By Alison Calvert, founder of the Mariama Mae Nursery School
Honor and Roger, two very dear friends of mine, live and work in Jerez in the south of Spain. Last year they put on a curry evening to raise money for the school with the help of Hansa, and her mum Pushpa, who flew over from London just to bring spices and cook for days. By popular demand they were doing it all again and in April I flew over to join them due to a ticket that had very kindly been donated to me so that I could be there.
What a team they are! When I arrived we all sat around their kitchen table to have a ‘kilo meeting’, deciding how many kilos of tomatoes, potatoes and all sorts of other vegetables we needed. This resulted in a trip to the wonderful local market the next day where boxes of local vegetables were bought and then delivered round the corner to Roger and Honor’s beautiful home that they were opening to over 120 people who had bought tickets for “The Grand Curry Night Fundraiser”.
Before the 8.30pm start on Friday the most beautiful food had been prepared under the guidance of Hansa and Pushpa who calmly made a wide range of mouth watering delicious starters, all had been sampled beforehand just to make sure they were ok of course! These were then followed by curries to die for with wonderful flavours and extras all authentically made and displayed. Honor and Roger had also made their speciality to add to the menu, a beef curry and chicken tikka with the most incredible flavours. For desert they had prepared mango ice cream and gulabjamans which were incredibly popular.
People's comments said it all: “this food is out of this world”, “I’ve never tasted Indian food like this before”, “This is so good, how do they do it and there is so much choice”.
Everyone, including Roger and Honor’s kids, Tom and Alex, and their mates, had worked so hard together as a team to make this fundraiser the wonderful success that it was. The people who had come to the event had a wonderful evening and were very generous when buying raffle tickets for batiks that I had brought from Africa, and local donated bottles of sherry and brandy.
This was just such a great evening and I felt so lucky to be there, not just for the food, but for the fun of preparing it beforehand, and the opportunity to talk to people who had come last year and then again this year. It was fantastic to be able to show them photos of what their donations had achieved and talk to them about what we would be able to do with this years £2600 that they had raised, thankyou everyone. See you all next year!
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The news diary is written by a number of people close to the work of the African Oyster Trust, including founder James Holden, his co-directors, trustees and volunteers.