Monday Meal Review: Swaziland

 

“The bee that is forced into the hive will not produce honey.”

This Swazi proverb has me thinking about what I do and why. When I used to work a desk job, I had  a palpable limit to my energy and creativity: it was called “5pm.” The old song “It’s five o’clock somewhere” was my quitting time rhyme. I was out that door faster than anyone else and, in fact, I was unproductively waiting for the end of the day even before five o’clock.

But since I began cooking the world, something strange has happened. No longer am I watching the clock. No longer do I count the minutes down by the second.

Instead, I have weeks like this one… our Swazi week … where I’m surrounded by the steam of the moistest corn bread I’ve ever had, reveling as I eat nearly an entire loaf by myself. Times when I fall into a tongue in cheek discussion with Mr Picky about how delicious beets are (I believe it, he doesn’t).

Where Ava tries radishes and loves them. Then hates them. Then loves them.

Then tosses it all away for Mealie Bread.

mealie-bread-ava

I lose track of time when we are caught up in the glory of discovery. Simple discovery.

The joy of it makes me push myself harder than ever before. And I’ve never been prouder of the work that I do.

It has everything to do with the Swazi proverb at the top of this page. This week, the Swazi remind me that we can only produce “honey” when we are doing what we believe to be our calling. When we aren’t forced into action.

And speaking of the work that I do, you are an important part of this Adventure. I’d love to get your input…  Towards the end of this year, the original purpose of this blog – to cook a meal for every country in the world – will be wrapping up. I would love your input on what you’d like to see after the I reach the end of the countries… Maybe more of the same? Some global crafts? Video recipes? Any and all ideas are welcome. Thanks! xo

THE FOOD

Mealie Bread [Recipe]

swaziland.food.recipe.img_1487

What I loved most about this dish:

This is the best cornbread I’ve ever made or had. This is my new go-to cornbread. It was funny to watch Mr Picky prepare to eat it. He had a nonchalant, bored look… but then he took a bite and, with a slight raise of the eyebrows and upward curve of his lips, I knew he agreed with me. Mealie Bread is a special kind of corn bread, indeed. Ava gobbled it up, too.

What I loved least about this dish:

Nothing. Mealie Bread is 100% win. Especially with a bit of softened butter.

Swazi Salad, a.k.a. “Slaai” [Recipe]

swaziland.food.recipe.img_1437

What I loved most about this dish:

This was a fun, refreshing salad which happened to come together quite beautifully. I was pleasantly surprised that Ava tried the radishes, but disappointed she still wasn’t keen to try the beets. That being said, she was all about the “pink” avocados, that had been stained by the beet juice. I feel like somehow that’s a win, for the parent.

What I loved least about this dish:

Not much. If the lemon dressing is a bit sharp for you, you might try diluting it with some peanut oil… that captures the region’s love for peanuts, so it’s not straying too far from tradition. That being said, a squeeze of bright lemon juice with a healthy sprinkling of salt is the perfect topper on a hot summer’s day.

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Comments

  1. I think you should go back to the beginning and start over with new and different food!

    • I second that! This has been such an amazing journey and I hate for it to end. I hope you continue it in some way!

      • Indeed that would be awsome! I really would love to see and taste more different foods from around the world!!

  2. I’m stealing someone else’s idea…I know it was mentioned here before, but I agree…a meal &/or dish from each state in the USA!

  3. Dutchgirl says:

    Food from ancient times (medieval/egyptian/roman/greek/asian/etc.)? Check out http://www.coquinaria.nl/english/index.htm

    But I like the idea of a meal from every USA state too.

  4. I think starting over at A with your new format, doing video recipes, telling about the topography and such verbally the way you do now, to encourage people to continue their adventures by continuing yours. I don’t think you’d have to do all new recipes and such, just revisit the old posts and fill them out with the new talkshow format, with info on the countries and seeing if Ava likes some of the things any better this time around. Show her watching the old videos of her eating new things and loving them now, and see what she has to say. It wouldn’t have to be a full time job if you start over – more of an ongoing hobby, continuing to discuss with old friends with a weekly installment, rather than daily. But that’s just me. Maybe even have people submit their own pix and videos as they revisit Afghanistan (or visit it for the first time), cooking your recipes…

    • Crystal says:

      I love the talkshow format! Gives me that extra push to try some of these wonderful recipes! Definitely hungry for more global table!

  5. Sasha Martin says:

    Thanks for weighing in, everyone! These are fun ideas. I think it’s great people still want more global goodness, too. I wasn’t sure if I was the only one still hungry for more… although I do think the format can benefit from some freshening up. This gives me a lot to think about.

  6. I got it! What about diving into the traditional meals served on specific national holidays. Americans know that turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie are traditional dishes served at our Thanksgiving holiday. What’s the traditional meal served on Carnival in Ecuador, Pray Day in Denmark, Showa Day in Japan, Queen’s birthday in New Zealand and Victoria Day in Canada? 2014 could be mapped out so that GTA followers can celebrate global holidays all year long!

  7. I like your craft idea, though I do think that dishes from US states or starting the countries over again would be great too. But then I read Keith’s idea… Please go with that one!!! What a fantastic idea and a way to keep it about food and world in culture, but in a slightly different light. Whatever you choose, thanks for keeping it up.

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