Interview with Laura Kelley

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Today I'd like to introduce you to author Laura Kelley. For the last year I've happily enjoyed her blog The Silk Road Gourmet, where she pens the most fascinating articles. Curious about the history and traditions associated with Valentine's Day? She'll tell you. Want to check out a cauldron of 2,400 year-old soup? Sure thing.  Finally, what if a scientist went out to eat and realizes the food on their plate is a new species? She shares the story. This Harvard alumnus knows her stuff. When … [Read more...]

Recipe: Natural Grape & Walnut Candy (Churchkhela from the Caucasus)

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Makes 1 string, as pictured Meet our adaptation of Churchkhela, the dangly natural candy from the Caucasus. Audrey, from Uncornered Market, informs me that this typically sausage shaped treat is nicknamed the "Georgian Snickers." Nice! Unlike a Snickers bar, however, we use only three ingredients, none of which are sugar. Long strands of Churchkhela can be found all over the caucasus, generally with extra thick outer layers of dried grape syrup (they call this tatara). Our version is … [Read more...]

Menu: Georgia

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Hello Georgia. I'm sick, but I feel better when I see your food. Three cheers to that! NOTE: The first three recipes are adapted from Laura Kelley's book The Silk Road Gourmet: Volume One: Western and Southern Asia. Her book is full of great history and an entire chapter of Georgian recipes for any who are interested. Georgian Grilled Chicken [Recipe] Bone-in chicken marinated in a combination of khemeli-suneli, peanut oil, and lemon juice. The secret? Extra long marination to make the … [Read more...]

About the food of Georgia

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Georgia is literally my life raft at the moment. If I didn't have this post to write I'd surely be passed out on my bed, waiting for the fever to subside. I hope you'll understand if this post is extra short. And, quite possibly, delirious. Let's start off with a quote. That's always nice. According to Laura Kelley, Georgian cuisine is most closely related to Armenian cuisine - not only because of their shared border, but because Armenia (or its own rulers) ruled at least part of … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: The Gambia

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THE SCENE I scrunched up my face, trying to remember. We were standing at the farmer's market on opening day, people milling about us like ants, everyone grabbing at the last of the produce before the farmers packed their bags. Alexandra tucked 2 giant bunches of shiny green onions behind her stroller - only $3.00 at closing time. I'd paid $2.00 for 1 bunch an hour earlier. "Oh, yes - I can't believe I forgot!" I said to Alexandra, "The dessert is going to be hot mangoes in … [Read more...]

Recipe: West African Spinach with Groundnuts (Peanut Butter)

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Serves 4 I'm not sure why this idea seemed so strange to me. West Africans love greens with peanut butter (they call them groundnuts), and I should have never doubted them. The earthy peanuts stand up to the mighty bitter spinach. It balances out nicely with the sweet peppers, but spicy would work wonderfully as well. If you can pick up the spinach and onions from your farmer's market, I highly recommend it. The fresh flavors will crunch and zip and smile inside your … [Read more...]

Recipe: Lover’s Lemon Ginger Tea (Gingembre)

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Makes about 3 cups concentrated juice Want to fall in love vigorously? Ease a nasty stomach bug immediately? Wake up cheerfully? Drink a giant glass of spicy, cold lemon ginger tea. It's like a big punch in the face, but in a good way. This drink is so strong, you'll do the post-whiskey-shot shudder. Our recipe is a concentrated blend - be sure to water it down to taste. Special tip for the flu season - add a splash of hot water to dilute for a great, cleansing drink. Perfect if your … [Read more...]

Eat a baguette like a west African

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I know it's springtime and I'm supposed to be nibbling lettuce, trying on my bathing suit five times a day, and sipping nothing but water. Life doesn't always work out like that. Last night, for example, I was in huddled in the closet with Miss Ava. That's right - my noisy almost-two-year-old and I were waiting out two rounds of tornado sirens. It was chaos. Fearing for my life makes me crave comfort food. If you are surviving on lettuce and water, please forgive me for this post. You … [Read more...]