Monday Meal Review: Rwanda

We officially have less than a year remaining in this Adventure. Unbelievable.

In the very beginning (February 2010), our Global Table Adventure was about eating a better, more varied diet, especially for our then seven-month old baby, Ava. Cooking the world was also about making life in Tulsa a little more tolerable, while daydreaming about other places.

I was escaping. Hard.

Now? Well the name is the same, but the Adventure has evolved in ways I could have never anticipated.

Izína sí lyó muntu.

This Rwandan saying means that “the name doesn’t make the man.” Or in this case, the “Adventure.”

Case in point, Global Table Adventure is a nice name, but it doesn’t reveal much about the long years we’ve lived with this challenge.

It doesn’t say anything, for example, about how appreciating the rest of the world has really made us appreciate our home more.

Sometimes you have to look far to find the treasure on your own doorstep.

Nor does the name hint at the community we enjoy around us. We learned an especially great lesson from Mongolian nomads:  Just have to ask for help, even if your neighbors seem incredibly distant in body or spirit. Someone will always come through.

You’d be amazed at how loving people are, if you just give them a chance.

With each meal we’ve discovered international markets right here in our neighborhood, as well as people enthusiastic to share their native cultures with us.

Everyone is proud of their heritage. 

Of course, it doesn’t even come close to showing how Mr Picky has opened his mind and mouth.  Or how people all around the world have taught me to let go of my need for control.

The best way I can explain just how much has happened in the last few years?


If you have children, you know how much can happen in three years.

It’ll stop your heart if you think too hard about it.

This Global Table Adventure is the best gift I could have given my daughter. Myself. My husband. You.

I’m so glad you’re a part of it.  Love, love, love to you.

Here’s to the next 51 weeks (!!)…

P.S. Please continue to share stories of your Global Table Adventure either in the comments or on our stories photo forum.

Rwandan Agatogo with Collard Greens [Recipe]

What I loved most about this dish:

I loved cooking plantains this way – super easy yet flavorful, especially if you use vegetable broth instead of water. Getting little bits of peanuts was my favorite part.

What I loved least about this dish:

While it tastes good, this doesn’t keep very well for leftovers. The plantains begin to brown, so I’d suggest eating this one right up.

White Sweet Potato Fries [Recipe]

What I loved most about this dish:

I made this on an afternoon that Keith was busy in the office and Ava was at her school program. I ate and ate and ate these fries, doing major damage, until there were only a few stragglers remaining. It was completely indulgent, wrong on many levels, and some of the most fun I’ve had in the kitchen.

What I loved least about this dish:

I wish the sweet potatoes would crisp up more. Still, for a few brief seconds, straight from the oil, there was a slight crackle to the sides and the corners. I suppose that’s what I get for not sharing the first time.

Rwandian Fruit Salad [Recipe]

What I loved most about this dish:

I loved the fresh fruit with the buttery avocado. The contrast was especially nice against the bold, bright pineapple. I think it would be grand with mango, like the Spicy Mango and Avocado Salad we made for Antigua and Barbuda.

What I loved least about this dish:

November is not the ideal time to purchase tropical fruit in Tulsa. Bananas were about the only properly ripe fruit.

Watch Ava’s Corner:

Giveaway Winner:

Congratulations, Kc192 who said if they had to eat the same soup for five years:

Oh wow… I love soup… My first thought was baked potato soup. Then i changed to creamy chicken and wild rice. Then I think I settled on tomato. Although chicken and corn chowder sounds sooooo good….

Please email me by November 19 to claim your prize!



  1. Well, I’ve been so busy lately that I barely have a chance to indulge in blog surfing… 🙁

    However, I just noticed that I stopped getting notifications of a new post by email – I wonder why….

    Please let me know if there’s been a problem with my settings or something, but maybe I should just unsubscribe and re-subscribe?

    Love your blog, would still stop by without the notifications, but it’s nice to get them!

    I look forward to the next year!

    • Sasha Martin says

      I’d definitely try re-subscribing – how strange! Try to relax and drink some tea… being so busy can become overwhelming. I’m in the thick of it myself and try to be mindful of finding a few moments of calm each day.

      • I will resubscribe – anyway, if you get a notification of unsubscription don’t take it personally, it’ me going away and back again… 🙂

        (I always get a little pain inside when someone unsubscribes from my blog, good thing it doesn’t happen often!)

  2. Megan says

    Thanks for letting us share in your adventure! It inspired me to start looking at Tulsa in a different way, get my daughter in the kitchen with me, and think outside the box when it comes to my kitchen table. Our international dinner at school is Nov 19th and I had a blast grabbing recipes from your site. The invite is still there if you would like to join in the fun!

    • Sasha Martin says

      I love this! Thank you Megan 🙂 Give your daughter a high-five for me.

  3. Iit has been great so far being involved literally there with you few times from Finland on and through the site. This also helps appease me living here too. Don’t forget me when it comes to cooking Sri Lanka. So looking forward to that. Any up coming contests? Good luck with any new developments.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Ohh maybe you could share some ideas ahead to get my brain working. So looking forward to learning more about the food! Keep an eye on the weekly contests – plus I just posted the gingerbread contest (see sidebar).

  4. Brian S. says

    Yes it’s been an incredible adventure. It’s almost like an epistolary novel, where a genius novelist presents the story of the growth of a family via a weekly food blog. So here’s one of Rwanda’s leading singers to salute you!

    (Note: I’ve left lots of long comments over the past few weeks, comments about Russian literature and the East-Central African region among others, which you didn’t answer. I guess you’ve been busy! Any news from the New York trip?)

    • Sasha Martin says

      I so love your comments! My apologies – I’m very busy trying to balance last week’s trip to NYC (exciting things in store!) with this week’s Kid’s World event. If you’re there, look for my booth (shared with Global Gardens).

  5. I can’t believe you’ve managed to stick with this for 3 years!! amazing 🙂 thank you for your dedication and for sharing this all with us. I’ve been following your blog since mid-2010 myself…how am I going to learn to function throughout the week without new countries to learn about?? any plans for what you’re going to do when this is over?

    • Sasha Martin says

      Jenny! I love that you’ve been here since so early on – and remain so enthusiastic. Cheers to you! I’m thinking of expanding the concept in new and exciting ways, so no worries – there’ll be more in store for your happy brain 🙂

  6. Keith Glennon says

    Ava is a little Dora the Explorer! What a cool video–hiking, climbing, trying Rwanda & shoe in the mud!! Happy 50 countries/weeks! Amazing!!!

  7. Paula says

    “Sometimes you have to look far to find the treasure on your own doorstep.”

    Or, as Dorothy said, “Next time I go looking for my heart’s desire, I won’t look any farther than my own back yard. Because if I don’t find it there, I never really lost it in the first place.”

    Not sure that makes sense, but it sounds good! 🙂

  8. I feel like I came late to this Global party! But never mind – we have many weeks and countries left. Looking forward to the rest of the alphabet. I’m in awe of what you do! xx

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