Saturday, December 03, 2022

 November 30, 2022      Never Give Up!

Kwadwo is back in Ghana until January, while I'm still in Pennsylvania. I continue to work on the adinkra biscuits. With Kwanza just around the corner, I wanted to update everyone on where they stand. Once I determined I had to start over printing the stamps with a transparent PLA filament, and stainless steel nozzle, and cover each cookie stamp with a food-safe coating, I had to go back to the printer, so-to-speak. Unfortunately, New Leaf Initiative didn't make it, so I am now working with a local group called The Rivet.

I am beginning production again.

I also need to restock materials for the Ghana-friendly, vegan recipe for making the cookie/biscuits.

I did manage one taste testing, with generally quite positive results--some thought too sweet, some not sweet enough. Go figure.   

 It is slow going, but I'm ready to restock the gluten-free ingredients and start making batches. If you'd like to taste test (for now, only in the US, please), drop me a line at I also hope to develop several other adinkra cutters.

So long for now.

Saturday, November 05, 2022

 November 5, 2022

We've been back from Ghana for over a month (though my husband Kwadwo is heading back there in a couple of weeks). I'm now thinking about the holidays--Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Kwanzaa.       

I've been continuing to work on upgrading the adinkra cookie stamps--as you may recall, since 2019 I have been developing a vegan, gluten-free Ghana friendly tiger nut flour blend (also coconut oil, cassava, plantain, cornstarch, sorghum, corn and tapioca, etc.  flours) and simultaneously developing some new adinkra cookie stamps. In addition to the sankofa and gye name versions. I tested them out in Ghana in 2019. That was 3 years ago!

This process has taken an inordinately long time--trial and error, trial and error, repeatedly. Just when I thought I was home free, some folks advised me that I need to "dip-coat" the cookie stamps to seal them against bacteria. I also wanted to streamline the 3D print process so sought out some more help locally.  While I carried some of the new, duly dip-coated stamps to Ghana in August, my stove in Ghana broke down and prevented me from making them there.

I'm back in Pennsylvania now, though, and still plan to start up again in time for the holidays. Check back here to keep updated.

Little by little, the chicken drinks water. . .

Monday, September 05, 2022

 Observations on Ghana after 29 months away

1. Very few people are masked, but most will  put on a mask in our house if asked.
2. There are frequent places with hand sanitizer.
2. 1. It is heartbreaking to see the steep fall of the local currency, the Cedi.
3. The weekday traffic is unbelievable, especially in the evenings. Road conditions are deplorable, and there is little official presence and continuous "roadwork." Cars 
drive  4 or 5 abreast, with no supervsion. Heading to the  Takoradi airport, traffic was    
completely blocked by a huge truck that fell over in what should have been the other lane on a muddy, impassable road, full of 
potholes, and ordinary people just sit passively in their cars for hours.
4.  Official roads are often bypassed  by "shortcuts" through muddy, unpaved, dangerous
      roads that do not really seem shorter,  and "workers" begging for handouts as they
      "work" to keep the roads passable.
5.  "Uber" in Ghana has proven unreliable. "Bolt" seems a bit better. Several times we have called Ubers who give us an arrival time and state that they are "here" when they are no where to  be found. 
6.  Despite all these things, people in Ghana are gracious, and generous in many ways.
7. They love loud music and have little sense of noise levels, whether during all night prayer
    meetings, workdays, or location (residential or commercial). Chickens crowing, dogs   
   barking at all hours are common.
8. Ghana appears nauseatingly "religious," but it is all too often a facade. Certainly there are good and pious people, but the political leaders and government officials appear to be  largely
     corrupt and out to make themselves rich while duping the public.
9. Loans and "big promises" and projects are a way of life, but there appears to be
    a lack of follow through and integrity.
10. Despite all this, Ghanaians can be unfailingly generous, courteous, cheerful, and kind.

Thursday, September 01, 2022

 August 26, 1972 to August 26, 2022

Fifty years ago (!), we married in Ghana. Almost 3 years ago we left Ghana abruptly when then-President Trump threatened to close the US borders.

It's good to be back. We spent several days at Lou Moon in the Axim area, and are now back in Tema at the house son DK (Yaw Dankwa) built decades ago as he began his architecture journey. All 3 children are now grown, along with our 2 adopted nephews, Sam and Ernest. Spouses and partners, and grandchildren (Kumiwah and Danso) have entered our lives.

My (Fran's) love affair with Ghanian cuisine continues, and after several years of covid, I am eager to pick up where I left off--3-d printing a line of adinkra cookie stamps and vegan, gluten-free, Ghana-friendly cookies/biscuits.

And cooking for more people than just Kwadwo and me ;-)

Hope to see you here again soon.

Fran Osseo-Asare

Friday, March 04, 2022

Sankofa and Gye Nyame Cookie Stamps 


On Adinkra Stamps     

Here's the latest on the efforts to go online with BETUMI's Kitchen.  It turns out we must redo the original set of Adinkra stamps. To be absolutely sure they are truly foodsafe, we needed to order some FDA-approved, no additives PLA (that's a compostable type of plastic usually made from cornstarch derivatives).

Also, we need to print with a stainless steel nozzle (not brass), and then the stamps need to be properly sealed with a food-grade sealant.

Working on that now, but it'll take a little time--filament and nozzles ordered, and a fellow maker is helping experiment with making a threaded handle so the stamps are interchangeable. Fran is learning a lot about Ultimaker Cura and Blender softwares, and 3D printing. Will keep you all updated.

There has  been a bit of a snag with the Woo Commerce software to run the store, too, but that is being taken care of, as well as working on listing inventory.
As my favorite Twi proverb says: 
kakakra, akokɔ bɛnom nsuo,” Little by little, the chicken drinks water. 

Little by little, we'll get there.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022


It's been a wild couple of years. I was in Ghana in 2019 and 2020 workshopping BETUMI's Adinkra Biscuits and Gluten-free Cookie Dough when then-president Trump threatened to cancel flights back to the U.S. and I abruptly left.

All  plans for the online store were also abruptly cancelled. Here are some photos taken in July 2019 with a workshop group in Tema.
                        *  *  *  *  *

But. . . to quote e. e. cummings out of context:  "Winter's not forever, even snow melts . . ."
And so, during Black History Month in the U.S. it seems appropriate to celebrate baking with a new West African twist: biscuit (or cookie) cutters stamped with timeless, ancient symbols  for the omnipotence of God (Gye Nyame) and the importance of remembering the past when going into the future (Sankofa) "Go back and fetch it." We are now in the process of reactivating the site and updating it, eager to share what we've learned. 
Check back soon.

Fran Osseo-Asare