Here, where it all began…

I’ve been rolling memories of this blog around in my head, like a loose tooth.

I reminisce late at night, when I can’t sleep. Ironically, this is how our adventure began more than seven years ago: Restless, at midnight. I’ll always remember waking Keith in the middle of that brittle February night to tell him I wanted to cook every country. And – love him – he agreed.

More than a place to store recipes from every country, this web site has since become our family’s digital home. Photos in nearly every recipe reveal our changing lives. A baby girl transforming into a young woman; my black hair turning more salt than pepper, then black again; my husband and I, married the better part of a decade.

Time passes, time passes, time passes. And still time passes.

When this all began, I was a novice cook, writer, and photographer. Over the years I grew my culinary chops, learned to spin a phrase, grew adept at taking photos, and made friends along the way. Global Table Adventure became a sandbox for families and students who want to explore food from every country. I made friends with Rick Steves. I published my memoir through National Geographic. Christopher Kimball interviewed me on Milk Street Radio.

Oh, yes.  This blog surpassed my every expectation and dream. In many ways it would be easy to continue churning out charming global cooking posts.

Except it isn’t easy. Not any more.

Life changes, almost without notice.

Ava had a double hernia surgery and changed schools in first grade. Keith’s father battled cancer last year. Family and friends got married. Family and friends passed away. Just last month, Keith had cancer removed from his face.

Remember how, in my memoir, I talked about not knowing how to be happy? About waiting for the “other shoe to drop”? Yeah.

Something about all this change is causing me to shrink back, slow down, and savor the time I have with the people I love. It also has an effect on the kind of work I want to put into the world. Land must lay fallow to produce something good; so, too, must I. I no longer want to chase a daily, weekly, or even monthly blog post schedule, but prefer to work quietly and deeply on the projects that speak most forcefully to my heart.

Even the artist Picasso went through distinct creative periods – periods where he pivoted, shifted, threw his palate out and began again. My name might not be Picasso, but I do find myself reaching for something other than international food. Like Picasso – who went through a blue period and a rose period and even cubism and surrealism and, yes, periods when he lay fallow – I feel called to create in new and daring ways – in ways that correspond to my life right now and, especially, in ways that serve my local community.

Some of it will involve international food and peace. And some of it won’t. Some of it will be a challenge, while some of it will simply be good for the heart.

Here’s a snapshot of my life right now

I’m writing a fantasy novel.
I’m growing cantaloupe in the garden.
I am a Research Fellow at the University of Tulsa.
I’m learning to make a great cup of coffee.
I’m learning to make a great loaf of sourdough.
I volunteer at my daughter’s school.
I am a foster youth advocate.
I go to the Renaissance Fair.

I practice yoga.
I write poetry.
I sew.

Even the kitchen is changing – the very place I cooked the world is expanding, changing, evolving… nothing stays the same forever.

Sharing these sorts of updates here would be confusing to the scores of families and students who come to this site for purposes of global enrichment. So I’m handing over the keys to YOU my sweet, Global Table Adventurers. This is your site – to cook from, to learn from, to use as you see fit. I’ll be doing the same thing – digging through the archives for dinner and party ideas.

So. I’ve said my piece. And I’ve said my peace. For seven years. Now I know what I’m supposed to do. Just walk away. Move on.

Except it isn’t ever that simple, is it?

I can’t completely disappear. I care about this community too much. You’ll always be able to find my latest at SashaMartin.com and on Instagram. If you’re on my email list, I’ll reach out about new projects (if not, you can subscribe on SashaMartin.com). I won’t be creating recipes or blogging there – at least, not right now. And if I ever do, I won’t spend hours and hours building content. The site’s purpose will be to let you know about my art – it won’t be the art.

Meanwhile, the enormous “Global Table” this site represents will always be set – for you, for me, for the whole world. There’s room enough for all at the table: Remember to create space for each other’s ideas and fears and dreams. We are all humans. We all deserve dignity and respect.

We create peace when we learn about each other, when we understand one another.

And that’s the biggest Adventure of all.
Stay curious. Live with appetite.

With tears of love and gratitude,
Sasha, Keith, and Ava

17 Comments

  1. I have so enjoyed your blog for years; the stories, the writing, recipes and photos! Thank you for creating such a wonderful resource. So many of your recipes have become part of my regular menu, and have helped me become a better cook. Best of everything to you and your family.

  2. Your voice shall be much missed, it’s been so great following your “travels” across this big world of ours. At the same, all journeys have an endpoint otherwise, well, you’re just wandering. So it’s good to recognize the end of this particular journey, letting you set off on another or two or three or twenty-five. All the best, thanks for your many contributions to our community of food bloggers.

  3. Kim says

    I hope that blog and recipes will still be available! I just started my own Global Table Adventure, following your posts and recipes, and I am only on letter E!! I am really enjoying it; thanks for all your efforts.

  4. Kate says

    I have missed your voice, Sasha! Thank you for sharing this beautiful farewell to this chapter in your life. I am excited for you, for how present you are with and for your loved ones and with your own inner spark. I will check your new site often and look forward to any chance to read your words. My heart is happy for you! XO

  5. Thank you Sasha! It’s okay to start something new – or end something old. You have so much strength and creativity in you. I wish you and your family all the best.

  6. Wishing you and your family all the best and to your new adventure in life.
    thank you for sharing your story. I feel blessed to be a part of your journey.
    with love and light.

  7. Joanne Hakim says

    Thank you, Sasha. You have been, and continue to be, an inspiration. I first discovered you/your blog when my own global cooking project began with an idea on NYE and started on Jan 1 of the same year you began. I moved much more slowly than you did and, in fact, I am still only in the “G” countries (Yay for not giving up – what’s the hurry!)
    So our life journey has brought us north of Boston to spend more time with our sons, their lovely wives, and our beautiful granddaughters (8 yrs, 4 yrs, and 20 mos). We have been here a month and enjoying every minute.
    Thank you for being you and for inspiring peace and harmony among citizens of the world.
    I wish you and your family all the best that life has to offer.
    Joanne

  8. Arni Swanson says

    I want to thank you for getting me out of my cooking (and eating) comfort zone. I’ve learned so much from your site, so much so that often I don’t bother with a recipe, just get ingredients to match the cuisine we want that week and improvise. Without change, there is no growth so best of luck with your new adventures. We are starting on our next phase, selling our home to our daughter and son-n-law and moving home to Vermont after being away for 38 years! Again, best wishes and health to you and yours.

    Arni

  9. Oh this is very sad Sasha. I enjoyed your blog so much and the adventures. We all go through the ups and downs of life. Sometimes it is hard to create so much and also attend to daily life. I feel you. Life happens. Don’t give up. Keep up the spirits and create new adventures. You are a compelling story teller. Your zest for life is what keeps us going.

  10. Pam says

    Thank you, Sasha, for sharing your new adventure while eloquently bringing closure to the old. I’ll continue to use the GTA site and will check out your doings on instagram and your website. I hope you will post pictures of the new kitchen! Blessings to you and your family. You are quite remarkable indeed!

  11. Lynn Jarrett says

    Sending good thought clouds to you and your family.

  12. Donna says

    Best Wishes for your new chapter in Life! You gave us so much, and We thank you! You’ve been a huge inspiration in your Cooking around the World for a neighbor couple and my husband and I. We are on #79, Colombia on July 6th!
    Be Happy! Be Well!
    Donna

  13. Anne says

    This blog has been a favorite resource that I take pleasure in reading and will continue to be even as you move on to new endeavors. Thank you for sharing your peaceful kitchen with us!!!!! Om shanti!

  14. Diana Keener says

    I read your book a few weeks ago and my family has embarked on our Global Table Adventure. We’re in the middle of the A’s and having a lot of fun. Thanks for this great project!

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