Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Culinary Adventures Around the World

I decided about a year ago that we would cook our way around the world.  Actually to give credit where credit is due, we watched Michael Palin's Around the World in 80 Days, which we enjoyed despite the anti-climatic ending.  Anyway - I got the idea that we could cook our way around the world even if we couldn't literally travel around the world.  I figured it would add some variety to our meals and we would get to have some fun doing it.

The rules were pretty simple - we had to travel to adjoining countries or ones directly across bodies of water and couldn't skip countries, and the food had to be something we hadn't tried before.  For example, I make borscht frequently, so when we got to the Ukraine I couldn't make borscht.

I get the recipes from the internet by Googling traditional foods from that country.  I pick the recipes based on what ingredients are readily available (and I often do have to make some substitutions in the recipes - my apologies to the countries from which I'm butchering the recipes); recipes we would enjoy eating; and how hard it looks to make.  I let William, my 15 year old plan the route around the world as he had firm ideas about which direction we should go.

We started in Ireland and so far have been to Great Britain, Norway, Russia (bet you didn't know that you could get directly from Norway to Russia - I didn't  - well William proved you can, so that's what we did), the Ukraine (we were stuck here for about 5 months when I was sick, busy at work, and summer happened with everyone away at camp), Poland, Germany, Switzerland, and finally Italy.  Stay tuned for details about the other countries.

At the end of the dinner, we all vote on how well we liked each of the dishes I have made.  In the process we have found some sure winners, recipes that I have already repeated, and will add to our family repetoire.


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