Sunday, February 22, 2015

seeds and dietary trends

Today marks 2 weeks in Ghana. Still at the guest house in Legon, but plan to go by the house in Baatsona (near Tema) this afternoon. It’s taken this long to get oriented and over jet lag. 

Last week I spoke to my cookbook collaborator Barbara Baëta and we plan to meet this coming week. Also, started reading an interesting article in The Lancet, a respected online journal, on evaluating trends in global dietary patterns. Ghanaians are thrilled to claim that in it Ghana’s foods are listed as the 6th best in the world. Will study the article for answers to the many questions in my head and share my reactions.

I'm to give a guest lecture at the University of Ghana on Wednesday, and have started some seeds to plant at the house. Looking forward to an herb garden mixing seeds from both my worlds (Ghana and the U.S.), along with fruits and vegetables. The rainy season is just beginning.

Met up briefly with a young woman, Dziffa Ametam, visiting here from New York for a number of months. She's advising and interviewing young Ghanaian entrepreneurs. This includes those setting up an organic produce delivery service (sounds similar to Freshly's Farms) called "Just Fresh" in Osu, one of the projects supported by the AKO Foundation. It’s very refreshing to see the energy and enthusiasm among the youth and their dreams and plans, especially in the area of sustainable and local agriculture and entrepreneurship.

Well, the power is off again, and I need to conserve my computer power. Will check in again soon. Still not missing the snow and cold in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ah, Ghana--Shito and "Dumsor"

We're beginning to fill our Ghanaian pantry, slowly. It's
great to be away from the snow and ice of Pennsylvania, but the downside is that of the first 6 days we were here, the power was off 2 of tthem. It's known locally as "dumsor" "on/off," perhaps a Ga word [Correction: I was just informed "dum" is an Akan word meaning "off," and "sor" means "on"], and is slated to become one of the big political issues for the next campaign. It's unpredictable and very frustrating to folks.

I'm temporarily  staying at the University of Ghana, Legon campus, before heading out to the house near Tema. 

Yesterday my favorite fashion designer, Abammaku, took measurements for a new outfit, and also sold me some of her famous canned shito (or "shittor"). My husband and I also enjoyed her pineapple ginger drink, and carried home some of her locally bottled sobolo (aka bissap, or hibiscus drink).

It's good to be back.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Heading to Ghana for 3 months

It has been strangely quiet at BetumiBlog this fall and winter. Partly because of travel,  partly due to weather and travel preparations. All that changes in a few days as I head to Ghana on February 7, 2015, staying through the end of April.  I'll be bouncing around various places, working on edits and photographs for The Ghana Cookbook, and working with son DK on our house near Tema. Plus, I'm considering offering some custom cooking classes and exploring a line of  "made in Ghana" items,  (following up on my initial Ghana wear idea in 2013) perhaps expanding to stirring sticks, asankas, etc., for those outside of Ghana.

I understand there are serious power, water, and sanitation issues in Ghana these days,  and I'll be sharing my experiences. I hope to meet up with folks from the Ghana Chef's Association, founders of the exciting entrepreneurial venture Freshly's Farms
and a host of others. 

Check back soon for updates.