!

Amber and Lisa

Friday, November 14, 2014

Good parts and tough parts

Life has been full lately. Of writing and ministry. Of warm summer days that are slowly getting hotter. Of heartache over a number of difficult situations friends are facing. And of excitement over our new church plant and seeing God's hand at work around us.

Scott has been in the US the last month, sharing our ministry with churches and individuals. (You can watch our short 2014 video below if you missed it.) I've been holding down the fort here in Mozambique with Amber, our wonderful intern, and the support of the Christians here. Yes, I'm feeling a bit spread out at the moment and can't wait for our family to be back together! (Minus Gabe who will spending the holiday's with my mother which is bittersweet for me as a mama.)

The tough parts?

  • Learning of the death of a young boy we'd tried to help in the past. He was an orphan battling with HIV and living with extended relatives. 
  • Another young man, Fransisco, is thirteen and recently diagnosed with a genetic disease. He is going blind. The ECHO Project is planning on sponsoring him to go to the country's only blind school about twelve hours north of us.
  • A young mother we've been working with is struggling with TB and because of that, her children can't live with her. Several of us visited her today to pray with her and encourage her, then went to visit her three month old baby and two other children. We were so thrilled to see the baby thriving, something that her mother is so grateful for. The ECHO Project is providing formula for the baby who is being cared for by relatives, and food baskets for the mother.

She smiled the the whole time we were there and told us she was
 still beautiful and was going to stay strong in her new faith!

The good parts?

  • Many of you know that Amber English is working alongside us for the next few months. She has just posted a moving new post on her blog. It's definitely worth reading! You can find it on her blog here! I so appreciate her tender heart and love for the people here!

  • A team from three of our churches went last weekend to the new church plant in Matimbine. (Amber shares more of this in her blog post) We are so excited to God moving among these beautiful people!

  • On a more personal note, this morning I was thrilled to wake up to an email this week with an acceptance letter for Gabriel to one of the Universities top on his list! He's planning to major in Bible and Phycology. So proud of him and excited to see what God will do through him in the months and years to come.

As I scroll through my Facebook feed and watch the news, I'm reminded that there will always be good parts and tough parts of life. But I was also reminded this morning of this verse from the Psalms.
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14 NLT

May He be our constant rock through this life.

Be a blessing today!


PS Below is our short, 2014 video if you haven't seen it yet!

AOM 2014 from Lisa Harris on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Looking for a unique Christmas gift?

We have a limited number of 2015 African Safari calendars for a donation of only $20 each! ALL profits go to support The ECHO Project which is making a difference in the lives of individuals in Mozambique, Africa. 
This year, because of donations, we were able to help:
*Provide two eye exams in the capital and a pair of prescriptions eye glasses.
*Transport to the capital and housing for Janu's brain surgery
*School supplies and uniforms
*Monthly food packets to families carrying for orphans and sick caregivers.
*Medical supplies like blood pressure medicine, vitamins, worm medicine, and other basic medicine
*Soccer uniforms for a youth community program
*Building of a house for a woman carrying for her orphaned grandchildren
And more!
Please email your mailing address here (US addresses only) and how many you would like. You can pay via check or paypal! For more information about The ECHO Project you can visit our website!