The Table of My Ancestors: Week 19 (Senegambia – Guinea)

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I have to admit that this week was a bit of a challenge. Many of the recipes I came across for Guinean cuisine involved fish, and my daughter doesn’t eat any seafood. Since she is West African, I wanted to make sure I made a dish she’s familiar with and would enjoy.

Enter palm nut soup.

Palm nut soup is a dish made all over West Africa, really, and every country has its variation. (In … Read the rest

The Table of My Ancestors: Week 18 (Senegambia & Guinea – The Gambia)

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Despite having lived in West Africa for nearly five years, there are so many countries in the region that I never had the chance to properly visit. The Gambia is one of them; my experience with it is an hour-and-a-half layover on my way out of Monrovia, during which we weren’t allowed to leave the plane. However, much like Senegal, their cuisine has a distinctly French flair, so I was really excited to explore the … Read the rest

The Table of My Ancestors: Week 17 (Senegambia & Guinea – Senegal)

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Perhaps the biggest shock from my DNA results came from seeing that a small portion of my ancestry has roots in Senegambia and Guinea. This area is located in West Africa, the very same place I spent nearly five years living and working in non-profit work. Obviously, I don’t exactly look like I come from West Africa, which has spurred me on to do a whole bunch of research about race, genetics, and the like. … Read the rest

The Table of My Ancestors: Week 16 (Spain)

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To read the post that started it all, click here!

I could not finish my month of cooking Spanish food without making what is perhaps the most famous dish of the entire country: paella. I’ve made Instant Pot paella before, and it was absolutely delicious, but I really wanted to do the whole thing from scratch. To start, I learned that paella requires a specific type of rice, one that I had to make a … Read the rest

My One Word for 2022: Mindfulness

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I’ve shared often about how I don’t really believe in setting New Year’s resolutions. I do, however, tend to choose a word or phrase to help guide me over the coming year. In 2015, I chose the word home. 2016 was grow. 2017 was querencia, and the following year was well. 2019’s word was enough, and 2020 was rooted. This past year, I focused on the word embodied, and while I … Read the rest

The Table of My Ancestors: Week 15 (Spain)

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To read the post that started it all, click here!

This week’s exploration took me to the city of Segovia, northwest of Madrid, in the in the comunidad autónoma (autonomous community) of Castile-León. Segovia is the site of the expansive medieval Alcázar palace and the famous Segovia aqueduct, the city was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1985, and its famous recipe?

Cake.

Not just any cake, though. It’s a cake called … Read the rest

The Table of My Ancestors: Week 14 (Spain)

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To read the post that started it all, click here!

Finding Spanish recipes has proven to be a bit of a challenge, mainly because Spain’s cuisine is quite similar to my cooking style already. So I’ve started looking at different geographical regions and what they’re known for. Along the way, I came across a recipe for chuletas de cero a la Madrilena — pork chops from Madrid. Buying fresh, juicy pork is key, as is … Read the rest

The Table of My Ancestors: Week 13 (Spain)

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To read the post that started it all, click here!

The second-largest percentage of my DNA is traced to the Iberian Peninsula: Spain and Portugal. This area had over 800 years of North African rule, which is not surprising since the third-biggest section of my ancestry is represented in the North African region. I’ve been practicing Spanish for several years, so it was exciting to see that Spain was so largely represented in my genetic … Read the rest

How to make an eco-friendly family Advent calendar on a budget!

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I used to get my kids chocolate Advent calendars. They were quick and easy ways to do a family countdown until Christmas, and the kids loved them and looked forward to opening a new door each day.

The problem, however, is that once they swallowed that last bit of chocolate, it was over. They were on to the next thing. All the anticipation and reflection that ought to come with the Advent season was gone … Read the rest

The Table of My Ancestors: Week 12 (Egypt)

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To read the post that started it all, click here!

As I close out my month of exploring my Egyptian heritage, I feel like I’ve grown in my appreciation for the culture and the history, particularly, of this fascinating country. But in all honesty, the food aspect has been just…okay. The last dish I’d had planned is considered the national meal of Egypt, and it’s called koshari. It’s rice and lentils mixed with elbow … Read the rest