More photos from Kruger National Park…Another fun night at Jabula!…Great seasoning recipe…

This is a side-striped jackal, another less frequent sighting we were delighted to encounter. The side-striped jackal is a canine native to central and southern Africa. Unlike the smaller and related black-backed jackal, which dwells in open plains, the side-striped jackal primarily dwells in woodland and scrub areas.

One year ago today, the third day since our arrival in the bush in South Africa, we had no power for 19 hours and no WiFi. We are enjoying today without any outages, a strong WiFi signal, and a slightly cooler yet humid day. Often, this time of year, the temperature may only be in the 80Fs, 27Cs, but the humidity can be outrageously high, making us sweat until the sun goes down.

The kori bustard is a ground-dweller, hence the name bustard, meaning birds that walk. They have a majestic walk with measured strides. They prefer to walk away from danger and fly only when necessary because of their weight. They take off with hefty wing beats, but they fly quickly and strongly once airborne.

Nonetheless, it’s a good day. I’ve already prepped all the vegetables and ingredients for tonight’s taco salad dinner and only have to prepare the lettuce and cook the mince (hamburger meat) as soon as it defrosts enough to fit in the pan. I made the taco seasoning from scratch early this morning, using the ingredients listed below.

Those little packets of taco seasoning contain many chemicals and wheat, none of which we care to eat. Here is a simple recipe that takes only a few minutes to put together.

Marabou storks I first encountered at the old dump in Marloth Park in 2014. The marabou stork is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It breeds in both wet and arid habitats in Africa south of the Sahara, often near human habitation, especially landfill sites.
Low Carb Taco Seasoning
4 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoon cumin
4 teaspoons paprika
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon dried onion or onion powder
2 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoon black pepper
Add all the spices to a mason jar or large zip-seal bag. Close and shake or stir until fully combined. Store in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.
Use 2 tablespoons for every packet of taco seasoning called for in a recipe or for every pound of meat with no additional salt added. Use 1/2 tablespoon to season 1/4 pound of meat if making individual servings. The individual serving size is about 1/2 tablespoon.

Serving: 8serving (1/2 tbsp) | Calories: 15kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 616mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 849IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

Table setting at the boma in Kruger National Park. There we just the eight of us as guests, with several staff members serving and assisting.

This is so easy to make. This morning,  I added sliced olives, diced onions, grape tomatoes cut in half, and chopped lettuce in individual containers. I’ll soon cook the meat until no blood remains, draining it in a strainer, placing it back into the pan, adding seasonings as stated above, based on how much meat I am cooking.

Our plates of meat were delicious.

Then, I add about one cup of water for about 4 pounds, 2.2 kg of meat. Let the meat simmer until most of the water is absorbed, usually about 20 minutes. While the meat is simmering, I cut up one small avocado to serve atop my salad. Serve right away, layering your salad as you’d like. I add a dollop of sour cream to my salad, but Tom doesn’t add any dressing. Some may prefer to add salsa. Cool the meat slightly before refrigerating. It will keep in the fridge for four days or freeze in Ziplock individual servings.

There were several vegetable options, some without sauces which I selected.

OK, enough about food for you non-foodies. Oh, oh, one more thing about food. Last night, Rita, Gerhard, Petra, Fritz and Tom, and I went to Jabula for another enjoyable time together. We lounged at the bar for a while, ordered our dinner while at the bar, and then sat at the usual table for six that Dawn always saves for us and any group of six we may have to join us.

The food is consistently delicious, and the hosts divine, which brings us back over and over again. We never tire of dining and spending time at that great restaurant, unlike any other we tried throughout the world. The bar reminds us of the TV series Cheers, where “everyone knows your name.” And the food never disappoints.

This is the beautiful European roller. The European roller is the only member of the roller family of birds to breed in Europe. Its overall range extends into the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and Morocco. The European roller is found in various habitats, avoiding only treeless plains. They migrate to South Africa from Europe each summer season. That’s a long flight!

When we returned home, we settled in for the night, watched an episode of a series on my laptop, and drifted off to sleep by midnight.

Today will be a quiet day. I continue faithfully with my new walking regime and haven’t missed a day since I started on January 1st. I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but this year was different. I needed to start walking more for my health.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, January 16, 2021:

These two piglets were Barbara and Lori, who are now almost full-grown and visit each day. This mom is now Tail-less Mom who recently lost her tail to an injury. For more photos, please click here.

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