Always, I have had big dreams to challenge myself – traveling the world, flying in hot air balloons, putting words to thoughts and feelings that others leave so often unexpressed…
And always, I have almost starting something. I was going to write a book of poetry… and do a blog of a photo a day… and learn to write latin… and all kinds of crazy ideas. But like so many others, I didn’t get very far.
This time, I’m going to take several things I love very much: cooking, eating, and writing, and I’m going to combine them with support from my wonderful boyfriend and many friends who have the same love for food and adventure as I do.
Once a week (at least) I am going to make an entire meal (probably mostly dinner) based on the cultures from each country on our amazingly diverse world. I went through the entire list of 257 countries and took out the uninhabited islands and regions, I merged the islands together that don’t come across google as different recipe based sources, and I came up with a list of 232 countries. I did not include the US on my list, because I hope to continue the adventure at the end with meals for each state. If I do one per week, this should take me about 4.5 years. I plan on doing a couple of dishes per meal for some of them, so a few countries might end up lumped together for meals (like some of the African countries, and maybe the Caribbean Islands).
I’m not a professional at any of these things. But I think through growing into the new skills I need to learn to complete this adventure I will grow as a person, a cook, a writer, and hopefully a photographer for the food glory-shots that will inevitably accompany these posts.
I have Crohn’s. That said, there are certain things that I cannot, will not, and should not eat. I’m sure more than one country on my list will require a little bit of fudging to make it healthy and safe for me to eat. I hope to learn along the way about Crohn’s and the things that my body will and will not put up with. I’m sure there will be meals that make my innards fight kungfu ninja style, but I hope to avoid that as much as possible. The foods that I absolutely cannot include in this are red meats and cheeses. I will try my best to get around the need for goat, cow, lamb, steer, horse, and other meats that can’t end up on this list or on my plate. Hopefully there are good substitutes out there!
Once a month a group of us will be getting together to do a regionally based dinner together. I hope to have appetizers, main dishes, desserts, and drinks that fit the region we pick. These will be more elaborate in nature than the ones I will be doing each week, so I look forward to the possibilities other people will add to this adventure! The first of these dinners is set for July 31, so hopefully we will be able to settle on something like the last Sunday of the month so that people can plan for it.
I just ordered a map of the world to put up in our dining room. I’m going to put it on a corkboard and hopefully string tags to the outer border to show off everything that I’ve made. Photos to come soon!
Here’s the list that I’m working from (the places in parentheses are either islands close enough to count or had to be linked because there wasn’t a separate culture/food type that I could find):
Antigua and Barbuda
Australia (Ashmore, Cartier, Christmas, Cocos (Keeling), Coral Sea, Northern Mariana, and Tuvalu Islands)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
British Virgin Islands
Central African Republic
China (Paracel Islands)
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Republic of the
Cyprus (Akrotiri and Dhekelia Islands)
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Fiji (Wallis and Futuna Islands)
Guam (Wake Island)
Haiti (Navassa Island)
Holy See (Vatican City)
Isle of Man
Madagascar (Bassas da India, Europa, Glorioso, Heard, McDonald, Juan de Nova, and Tromelin Islands)
Maldives (British Indian Ocean Territory)
Mexico (Clipperton Island)
Micronesia, Federated States of
New Zealand (Tokelau)
Norway (Jan Mayen and Svalbard Islands)
Papua New Guinea
Philippines (Spratly Islands)
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe
Serbia and Montenegro
South Georgia (South Sandwich Islands)
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
United Arab Emirates