theworldfrommykitchen

My Global Food Challenge


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A Gingerbread House…Finally!

Every year, for more years than I can remember, my kids have tried to make a gingerbread house.  I knew that it would be better if I made the ingredients from scratch, but I always ran out of time and bought a kit instead.  There was never enough icing (glue) and inevitably, the house would not stand up for very long.   One time, after several disappointing yearly attempts, I bought a Christmas tree gingerbread kit. All the kids had to do was place the pieces one on top of the other with a little icing in between, decorate the tree, and it held up until the end of the holidays.

My kids are young adults now, with many other interests and obligations, but thankfully still home for the holidays.  I bought a kit just in case, a Willy Wonka gingerbread house, and they actually had some time to spend together.  After the typical initial failure to glue the sides together, I extended the icing, which turned out to be a disaster, and resorted to buying some tubes of white frosting.  Finally, a house that stood up so well, we had to use a hammer to knock it down and several days of soaking to reclaim the plate at the end of the season.   

I love holiday traditions!


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Butter Cookies: A Christmas Tradition

I am not sure how far back this butter cookie recipe goes, but I know it is more than 60 years that my family was baking them for Christmas.  I took over the tradition more than 25 years ago from my mother, and as soon as my children were old enough, they looked forward to helping, signaling the beginning of the holiday season for them.  We now have three cookie presses, but I still have the original one that I started with, and a manual one from my grandmother.

Merry Christmas, Mom.


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Western Sahara

Ok, it’s obviously not beef.  I had some extra chicken that I needed to use, and the spices and skewers seemed right for chicken.  It was a successful experiment.  The aroma and taste of the sambal olek was wonderful.

Additions/Omissions:  Chicken for beef.  I did not make the garlic and chives sauce ( I am not a fan of the first three ingredients), but as suggested, it seems like a great fusion recipe. 

Taste Test:  All of the ingredients in the kebab and sambal olek recipes worked very well with the chicken.  Great dish.

Zip Facts about Western Sahara:

  • The English pronunciation for the Arabic word for desert is Sahara
  • Not official country, legal status unresolved, former name is Spanish Sahara
  • Lack of enough rainfall for agriculture, almost entirely desert, sparsely inhabited
  • Phosphates are the major export, used mainly in fertilizers
  • Their coastal waters are very rich for fishing

Western Sahara - Cartel ARTifariti 2013 by Mohamed Sulaiman

ARTifariti 2013, “Intifada of Art”, poster design by Mohamed Sulaiman

https://theworldfrommykitchen.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/d7607-cartelartifariti2013bymohamedsulaiman.jpg

Link to Recipe: https://theworldfrommykitchen.wordpress.com/westernsahara/

Link to Map:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/map-of-africa.pdf

Sahara 1991 Fuji stamp


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Yemen

Additions/Omissions:  

Taste Test:  

Zip Facts about Yemen:

  • Yemen is the poorest nation with the highest birthrate among the Arab countries
  • Tipping is not practiced in Yemen
  • Mocha originally came from Yemen
  • Created in 1990 with the merger of North Yemen (Yemen Arab Republic) and South Yemen (Aden)
  • Taking pictures of women is forbidden

Yemen - Ibi-Ibrahim

La Vie M’est Insupportable (2013) – Ibi Ibrahim

http://www.reorientmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Ibi-Ibrahim.jpg

Link to Recipe:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.wordpress.com/yemen/


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Zambia

Additions/Omissions:  

Taste Test:  

Zip Facts about Zambia:

  • Formerly Northern Rhodesia, its new name, taken from Zambezi River, “God’s river”
  • Eagle appears on the Zambian flag
  • From a particular angle, you can see the complete circularity of the rainbow in the mist of the Victoria Falls
  • Zambia is landlocked and bordered by seven countries
  • Large exporter of copper

Zambia Henry_Tayali_-_Abstract_Painting,_1980s

Abstract Painting, Henry Nkole Tayali (1943-1987)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/38/Henry_Tayali_-_Abstract_Painting%2C_1980s.JPG/103px-Henry_Tayali_-_Abstract_Painting%2C_1980s.JPG

Link to Recipe:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.wordpress.com/zambia/ 

Link to Map:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/map-of-africa.pdf


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Zimbabwe

Not to be contrary, but I started at Z.  I thought it would be a great jump start to go through a few letters quickly.  There are only two recognized countries that start with Z, only one now that begins with a Y (without Yugoslavia) and none with X (unless you count Xanadu :).

Getting into W, there seems to be some controversy over designation for Wales, Wallis and Fortuna, and Western Sahara.

About the photograph, although I am a photographer, I do mainly travel, events, and work with actors/performers.  I have never done food photography, and certainly appreciate those that do.  Unfortunately, I didn’t even take a snapshot of this meal and have to apologize for any of the food photos I may take in the future.

My family makes a herculean effort to eat together almost every night.  And considering that daylight is the best light for food photos, and we have never eaten before nightfall, despite the season in New York, I will barely get a flash photo on programmed mode before the food hits their plates.

Additions/Omissions:  no substitutions, served over white rice

Taste Test:  Delicious

Zip Facts about Zimbabwe:

  • Formerly Southern Rhodesia, new name means “great houses of stone”
  • Zimbabwe shares Victoria Falls (one of the seven natural wonders) with Zambia on their border
  • Their motto is “Unity, Freedom, Work”
  • Natural “sculptures” are granite “balancing rocks” found around their capital city, Harare
  • Country is on a raised plateau so its tropical climate is cooler than the countries bordering it

Zimbabwe Mundopa

Baby Talk 2 2014 – Wycliff Mundopa

http://www.firstfloorgalleryharare.com/uploads/8/4/1/2/8412558/5899976.jpg?137.42465753424656

Link to Recipe:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.wordpress.com/zimbabwe/

Link to Map:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/map-of-africa.pdf