Saturday, September 30, 2017

2nd, 3rd, and 4th attempts . . .little by little

As you may remember, I'm trying to develop a Ghana-style gluten-free shortbread cookie recipe.

I first tried using a couple of recipes from gluten-free friends/sites, but substituting coconut oil for the butter, and various blends of rice/millet/tapioca flours, etc. first for the main replacement of wheat flour and adding proportions of various gluten-free flours as indicated. Won't go into the specifics here, just say that the sugar didn't blend the way it does with butter, and the "tapioca flour," being tapioca starch, turned the dough either into a solid brick that I had to throw away and couldn't even roll out, or the cookies/biscuits were so gritty and crumbly they were not worth keeping.  I tried once with xantham gum and that still didn't work. Also, I was mixing the dough with a wooden spoon.

Yesterday, I tried substituting half powdered sugar for the sugar, and used a mixer, plus just cassava flour from Brazil (not the tapioca starch), and chilled the dough before rolling it out on parchment paper. This was the best yet, but according to Kwadwo, my reliable tester (and to myself, too), they still tasted gritty, and dry, and still were very fragile.

I'm going to keep experimenting and will keep you in the loop, but I'm wide open to suggestions: just remember I don't want to use things that aren't easily and cheaply available in Ghana. I'd like shortbread, because it uses only flour, sugar, butter substitute (like coconut oil--please no margarine), a little salt, and possibly a little flavoring like vanilla. If I can perfect this, I'll next try a gluten-free sugar cookie.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Waiting , . .

I began about a month ago to launch a new, updated site, but I've run into some snags moving to a different platform without losing all my archived material, so please be patient for a few more weeks. I plan to share soon my latest work on gluten-free cookie recipes,  moringa, and Ghana chocolate, as well as a news about a network of African food writers.

Hint: version 1 below was a disaster. The cookies fell apart as soon as you touched them, and they tasted gritty. Ugh! Using a different flour blend next.

Monday, July 10, 2017

We're back! Calling all African food writers, bloggers, videographers and other professionals

Special Alert July 11, 2017! Don't miss this:TODAY ONLY The Ghana Cookbook  is an Amazon Prime Special of $5 off. Use code PRIMEBOOKS17 See Only $11.95 with code. World Gourmand 1st Place winner 2016.

It's been months since February and the trip to Ghana to the African Diaspora Homecoming Conference in Accra. That was a fruitful trip, and there is more to come about that, especially emerging Ghana chocolate-makers and the growing moringa market.

However, in January I mentioned over a million visits to betumiblog, and floated the idea of forming some kind of association/ network/alliance/
affiliation/organization for Pan-African (African?) culinary professionals. Several people expressed interest and there have been preliminary talks. I was able to meet up recently with Nigerian Ozoz Sokoh (of Kitchen Butterfly) in NYC, and we had further discussions. We want to propose to you, our fellow African food writers, bloggers, and others serious about promoting and preserving the culinary legacy and innovations of Africans, to join us. This would not be the same as a chefs association. Are there already similar organizations we do not know about? Let us know.

The official name? To be decided. Send your suggestions by commenting here, and letting us know you support the idea. Tell us what would be most helpful.  

Just think what it could mean to have our own industry voice and support groups. Please help us spread the word. Let others know via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Eventually we may grow into something more official, but right now we're interested in establishing  a base.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Urgent! Correction on date and time of Exhibition Booth at Conference in Accra


Hello all. I'm in Ghana and have now seen the actual program for the African Diaspora Homecoming Conference, and realize that I had some information wrong. BETUMI and Fran will be at the exhibition booth on WED, not Tues as I originally thought. You can find us at the TRADE EXHIBITION IN LABADI BEACH GARDEN MARQUEE FROM 8 a.m. until 19.30 on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, NOT TUESDAY.

Sorry about the mixup. We'll be there with several of Osseo-Asare's books (i.e., copies of The Ghana Cookbook, published by Hippocrene Books, Nov., 2015 @100 cedis or 20 US dollars, plus a complimentary snack bag), A New Land to Live in  (published by Intervarsity Press in 1977 and now out of print, but with a few copies available), A Good Soup Attracts Chairs: A First African Cookbook for American Kids  (published by Pelican Publishing in 1993, reprinted in paperback 2001; a very limited number of copies), and Food Culture in Sub-Saharan Africa (published by Greenwood Press in 2005 as part of the Food Culture around the World series) again, a few copies available).

Still hope to see some of you there.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Come See Us in Accra

Alert to all our friends in Ghana!   Fran Osseo-Asare, from BETUMI: The African Culinary Network will be in Accra, Ghana, on   March 7th at 4:30 p.m. at the Labadi Beach Conference Hotel as an exhibitor at the African Diasporan Homecoming Conference to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Ghana's Independence. Pick up your autographed copy of The Ghana Cookbook  or a snack from recipes in the book, or just stop by and say hello. Hope to see you there.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Alert on Autographed Book Labels

This is just a quick update for those of you who wish to receive the autographed book labels  of The Ghana Cookbook signed by both myself and Barbara. I should have mentioned that the signed labels  are only 4 inches by 2 inches (about 51 mm by 102 mm)  and fit easily into a small normal envelope, with regular first class postage (49 cents in the U.S.). There is no need to send an oversized self-addressed envelope.

Thank you, and I apologize for not making this clear to those of you who have already requested them.