Thursday, February 04, 2016

Time correction: 1-3 pm on Feb. 21st

Yay! It's Black History month, and I'll be in Philadelphia doing a launch/tasting event featuring Ghana's food at the Big Blue Marble (independent!) Bookstore  Sunday afternoon, Feb. 21st from 1 to 3 p.m. It should be great fun for the whole family. See the flyer below. Please RSVP so we know how much food to plan for. Please also help spread the word. Hope to see you there.




Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sold out all the books at the Accra launch

I'm in the airport at Brussels waiting for the flight via Chicago back home to Pennsylvania. I have a few "free minutes" at the airport to let everyone know that, as expected, we had a joyous time on Thursday. I was awed by all the impressive number and rank of the hundreds who showed up. We ran out of our over 180 books and many folks pleaded with us to bring more to Ghana. The flowers, music, food, and presentation were up to Flair's standard of doing everything with "flair."

No time to go into details right now, but I thought folks might like to see a few photos from the launch. I'll be more specific when I have more time to reflect on the meaning and to share some of the comments we received. The media were also generous in their coverage with interviews before and also at the launch itself.















Wednesday, January 27, 2016

1 Day to go until the launch


I squeaked by the blizzard on the eastern U.S. by a few hours and made it safely to Ghana last Friday. I've been working with Barbara to coordinate the Ghana launch of The Ghana Cookbook, but she and her catering staff are handling the lion's share of the publicity and all of the food preparation. It looks to be a grand event.
 
I spent part of the day today at Flair, helping (just a little) with the behind-the-scenes work preparing for the launch on Thursday. That involved, among other things, pre-signing the almost 200 books that will be available there, getting my outfit adjusted (Barbara and I will wear matching outfits). Also, helping sort books and providing general moral support.

It should be a vibrant, lively day worthy of Ghana's culinary heritage. I'm very grateful for the opportunity Barbara and I have had to work together. A bit nervous about how it will play out, but mostly excited. Hard to believe it's actually happening, and the stir it's causing!
 
Here are a few pre-launch photos. We were interviewed for a brief segment to air the day of the launch, Jan. 28, at 8:30 a.m. Ghana time, on TV3. We're still wondering exactly how many folks will turn up. Stay tuned for more photos and a summary of the event.

Anyone who is interested in Ghana's cuisine and around tomorrow afternoon  (Jan. 28, 2016, 3:30 p.m. at Flair Catering), feel free to stop by. It's a rare chance to get books autographed by both authors.


 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

TV demo, plantain chips and hibiscus iced tea

Had fun last week doing a brief demo and tasting for Central PA Live in Altoona with Anne Quinn Corr, featuring recipes from The Ghana Cookbook.



Monday, January 04, 2016

Where to buy The Ghana Cookbook in Accra?

Happy 2016! Several folks have asked where they can buy the book in Ghana. It is now available in Accra at  Wild Gecko, and also at  Vidya Bookstore in Osu. If you would like information about attending the upcoming book launch with Barbara Baëta and Fran Osseo-Asare in late January, please contact fran@betumi.com for more information.

We were pleased that Gourmand International announced in December that The Ghana Cookbook was the Gourmand World Cookbook award winner for Ghana, and is now entered in the Gourmand Best in the World competition for "Best African cuisine published outside of Africa," with winners to be announced in February. 


This is the year of The Ghana CookbookIt has also already gone into its second printing. Try something new this year, or learn how to make a  favorite Ghanaian dish. There are over 140 to choose from.


An especially hearty "yɛdase" (we thank you) to all of you for your support, such as Poem van Landewijk and Elizabeth Dubes Vardon at Wild Gecko Handicrafts, pictured above, on the left and right, respectively.




Friday, December 18, 2015

2 more Ghana Cookbook sightings

It's fun and exciting to see our child going off on its own into the world and making history in a modest way this holiday season. Here are a couple more sightings:

South African Michael Dewsnap, Chef at the Golden Tulip Restaurant in Accra, Ghana, holding his copy:




And Surama King, originally from Minas Gerais in Brazil (I've written previously about some of the links between Brazilian and West African cuisines) and currently married to a Ghanaian.



It's truly thrilling to receive notes from folks as you receive copies. Many of you have sent emails or posted on facebook, but there's no substitute for seeing your faces. Truly this book is getting noticed, not by any big advertising campaign, or media hype, but ordinary people like us, letting the world know about Ghana's world class cuisine one by one!

I'm also happy to announce that The Ghana Cookbook has already (in less than 2 months) had to go into its second printing. Yay! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

On finding West African ingredients

It's exciting to see North Americans (and Europeans) embracing West African food! Unfortunately, many of us do not live in large urban areas where we can easily locate some of the unfamiliar ingredients. Last week I made a trip to our local international market here in State College, Pennsylvania, for a spontaneous, quick runthrough of some items locally available. I was rushing, and missed many things (like cream of palm fruit aka palm butter) in the store and also cannot believe some of the words that came out of my mouth, such as saying "coconut paste" when I meant "groundnut (peanut) paste," and holding some Ga kenkey and saying it is fermented corn dough rather than that it is made from steamed fermented corn dough (with a bit of cassava dough, too). I spoke about "dried fish powder" when it would have been better to say "dried flaked fish/shrimp."

Still, I hope you find it helpful, especially if you are exploring recipes from The Ghana Cookbook.

And remember, too, that as North American tastes are changing, it is getting easier and easier to find many of these ingredients in local supermarkets, from millet flour to fresh coconut to red palm oil to taro (Ghanaians call it "cocoyam") to plantains or fresh papaya. I find many of them in our local Wegman's, Giant, Trader Joe's, Weis, or even Wal-Mart.
(Hint: there's a recipe in the book that calls for smoked turkey, which is only available around here at Christmas, so this time of year might be a good time to try it out!)


                                                                           
Note: Thank you to students Nick Weis and Jessica Stefanowiz, both from Happy Valley Communications for running video and helping set up, respectively, and for owner Jin Zhou for allowing us to film in The International Market