February 29, 2012: Happy Leap Year's Day! I was pleased to read Tim Carman's food column today (on West African cuisine) in the online version of The Washington Post. He had interviewed me at length for background, and I was thrilled that he shared about the search for a publisher for the regional Ghanaian cookbook Barbara Baeta and I are writing. Incidentally, while the bulk of The Washington Post makes its way to our little community, it does not include the Lifestyle/Food section, so consider this a plea for any of you who are in that area to pick up a copy for me and send it to me at BETUMI, P. O. Box 222, State College, PA 16804. Thank you, I'd be very grateful.
Now that I'm back from Nigeria, I head to Oregon for a few days next week, then will attend the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) conference in New York City at the end of March and beginning of April.
Later, in June, I'll be at the IFT (Institute of Food Technologists) annual conference in Nevada, speaking on
Beyond Peppers, Peanuts, and Palmfruit: The Multilayered Tastes and Textures of African Cuisines
The presentation "will introduce sub-Saharan African flavor principles, ingredients, and cooking equipment and techniques, with special emphasis on western Africa. From the special texture created by the ridged grinding bowl called “asanka” in Ghana to the signature steamed bean pudding “moinmoin” of Nigeria, from “Grains of Paradise” and fonio and other “Lost Crops of Africa,” and on to Africa’s love affair with New World crops (e.g., cassava, maize and peanuts), this session will celebrate the abundance and diversity of good tastes from Africa."
I'm also on the books to teach a new course in the African Studies Department at Penn State for the fall semester: Food Culture in Sub-Saharan Africa.
I'll keep you posted on these and other activities. Meanwhile, I'm still filing away a massive amount of papers from the last few months, but haven't forgotten my promise to post the recipe for the cassava biscuits/cookies I made last December. It will be coming soon.