I have a mother

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In celebration of "Tell the Truth Day", I want to tell you about something that happened to me a few minutes ago. I was looking at a photo of a little girl sleeping in the outline she drew of her "mother," tears streaming down my cheeks. Maybe you saw it, maybe you didn't. For those whose hearts were also broken today by the photo, thinking this small child was an orphan, please read this statement by the photographer Bahareh Bisheh : "This little girl is my cousin and she actually fell … [Read more...]

A Radical Notion: Extreme Peace

Betsy Graves Reyneau, 1888-1964, Artist

Thanks to this blog many well-meaning, genuinely curious people ask me: "Do you really think peace is possible?" They say "really" with those drawn out vowels that mean they think I'm either a) ignorant or b) naive. When I sit and think about it, I realize they're right, on both counts. I am ignorant. When I was in eighth grade, my class went on a trip to Greece. One night while we were there, an explosion shook the very foundation of our hotel. In the midst of the chaos, the rumor-mill … [Read more...]

5 Secrets to Springtime in January

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You know that old saying, "It's 5 o'clock somewhere"? Well the same can be said of springtime. Even while ice and and snow pummel the northern hemisphere and hot days sizzle in the southern, there are plenty of people celebrating springtime in India and other South Asian countries... Yes, in January. After the wild hair seventy degree day we had a couple of days ago, Ava and I were ready to say goodbye to winter, too. So how do we get there? This January 14 marks Makar Sankranti, the … [Read more...]

Yes, I’ll sing to an apple tree

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The question is not whether I'd sing to an apple tree, but rather where I can find an apple tree to sing to. My Oklahoman neighborhood just doesn't deliver the crimson fruit. Regardless, I will tipple this wassail with a cheer (wassail literally means "wes hail", or good cheer)- after all in 2014 I'm learning about celebrations around the world, a suitable follow-up to completing our first adventure: eating one meal for every country in the world. January is all about … [Read more...]

A Pilgrimmage to Love Your World

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  Nearly four years ago, when I set out to cook a meal for every country in the world, I didn't know I was embarking on a pilgrimage. I just had a bout of wanderlust. A picky husband. A baby I wanted to raise with an appreciation for the world's inherent beauty. I wanted her to love the world (and I wanted her world to love her!).   I cooked, cooked, cooked. I took thousands upon thousands of photos. My husband, Keith, filmed Ava, week  after week. I was … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Zimbabwe

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httpv://youtu.be/k08UD-r2IPY The marathon is complete. We did it. We ate every country in the world. (Breathe in, breathe out) The first thing Ava said about completing our challenge? "Can we start cooking the world all over again?" And, later: "When are we going to start another Global Table Adventure, mama?" This child was barely seven months old when we started. Here she is with Afghanistan... (sigh) I can't look at this photo without tears coming to my eyes. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Zimbabwe Candy Cake | Chikenduza

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Candy. Cake. From Zimbabwe. Given the name... and the fact that we needed a celebration recipe (this being the last recipe of our 'official' adventure to eat a dish from every country in the world)... well, I had to make it. That's not to say there weren't other choices for celebration food. I could have made sweet potato cake (spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg) or sliced mango with custard. But I was sold when I saw the shiny pink glaze on the mound of cakey bread. I would have … [Read more...]

3 Quick Recipes for Zimbabwean Pumpkin & Squash

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Everywhere I go, I see the rust, orange, and gold of pumpkins and squashes. Some smile from my neighbors' front stoops. Some have been tagged for this year's Thanksgiving pie or pumpkin pancakes (Hello, Russia!). Even Pinterest looks like a digital pumpkin patch of late. All this for good reason. These beautiful gourds are autumn. They represent breathless hikes to pick out the biggest, the gnarliest, the cutest in the bunch. But for all that, I can only look at so many pumpkin recipes … [Read more...]

Menu: Zimbabwe

Witch doctor of the Shona people close to Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe. Photo by Hans Hillewaert.

I don't think I've ever done this. I've always told you the menu. Every Wednesday for 195 weeks, my choices have been in this space, recorded in black and white. But today... I'm just not ready to tell you what I'm making. Perhaps it's panic. What if I make the wrong choice this week? Or perhaps it's denial. What if I'm not ready for it to be over? I can tell you this much: there will be pumpkins and squashes. There will be peanuts and peanut butter. And there will be, I assure you, some … [Read more...]

About the food of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Sunset. Photo by Steve Evans.

Yesterday, I mentioned my fear of crossing "the chasm", towards the final post of this Adventure. And yet, here we are. Time stalls for none. This is the first step over Victoria Falls from Zambia to Zimbabwe. There are a few restaurants near the falls, like the Rainforest Cafe, where you can get a Crocodile Tail Wrap with wasabi. Talk about fusion! As one travels further into the heart of this southern African country, more traditional foods appear, like pumpkin greens … [Read more...]