Starlings and stir fry…….. 14th of March

This morning’s sunrise at Tsavene is a soft glow of clear yellow in a clear sky, a gentle start to the day with freshly ground coffee sitting in bed, after I have let the dogs out of the back door.
Shortly comes the expected rude awakening and an explosion of excited squawks as the female Red winged starling arrives breathlessly over our heads to feed her three hulking babies their breakfast. Nesting above our heads in the wooden beam, these teenagers need to GO. Fly the coop. I have had enough of their prolific poops and cacaphony. Side-stepping the mound of fecal sacs, dismembered Armoured land -crickets and other splurge below their nest, I escape the noisy bedroom and spend the morning sketching a painting-three African wild dogs leaping exuberantly across the large canvas.
Five o’clock wake ups make for long working hours, and by noon I am starving.

Clive and I get busy and create lunch.

Thai Chicken noodle stir fry with coconut, garlic and ginger sauce:


1 or 2 cups of chicken, shredded off the carcass of a whole bird which has been slow-simmered in water, with onion, garlic and chillies added.
(After simmering a whole chicken in water, together with an onion and a bay leaf, chopped garlic and a couple of bruised whole red chillies, I had jointed and removed the legs and thighs to use in the Chicken Gumbo that I made yesterday.)
Chicken stock – 4 to 6 cups, depending on whether you want more sauce in the end result.
Coconut cream – 1cup
Egg noodles – 4 portions dried noodles
Carrots – 2cut into long thin strips
Onion – 1 cut into half slices
Garlic- 4 cloves, crushed
Ginger- 1 inch piece, grated
Red chillies -2 small  hot ones
Green pepper – 1cut into long thin strips


Simmer chicken, stock and salt and pepper in a saucepan, together with the egg noodles, until the egg noodles, about 10 minutes, until the noodles are nearly soft enough to eat. Do not let them get too soft and mushy!

Meanwhile heat a tablespoon vegetable oil in a wok and add Carrot, Onion, Garlic, Ginger,Red chillies, Green pepper. Stir until vegetables are softened but not over-cooked.

Add the chicken noodle mixture to the wok, giving it a final stir and checking for seasoning. Heap the aromatic mix into a deep soup plate and enjoy.

(Thai people use forks and spoons for their saucy curries, and you can do the same. Or use chopsticks and Chinese spoons as the mood takes you. You can add a finely crushed stalk of lemon grass to the simmering soup stock for extra authentic Thai flavour.)


About wineandwilddogs

Lin Barrie The Save Valley Conservancy stretches along the upper reaches of the great Save River in the south east of Zimbabwe. The Gonarezhou National Park laps against the southern banks of the Save River and between these two nestles the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. These three celebrated wildlife areas form part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, (GLTFCA)- a unique wilderness jewel which is home to the “Big Five” (endangered Black and White rhinos, elephants, buffalo, lion, leopard) and the ”Little Six” (Klipspringer, Suni, Duiker, Steenbok, Sharpe's Grysbok and Oribi). Endangered African wild dogs, Cheetah, Brown hyena, Bat-eared foxes and a host of special birds and plants contribute to the immense variety of this ecosystem. Communities around the GLTFCA contribute to innovative partnerships with National Parks and the private sector, forming a sound base on which to manage social, economic and environmental issues. This is home to artist and writer Lin Barrie and her life partner, conservationist Clive Stockil. Expressing her hopes, fears and love for this special ecosystem with oil paints on canvas, Lin Barrie believes that the essence of a landscape, person or animal, can only truly be captured by direct observation. Lin Barrie states: “Through my art, and my writing, I feel an intimate connection with the natural world, and from my extensive field sketches of wild animals, people and landscapes, I create larger works on canvas. Lin's work is in various public and private collections in South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Australia, England, Canada, Sweden and the United States of America. She is represented by galleries in South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Kenya and Florida, USA.
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