Monday, April 25, 2016

Snacking, Signing and Traveling updates

Recently, over 50 community women (and a few men) from all walks of life in State College, PA, came together for a women's networking event. It was sponsored by a new group largely spearheaded by Dee Frisque and called SCI (Smart, Creative and Inter-connected).

I was invited to exhibit and sign copies of The Ghana Cookbook, and brought along samples of a couple of recipes: the always popular plantain strips ("chips") and hibiscus iced tea. It was a refreshing time, and I'm always grateful for the chance to meet and network and also  promote Ghana's (and sub-Saharan Africa's) cuisine and culture. It's rewarding to see The Ghana Cookbook continuing to make its way out into the world, spreading almost entirely by word-of-mouth. Thank you to all of you who continue to share about it.
This weekend, I'm heading to Brazil for a week: first to Rio where I'll reconnect with 2 Brazilian colleagues I last spent time with several years ago: culinary professional Margarida Nogueira and Teresa Corção,President of Instituto Maniva (its motto is "food is love, culture, and memory") and chef owner of the O Navigador. They have also been very involved in supporting and developing Brazil's slow food movement. I'm excited to talk specifically with them about differences between Ghana's and Brazil's cassava (mandioca). I'll also be back in Belo Horizonte for a few days, in Minas Gerais.

On another front, as those who follow me on Betumi's facebook or instagram (franatbetumi) or @theghanacookbook twitter account may have noticed, I'm working to develop a press cookie ("biscuit") dough using naturally gluten-free flours from Ghana. First two efforts were disastrous, but #3 was eaten pretty quickly. I've begun with millet, white rice, corn, tapioca, and tigernut flour. Will continue the experiments after returning from Brazil. Any advice or suggestions? Ha anyone tried substituting coconut oil for part of the butter or margarine? What about sorghum flour?

#1 Disaster
#2 Worse

#3 Getting there

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