Monday Meal Review: Ghana

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THE SCENE While I'm usually a pretty casual gal, I adore setting the table for a dinner party. Hours before dinner I begin. First, I put out water glasses and wine glasses. I listen, as with a seashell, for the chitter chatter of a hundred dinner parties in the sparkling glass. Soft, cotton napkins are next - each one tucked inside a beaded stone ring which rustles when you lift it. The tough cloth comforts nervous guests. It doesn't rip, like paper. The kids can tell. Something special … [Read more...]

Recipe: Red Red (Black eyed peas in red sauce)

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Serves 4-6 Have you always wanted to dye your hair red, but have never had the courage? Do the next best thing - cozy up to a bowl of west-African "Red Red." Ginger people look dull in comparison to this electric one pot wonder. The bright red color comes from the addition of shockingly excessive amounts of red palm oil - up to one cup for three cups of beans in some recipes. Traditional recipes include so much oil that a red ring forms around the base of the beans. I've been fairly modest … [Read more...]

Recipe: West-African Inspired Watermelon Lemonade

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Makes 1.5 quarts Gulp, gulp, slurp. A quart and half of homemade Watermelon Lemonade lasts 13.3 minutes in this house. When served out of half a melon? It's gone quicker than a cat's meow. As the pitcher empties, our bellies swell - Mr. Picky's most of all. He loves the stuff. He's been known to drink an entire cup in one long draw, his eyes grinning over the rim. Today's recipe is inspired by the flavors of Ghana, where heavy watermelons pile up in the markets all summer long. This … [Read more...]

How to dress like the Asante people of Ghana (Adinkra)

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My sister, Elisa, has one of the coolest jobs in the world. She's an art teacher. In the days when I was languishing at my desk job, I dreamed of being in her shoes - inspiring children, encouraging creativity, playing with paint, and being called "Ms. Foppiano." (That's my maiden name. I really like it, although I don't miss spelling it for people: "F as in Frank, O, double P as in Paul, I, A, N as in Nancy, O." What a drag.) Today, I simply dream of Elisa taking over as Ava's personal … [Read more...]

Recipe: Spicy Chicken Peanut Soup (Groundnut Soup)

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Serves 4 I can't begin to explain why or how this recipe works, but it does. Of the four adults who sampled the soup, every single person had thirds. Thirds. Epic. Groundnut soup is your passport to west Africa. In less than an hour, you'll be spooning a delicate blend of fresh ginger, garlic, tomato and groundnuts (a.k.a. peanut butter), with bites of browned chicken and bits of hot peppers. And you'll be mourning the time you lived without this soup. Special thanks to Ghana and … [Read more...]

Menu: Ghana

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I'm starting to think my closet will never be cleansed of my wooly, winter-wear. Sure, the sun is trickling down through the leaves, but the heater is on full blast. The last few days have dipped into the thirties overnight. Sunday afternoon we even brought my sad lemon tree back inside, straining to pull the giant bushy tree back over the threshold to prevent more leaves from dropping 0r, worse, yet, to avoid losing the baby lemons. Even my once-happy tomato plants are complaining of frost … [Read more...]

About the food of Ghana

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I sipped my wine, listening to his travel tales. Here's my favorite one: After several days of eating like a Ghanaian, Ryan feels a bit homesick and pops into a pizzeria. He orders a pie with his favorite topping - bell peppers, hoping to get a taste of "home." The waiter delivers the pizza, piping hot, covered with dozens of neatly sliced pepper rings. The only problem? They were habeneros. Wow. When he calls for the waiter, the staff merely chuckle, stating the Indian tourists love … [Read more...]