Monday, December 03, 2018

Tap Chop: 1969 Addition to the Africa Cookbook Project

From time to time we receive additions to the BETUMI Africa Cookbook Collection launched at TED Global in Tanzania in 2007. I remember when a fan sent in his mother's collection of Barbara Baeta's West African Favourites Cookery Cards, currently on loan to Aperture for its traveling exhibition Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography

Many of the items are mimeographed paper booklets, such as the one I received yesterday, a 1969 booklet titled Tap Chop, 52 pages of recipes largely popular with Mennonite and other missionaries. It is a treasured bit of history. Thank you to Dave Beppler, formerly in Nigeria.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

In Praise of Over-ripe Plantain Loaf

In early 2010 I posted about ofam, a tasty savory over-ripe plantain loaf  from Ghana that is also described in The Ghana Cookbook. It uses only 7 ingredients: over-ripe plantains, good quality red palm oil, hot pepper (I use habanero) fresh grated ginger, flour (I use white rice), grated onion, and a little salt. Unsalted dry roasted peanuts make a great garnish or accompaniment.

Now that plantains are becoming more readily available (after years of begging my local grocers to import the yellow--ripe plantains--I am happy to say that I can now find them locally at Wegmans, Giant, and Weis! A great thing since in the winter the green ones will not ripen properly here in central PA. 

When I was in Ghana in March, Paulina Addy gave me a can of organic, high quality palm oil (thank you), and I decided yesterday that, since spring is almost here finally, it was time to open the can and make some ofam. I plan to serve it at a Penn State student symposium luncheon I'm catering next week. (My husband begged me to cut a little slice for a taste since he couldn't wait). Oh, and when made with rice flour, it's also gluten-free and sugar-free.

Note: I did find that in my new oven it took a bundt pan 45 minutes to cook (longer than the 30 minutes in my old oven).

Monday, April 23, 2018


I'm excited to announce we've just launched a new version of today. The good news is that it has a fresh new look and some new resources. The not-so-good news is that I've  somehow managed to delete the link to this betumiblog (will get it added back in soon) and also that many sections are still under construction. Please check it out and give us some feedback on what you do and don't like. As they say in Ghana:  "little by little, the chicken drinks water." Thanks for all your support.   

Thursday, February 08, 2018

And yet another adinkra cookie picture

Yes, but just to reassure you that these adinkra cookie stamps also work on regular butter and wheat-flour based doughs, as here. Thanks to Yasmine Abbas of neo-nomad for the Nordic Ware cookie stamp.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Getting Ready for Ghana: vegan, gluten-free, adinkra shortbread!

Well, it's been several months of designing and printing and taste testing, but at the end of February we head to Ghana to share with several folks (at Kawa Moka and  Flair, among others). We're taste testing them this morning at New Leaf. So far they're rated between 9 and 10. (0 being "yuk" and 10 being "yum." I'm feeling pretty good.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Dwennimenn: The Ram's Horns (humility with strength)

The 3rd adinkra cookie stamp I chose to work on (after "gye name" (the omnipotence of God) and "sankofa" (go back and fetch it to remember the past), was "dwennimenn" the ram's horns, a symbol of strength with humility. Am still improving it, and also  the vanilla and chocolate shortbread cookies (biscuits), using only vegan and gluten-free ingredients that are found in Ghana. "Little by little, the chicken drinks water."

Here's today's attempt: