Assignment 19: Malawi

Location: Southeast Africa Population: 18 million Capital: Lilongwe Geography: A semi-mountainous landlocked country, a third of which is taken up by freshwater Lake Malawi. Language: English, Chichewa Signature flavours: Corn, peanut, tomato, freshwater fish The Menu I was excited to undertake the cuisine of an east African country, because I love the flavours of Ethiopia…

Assignment 18: Venezuela

Location: South America Population: 31.5 million Capital: Caracas Geography: A tropical country of varying landscape of beaches, mountains, and plains. Language: Spanish Signature flavours: Corn, rice, beans, cheese, plantain, cocoa The Menu Eric lived in Venezuela up until going off to college, so he was well-versed in the local foods. Initially, he had hoped that…

Assignment 17: New Zealand

Location: Oceania Population: 4.8 million Capital: Wellington Geography: A widely varied landscape of forest, mountain, and plain. Language: English, Maori Signature flavours: Lamb, seafood, potato, coconut The Menu The first thing I thought of when I was assigned New Zealand (after Lord of the Rings) was meat pies. I looked around for quite a while…

Assignment 16: South Korea

Location: East Asia Population: 51.5 million Capital: Seoul Geography: Mostly mountainous, with some plains Language: Korean Signature flavours: Sesame, cabbage, rice, pork, beef, scallion, egg, seaweed, hot pepper The Menu Five days ahead of South Korea night, Eric got started on kimchi, a signature Korean dish of fermented cabbage with garlic and spices. Each night…

Assignment 15: Kosovo

Location: Eastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula Population: 1.9 million Capital: Pristina Geography: A landlocked country of mountains and plains Language: Albanian, Serbian Signature flavours: Cabbage, meat, parsley, garlic, onion The Menu One thing I like about the Wooden Spoon Wanderer project is that it expands my thinking about places that might have previously been…

Assignment 14: St Pierre et Miquelon

Location: Two small French islands off the coast of eastern Canada Population: 6000 Capital: St Pierre Geography: Rocky Language: French Signature flavours: Seafood, pastry, apple, butter, cream The Menu We debated whether to have St Pierre and Miquelon on our list in the first place, given its size, but decided that its unique history and…

Assignment 13: Romania

Location: South eastern Europe Population: 19.6 million Capital: Bucharest Geography: A country of hills, mountains, and plains with a coastline on the Black Sea Language: Romanian Signature flavours: Potato, meats, bell pepper, parsley The Menu “The randomizer [we use to assign ourselves countries] must know I was born in Russia,” says Eric. “I keep getting…

Assignment 12: Macau

Location: A tiny, autonomous region of south east China Population: 650,000 Capital: n/a Geography: A developed, bustling area, the “Las Vegas of Asia” on the Pearl River Language: Chinese, Portuguese Signature flavours: Pork, beef, rice, garlic, bay leaf, soy sauce, almonds The Menu “I’ve been making too many stews lately,” Eric told me, when I…

Assignment 11: Dominica

Location: The Caribbean Population: 74,000 Capital: Roseau Geography: A small island nation comprising mountains, rainforest, and natural hot springs. Language: English Signature flavours: Coconut, tropical fruits, seafood The Menu From the get go, finding recipes from the country of Dominica was a challenge. Search “Dominican cuisine” or even “Dominica cuisine” or even “Dominica country cuisine”…

Culinary Failures

I get really down when one of my kitchen creations is a fail. I get mopey, grouchy, and I don’t want to talk about it. But since the whole idea of the Wooden Spoon Wanderer Project is to push my husband Eric and me beyond our culinary comfort zones, failures are inevitable. When I was…