It's been 7 weeks since I've found my way to the computer. It's also been a full holiday season beginning with our American Thanksgiving (dinner for 17 with an amazing number of dietary needs to satisfy, from allergies to vegetarianism to health and religious restrictions), and continuing through the Christmas/New Year festivities. Today I've finally had a chance to sit down and reflect on this past year, and want to say "thank you" to all of you who have joined me in celebrating African cuisines these past 12 months. By the way, the photo above includes pine cones and pine needles from Pennsylvania resting on a lovely Ghanaian kente cloth. Not food, but a visual reminder of how interconnected we are.
It sometimes feels lonely, but many of you continue to encourage and support me along the way. Let me begin by thanking Penn State for the brief interview they recently posted about BETUMI's mission at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skcbYq5Hh-8. The video was produced by the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) initiative in the College of Engineering at Penn State with funding support from the Interinstitutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge (ICIK) (thank you especially Audrey and Khanjan) and the Marjorie Grant Whiting Endowment for Indigenous Knowledge Advancement. HESEPSU has a YouTube channel and if you go to that and poke around, you should also be able to find the videos.
I also want to express appreciation to bizymoms.com for selecting me as a top 2010 food blogger in March, and posting the text of an interview with me on African Food Culture. Then in October, cookingschools.net selected betumiblog for a 2010 Top African/Middle East Cuisine Blog Award. by At the risk of sounding like I've just received an Oscar, I also want to remember the wonderful students who came to my cooking classes, and all of you who have posted comments (tomorrow I'll share an update on African ingredients, with a big "thank you" to Ebele Ikezogwo for helping me uncover fascinating information on akpe). Among the students, I especially acknowledge Katie Cochrane who accompanied me to Ghana in June (to read an article we wrote together, go to http://www.betumi.com/home/ICIKE-News2010.pdf.). I've also enjoyed the opportunity to work with Gastronomica, bSpirit magazine, and Kitty Pope at African Diaspora Tourism. Forgive me, for surely I've omitted many others. Let's all look forward to a spectacular 2011, especially in growing in our knowledge, understanding and sharing of Africa's culinary contributions and heritage. As they say in Twi, "Afehyiapa!"