What do you do if you want cannoli in Nairobi? A friend of ours was having a mobster-themed birthday party this weekend and we thought it would be the perfect dessert to bring. We tried asking at a local Italian restaurant, which is run by an actual Italian family, and managed to offend the owner. We asked if the restaurant could make a special order of cannoli; he said no. We pressed, and he curtly informed us that cannoli is a Sicilian dessert, and apparently Italians from the northern part of the country do not consider Sicily to be a part of their homeland.
No problem; S decided to make the cannoli herself. The hardest part is baking the shells, which it turns out are typically made using a special cannoli-making machine, which we naturally did not have. S improvised, and though the shells came out tasting a bit like fried dough, we can confidently say that these were the best cannoli in Nairobi and quite possibly anywhere in East Africa. In fact, by the time we thought to take a picture, they were all gone. Even so, our dessert played second fiddle to the tommy-gun chocolate cake one of our friends baked for the birthday girl.
In addition to the ubiquitous cornhole, we also played mafia — a game that half the group had never heard of and the other half had not played since high school. But with all of the guests looking like wise guys and mafia donnas, and with music from the Godfather blasting through the house, it was not an opportunity to be passed up.
We must have had a really good time at the party because D was so groggy this morning that he managed to start a grease fire with the oil from the cannoli, which had congealed in a pot we had left on the stove. Fortunately, there were no casualties.