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...]

Menu: Zambia

Fish market stall on Great East Road at the Luangwa Bridge, Zambia by Hans Hillewaert

  "Talk to a person who can understand and cook for a person who can be satisfied." Zambian Proverb I'm in the final phases of writing my memoir. By the end of November, the manuscript will be sent off to National Geographic to do their magic. At that point, they'll work on final edits, layout, and publicity. And then, boom, next year there will be a book. My book. It's the story of my search for food, family, and home - and I can't wait to share it with you. But right now, I'm in … [Read more...]

Menu: Yemen

Ava-halloween

Yemen happens to coincide with Halloween. Halloween means trick or treating. Tons of candy and dressing up as a dream - as someone else. Or something else. This year, Ava is going as "the night sky and harvest moon." Because, well, why not!? We made her dress with tulle, and she sewed her moon together from felt. I helped affixed it to the front of her dress. In the spirit of Halloween, we dressed up eggs and dates for our Yemeni menu.  I'm not sure either recipe would work for the … [Read more...]

Menu: Vietnam

laos.img_9765

I don't know why this week's menu is so hard. I purchased ingredients for three different recipes before I finally settled on the recipes below. For those of you who thought I might make pho, I considered it. But, the fact is, I made "foe" for Laos, and, while some of the spices vary, I wanted to branch out a little - try something new. When one of you said something about being able to get pho anywhere, and why not show you a dish a little less known, I loved the challenge. Of course, the … [Read more...]

Menu: Venezuela

global table experience

I'll be posting about our Global Table Experience event  in a few weeks, once we're done cooking the world (just five weeks left!) For now, here's a sneak peek of the tables taken by my friends over at Concepts PR (you can click it to make it larger). There is 90% of the world on those tables. Amazing. While I was supposed to be cooking Venezuela, all the Global Table Experience craziness was going on. You can see the line starting to form on the right.  There was a massive crowd. But … [Read more...]

Menu: Vatican City

vatican-city-menu

Ava is the first to tell me what should be dinner. Even growing up with this Global Table Adventure since she was 7 months old, Ava asks for the same thing night after night: noodles. (Interestingly, her second most common request is avocado sushi). This week I got to tell her yes to noodles. Twice. There's nothing wrong with carb-loading, right? Especially when eating the Vatican... right? I doubled up on pasta so I can share two amazing sauce recipes with you. One I learned from my … [Read more...]

Menu: Vanuatu

menu-Vanuatu

"A woman is like a stick you throw." Proverb from Vanuatu On the surface, this proverb from Vanuatu does not exactly sound flattering. But it turns out it is. In fact, it's a term of endearment. In Vanuatu, there's a plant called nanggalat, which takes root and thrives wherever you throw it - even on the jagged edge of a cliff.  Comparing a woman to a thrown stick - in Vanuatu - is saying she can adapt and thrive anywhere. (Source) It's all about context. This week we're making two … [Read more...]

Menu: Uzbekistan

uzbek-menu

"Don’t choose a house—choose neighbors. Don’t choose a path—choose traveling companions." Uzbek Proverb This week we're going to Uzbekistan via stovetop travel and the timing couldn't be better: September is harvest time. Right on cue, my tomato plants recently produced dozens of cherry tomatoes. The look like bright like jewels against the green landscape. In Uzbekistan, when it's harvest time, the people gather up their bountiful produce and make Dimlama. Then they follow it up with … [Read more...]