This time of the year has to be the most exciting. The season change is suddenly remarkable. Many of our friends, guests, and followers are celebrating deep connections to their spiritual ancestry. It is no coincidence that it is a time of renewal and reflection. I can also feel that pent-up desire to travel, an exodus, and a hunger to explore. It is (in the north) the coming of summer, a return to happier times, normalcy under new terms.
This week, at ol Donyo Lodge, we had our reason to celebrate and look forward to the future. Our beloved One Ton came in with a deep wound in his neck. Vets were rallied, immediately flew in and darted him.
As he peacefully slept, this allowed the team to clean his wound and patch him up. The ol Donyo Lodge team watched with hearts in their throats as this iconic big tusker woke, then rocked himself to his feet and walked off as if nothing had happened.
We need to thank Big Life and the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for their incredible support, work, collaboration and reacting so quickly. One Ton is not our elephant, he belongs to us all, and he has an extended future for now.
As our teams went back to camp, it was with a sense of relief and celebration, a sense of that spirit of renewal and hope. Exactly what Easter represents. A lavish brunch also greeted the returning team, and I thought this is the perfect time to share an Easter treat with you, an Easter Plait, but in keeping with our gluten-free options, a Great Plains twist to a traditional German pastry.
You know how I often remind people, children in particular, when they see us filming out in the field – whether that is on foot, in a vehicle, or on a canoe and where we come close to a “One Ton” that they should “Not try this at home…”
In this case, however, you should definitely try this at home!
Happy Easter, everyone.
Next week we will be announcing something quite significant for us.
For now, enjoy the pastry and share with us the warm afterglow of seeing One Ton alive and healthy.
This Easter, as we come together to rejoice, celebrate life and new beginnings, we share a traditional Easter delicacy to enjoy with your family.
If you cannot join us in our home – one of our safari camps – then we hope that re-creating our signature gluten-free Easter Plait recipe will bring a taste of Africa to your home. We have, of course, added our own signature African twist to this traditionally German recipe to fully transport you to the plains of Africa.
Gluten-Free Easter Plait with Rooibos Tea Syrup
- 4 cups gluten-free flour
- 250 gr sweet potatoes
- 90 gr coconut oil
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 10 gr instant yeast
- 20 ml berbere spice –substitute ground cardamom and nutmeg together
- 20 ml ginger powder
- 20 ml cinnamon
- 15 ml naartjie (tangerine) peel –substitute orange
- 1 cup lukewarm almond milk
- 450 ml vegetable oil for frying
- 150 gr coconut desiccated for coating
FOR THE SYRUP:
- 2 ½ cups white sugar
- 1 ½ cup rooibos tea
- 50 grams potato flour
- 50 ml veg oil
HOW TO MAKE IT:
- Peel the sweet potatoes and boil in water, drain and mash until smooth and set aside.
- Beat eggs slightly and mix with coconut oil, sift flour, mixed spices, salt, add sugar and yeast.
- Next, combine the egg mix with the mashed potatoes.
- Add the warm milk and remaining dry ingredients and knead for 10 mins.
- Leave the dough covered (it should rise and double in size) for about an hour. Once risen, twist into circles or in any desired shapes.
- Let it rise for another half an hour. In the meantime, bring the oil to medium heat in a medium pot.
- Fry the braided plait on medium heat until both sides are light brown.
- Drain on absorbent paper.
- Make the syrup by slowly boiling the rooibos tea and sugar together and dip the fried plait in the syrup.
- Set aside and dust it in the desiccated coconut.
Enjoy with a delicious cup of tea or coffee!