Happy One-Year Celebration! Plus our giveaway winner…

About a year ago I was in a strange place.

I was a new mom. My hair was a mess. My eyes were crusty. I hadn’t slept through the night for over a year – since about the time Ava started trying to push her bottom through my ribs. From the inside.

Yawn.

About this time I was also looking for purpose. Like deep, soul searching purpose.

I got a haircut, but it didn’t help.

I wanted (needed) to make a difference at home and in the world.

I had sweet baby Ava and my love & best friend, Keith – so at home was covered.

But what about in the world? What could I do to make a difference?

On one of my sleepless nights, at about midnight, I woke my husband up.

Yes, it was a work night. Yes, he’s a very patient man.

In the whispers and flickers of the night we hatched a plan.

Here we are a year later – You and me. You and Keith (a.k.a Mr. Picky). You and Miss Ava. You and the whole, wide world.

Together we’ve built a giant bumbling, hungry, happy, curious, global family. And, as someone who had a very bumpy childhood,  it brings me to tears to think how my family has grown so much.

In honor of you … and in celebration of this first year of our Adventure … I asked if you would show me your faces. You happily obliged, sending in pictures of yourselves holding your favorite spices, herbs, and seasonings. What fun I had “unwrapping” your emails. I read notes from a few miles away, and notes from all the way across the world – in Africa, Europe, Asia, and more.

So, without further ado, let’s celebrate you!

I chuckled when I saw the photos sent in by the guys. There was a very clear theme – they a strangle hold on garlic, onions, and…

… beer? Hmm. I can roll with that. After all, I used all three to season my stoofvlees (Belgian beef stew).

Now for the gals.

Some couldn’t pick just one spice but showed off their overflowing spice drawers. Wow! I wish I had a collection like this!

Still others drew on fresh flavors – basil, vanilla beans (all the way in Africa), cardamom, garlic, and ginger!

Yum… I could really go for a cup of fresh ginger tea!

This next group of fine ladies have fabulous glasses, in addition to fabulous spices! In fourth grade I wanted glasses so bad, I faked not being able to read the eye chart. True story. Oh, and the gals in the bottom row, with plates full of tasty food? They’re on a houseboat… in India … taking a tour of local spice gardens bursting at the seams with black pepper, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, clove, and vanilla. How inspiring!

As for ourselves…

I went with vanilla for two reasons. First, I like to wear it as perfume on baking days (something my mother does) and second, it makes the most wonderful scented mustache.

Keith chose his beloved cinnamon wreath. If it weren’t so prickly, he’d probably wear it around his neck all day, gnawing on it.

Ava’s favorite seems to be a salt free spice blend called “Arizona Dreaming” from Penzy’s. She likes to dip asparagus and other veggies into it. If she sees the jar on the table, she immediately wants some. She asks for it by saying “bloop” because that’s the sound she makes when she dips her food in it.

Now, onto the contest winner who will get the same spice jars I started this journey with (winner selected by random.org)

Unwrapping the spice jars that spurned me to start Global Table Adventure. December 2009

Thank you for all your beautiful photos and nice notes. I was really touched and happy to read how much you are enjoying the Adventure. I ran your comments through the randomizer and came up with a winner:

Congratulations, Carrie! Carrie says:

As for my collection, we’ll, it’s out of control. I do love to cook and bake. I love ethnic and diverse foods. And I have the herbs and spices to prove it! I typically buy in bulk – from an Indian grocer and my health food store. I’ve also ordered online. I have one full cabinet with spices as well as an entire shelf in my pantry. I have some old jars that I refill but it’s definitely a mix and match sort of thing. I use an old coffee grinder (like a hand held electric one) to grind my spices. The crazy part is that I don’t even have store-bought spice mixes, like chili powder! I make it by mixing my spices and grinding, each time I need it. I make my own curry, jerk, Cajun, chili, and Italian. I did buy an herbs de provence mix, though. And I have like 5 kinds of salt and peppercorns.

Wow, Carrie! You are an inspiration. Send me an email sasha (at) GlobalTableAdventure (dot) com to claim the jars.

And finally, a thank you!

Thank you for an awesome year of stovetop travel. Remember, we create peace when we learn about each other – when we understand one another.

Keep cooking and spread the love.

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Comments

  1. Congrats on your 1 year anniversary!! Since I didn’t win those fabulous spice jars, would you be able to tell me where to buy them? My cabinets are screaming to be organized. Also, when you get to Israel and if you need any ideas, my husband is Israeli. You might have seen him in the food section now and them.

  2. Congratulations on your anniversary! Tell your husband that cinnamon is a soft, moist inner bark when it first comes off the tree. It’s too fibrous to swallow but is delicious to chew. What we recognize as “cinnamon sticks” are these strips of bark once dried. Sounds like you need to plan a spice garden tour!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Thanks Emily – there’s actually a bit of moisture under the bark on his wreath – I’ve nibbled on it to see if it was really cinnamon and it was :) I would love a spice garden tour – what fun that would be!

  3. You can get those jars at Penzy’s Spice House…www.penzy’s.com – different sizes….not with silver tops – black!

  4. elisa waller says:

    yay! That was fun!..

  5. That’s true about faking needing glasses…what you didn’t realize was (or did you?) we grownups (me, the eye doc, the other Doc) all knew – and your prescription was just a piece of glass to humor you….You really got into looking studious and “important”..It was so cute…

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Ha ha, I should have known! Frankly, I’m not surprised, now that I’m a mother, I can see through so much that Ava does… it’s cute.

  6. Nobody makes Ginger tea the way Elisa does…I can’t seem to get up my enthusiasm to do it…and I really WANT some.

  7. Mom,

    Sasha’s mom? Anyway, thanks for the tip on finding the jars!

  8. How nice to see all the pictures ! And it was funny to see the differences between men and women !!
    I wish I could have sent my pic also, but our computer is in a bad state… I would have showed off my Hungarian paprika.
    Long live your blog, I’m looking forward to the rest of the trip !

    • Sasha Martin says:

      I, too, am a big fan of Hungarian Paprika. It is one of my go-to spices. “When in doubt, add paprika” lol

  9. Sasha, will do! I let my husband know that he’s on call to help. Also, Thanks for the info on the jars.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Great! :) You might look around, there are a few other companies that make the “french square” style. Even opaque jars and so forth.

  10. Congratulations on a great first year. I’m looking forward to the rest of the trip.

    And thank you Sasha.

  11. Happy first blog anniversary to you, Sasha!

    Wishing you more and more fun,discoveries,good tatstes and great meetings.
    I came intially here because I saw you on wp’s “fresh pressed”. I like what I saw, because I both like to cook and travel.
    And I am still around for the trip!

    Congrats to Carrie! That is wonderful to have a prize like this and I just know that you will put it to a very good use!

    Greetings from France and cheers to all.

    Barbara

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Barbara, I didn’t know that’s how you found the web site… how neat! I’m glad you stuck around. Cheers to you!

  12. Collette Lemons says:

    Happy Anniversary!!!!!!

  13. Keith Glennon says:

    Spice photos were all so ‘acted out’! Nice work everyone!

    CONGRATULATIONS on a fantastic first year!!!

    The best motto on the GLOBE: we create peace when we learn about each other – when we understand one another.

    Thank you!!

  14. I can’t believe I won! I sent you an email – let me know if you didn’t get it. Hooray me!

  15. aunty eileen says:

    Happy Global Table Adventure 1st year Anniversary!

    Congratulations to you both Sasha and Keith for your joint
    efforts for a job very-WELL DONE!

    You have set yourself a goal Sasha and you have not only
    stayed the course for this very worthwhile 5 year project….
    you have given us your friends and family and the world the
    opportunity to see your amazing talentS….

    p.s. I am getting used to the new design of the website and
    I like it more and more each time I visit :)

    Cheers to you both!

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