Showing posts from December, 2018

The Year of Return: My 2018 Travels

2018 was really some kind of year! It was filled with unexpected situations as well as familiar scenes and there was a clear pattern to the year's travel. I embarked on new, unforgettable journeys to countries that start with "G": Greece, Guadeloupe and Ghana.  And I returned to beloved, familiar destinations; St. Lucia, St. John, Tobago and Montreal, for a whole new perspective. "The Year of Return" is also the theme for Ghana's year-long commemoration of 400 years since the first enslaved African arrived in the U.S.. A celebration of the resilience of the African spirit, the 2019 Year of Return welcomes all the Diaspora to return home and re-connect. That's exactly what I did during my life-changing trip to Ghana. From the time I stepped onto the streets of Accra, I was welcomed like a daughter returned from a long trip. I cried during most of my time at Cape Coast Castle , shown above, the site where thousands were imprisoned and then shipped

Banku and Waakye and Palava Sauce: The Glory of Ghanaian Food

Despite the stereotypes, African food is as varied and amazing as the continent itself. I'm lucky that I live in a city that offers an array of West, East and North African cuisine so I arrived in Ghana expecting to enjoy classic dishes like waakye  (black eyed peas with rice), banku  (fermented corn and cassava dough formed into balls to accompany fish or meat) and heaps of fresh fish. What I wasn't prepared for was the sheer variety and complexity of Ghanaian cuisine . Yes, there were the classics that I was familiar with but there were also variations according to region and city as well as modern interpretations and fusion meals. I was overwhelmed with the culture and history that I experienced in Ghana and I was also overstuffed with food every single day of my travels. I ate a lot.  I discovered that my favorite was palava sauce , a  savory sauce made with kontomire  greens that are little like mustard greens and bitter melon seeds, served with fish. Here's a smal

Turks and Caicos Kombucha

I don't discuss it too often but I'm kind of, sort of, a healthy food fan. I don't drink coffee or anything caffeinated, don't eat meat and rarely indulge in fast food. I'm basically a pescatarian who sometimes eats poultry. So aside from my love of sugar (which has lessened over the years) I try to keep it healthy. On most of my travels, I like to sample the local cuisine while keeping it as fresh and wholesome as possible. While I was in Turks and Caicos,  that meant fish, veggie patties and salad since I wasn't able to try the national dish of peas and grits . But I was lucky to discover another local specialty; kombucha in exciting tropical flavors was being hand crafted by the owners of my Airbnb. Kombucha or booch, as locals call it, is fermented tea with loads of probiotics and health benefits.  As a tea connoisseur, I love drinking kombucha as an alternative to my regular teas. Regina and Jack run Island Raw  to create juices and kombucha from loca