Recipe: Cassava Pudding

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I secretly love it when a word like "pudding" takes on a whole new meaning than "the sweet chocolate goop  found in the refrigerator cases of American supermarkets" (although I do enjoy that sort of pudding as much as the next sugar crazed mom). I love surprises like this because they teach me not to take so much for granted. They remind me that there are people all over this beautiful world who have different ways of doing things. And, in case you didn't get the memo, different is a … [Read more...]

Menu: Solomon Islands

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When wind, ice rain, and snow blast our home, I shut my eyes and escape to Solomon Islands for a little imagination vacation. It doesn't become real, though, until I try the food. What I find, more than anything else, is that the traditional food relies heavily on that which can grow on the islands. This is limited to staples like coconut, papaya, taro, sweet potatoes, and cassava. There would have been a time when 80% of these ingredients would have scared me off. Not because there's … [Read more...]

About the food of the Solomon Islands

Children outside Tuo school, Fenualoa, Reef Islands, Solomon Islands. Photo by Pohopetch.

This week's country meets the ocean with two faces. On one side are her cliffs, razor sharp and formidable  On the other are gentle slopes. The two are connected by a central spine of mountains. This is the Solomon Islands, a collection of islands to the northeast of Australia, just east of Papua New Guinea. In this tropical land, many houses are built on stilts and about 80% of islanders live in the boondocks. The Pacific Ocean is as much a valued friend, relied on for nourishment in the … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Slovenia

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"What you build easily will fall quickly" - Slovenian Proverb I rarely take the time to bake any more. Life keeps getting in the way. Meetings, obligations - the stuff of adulthood. This week, thanks to Slovenia, I had the opportunity to use my hands to shape, braid, and decorate an ornate loaf of Slovenian Heart Bread. As I worked, I was surprised to find myself overcome with relief. Working flour, water, egg, sugar, and butter together into a smooth ball felt like an old friend, come home … [Read more...]

Recipe: Bean n’ Barley Soup | Ričet

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Slovenia is known for her soups - each bite captures the taste of the earth and sky, rolling hills and grand mountains. They are the answer to frosted windows, the worst sort of bone-chill, and that scratchy feeling in the back of the throat. Slovenian soup is the sunshine to your snowy day. Today, in particular, we explore Ričet, one of the more beloved soups found throughout Slovenia. She's made with barley, a soft, earthy grain that reminds me faintly of pasta, but chewier … [Read more...]

Recipe: Braided Heart Bread | Pleteno Srce

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We are closing in on spring ...  that special time of year, when weddings and baby showers sprinkle our calendars, and everything is awash in the promise of new love. In Slovenia, such times are marked with Pleteno Scre - an ornamental, braided, tender loaf of bread, shaped into a heart. Pleteno Scre is an honored gift. The slightly sweet loaves are painstakingly decorated with edible tokens, like wedding rings and flowers (as I have done), or even astonishingly detailed birds, or paper thin … [Read more...]

Menu: Slovenia

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"Pray for a good harvest, but keep on hoeing." - Slovenian Proverb This old Slovenian proverb teaches a clear lesson: it is the work we put into life that ultimately leads to the "good harvest." We must roll up our sleeves and put in the hard hours and back breaking labor. There's simply no escaping it. Case in point: Slovenia is known for her comforting food, seemingly plucked straight from the countryside, but much goes into the effort, whether it be the extra fancy, ornate Pleteno Srce … [Read more...]

About the food of Slovenia

Ptuj, Slovenia. Photo by Marcin Gierszner.

This week we explore a land of sharp mountains and sunlit grasses, where sheep meander and grapevines hang heavy with fruit. This is Slovenia, a natural wonderland, a place where the simple way of life is preferred. Nowhere is this clearer, than in the food. There are salads of bitter dandelion greens (harvested from right outside the back door) tossed with potato and hard-boiled egg, and bowls of sliced cucumbers in sour cream.  There are turnip strudels (!) and cranberry stuffed … [Read more...]