An AWESOME food blog, inspired by "Julie & Julia."

52 weeks, 52 countries
I'm cooking across the world because I can't afford to travel it! Every week, I will randomly select a country, do a little research, do a little cooking, and do a lot of eating. So read, laugh, travel, eat, and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Week 5: Denmark

Yay February! The month of my birth! Since I am so awesome and the world is a better place because I live here, I am commemorating this month by cooking food from the places where my ancestors came from. For the first week, I did Denmark! I love Denmark! My grandma loves to make us aebleskivers, a sphere-shaped apple-filled pancake-thing. But other than that, I've never really eaten the food of my people.

Pardon my French, but Denmark is badass. The way it got its name, so legend tells, is that when King Dan conquered the Roman Emperor Augustus (yes, THAT Augustus), the people named the country after him. The Danes were also. . . VIKINGS!!!!! I love vikings!!!!! They are so cool and they discovered America, for real unlike that impostor we shall only call Chris. A cool little family fact, there was this great viking called Canute the Great. I don't know if that is who he is named after, but my cousin's name is Knute, and I know his name is Scandinavian. So that's awesome.

Denmark is a super green country. Green in the environmentally friendly sense, although it is green in the landscape sense as well. There is a monarchy similar to England. Their Queen's name is Margarethe II and their Prime Minister is Lars Løkke Rasmussen. Way cool name!

Alright, the food.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Week 4: Ethiopia

Last week of January, Ethiopia. Yes, it has been over a week since I made this meal, so yes, this entry will be short on account of memory loss. Now, when most people think of Ethiopia, they think of starving children and AIDS, for good reason. Over 50% of the population of Ethiopia lives below the poverty line. With a population of nearly 80 million, that's a lot of impoverished people. 1,450,000 of those people have HIV, 135,000 of which are children. It is believed in the year 2010 that 1,000,000 children will be orphaned by AIDS. These statistics are desperately sad and shocking. It is a horrible horrible problem and everyone needs to do his or her best to help. That said, with this project, I wanted to focus a little bit more on the rich cultural history of Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is considered to be one of the oldest human settlements in the world! Lucy, that famous skeleton lady named after the Beatles' song, was found in Ethiopia. It has been an independent country since ancient times. It was one of the first Christian countries in the world. And Ethiopia has 84 indigenous languages! EIGHTY FOUR!!!!

So, the food. I made Doro Wat in Berbere paste, Carrot and Ginger salad, Iab, and Sanbusa.
Doro Wat is a chicken stew type thing. Way way spicy! I loved the spice though. A traditional condiment in Ethiopia is Berbere paste, a paprika and onion based sauce. I had to make my own and it was actually quite tasty. The chicken was marinated for a half hour before cooking in lemon juice which actually begins to "cook" the meat itself. The acid does it. So, cooking semi cooked chicken. You end up with a really strange texture. In the soup, I served carrots and ginger stewed in sugar. They love ginger in Ethiopia. Yup.

Iab is a cheese dish. In Ethiopia, they don't have a dessert course. They eat cheese instead. And not just any cheese, this special tangy cheese. It is not available in the states, but I found some recipes that the authors say come pretty close to tasting like the actual thing. It's cottage cheese, yogurt, lemon zest, and salad spices like cilantro and parsley. This is traditionally served on Injera, a kind of flat bread, but I didn't want to make that so I bought na'an. I won't lie, I was most worried about eating this dish. But it ended up being my absolute favorite! It was way tasty! It was so refreshing and really helped cut the spice of the the Doro Wat.

Sanbusa was my way of having dessert. I can't just not eat dessert, I don't work like that. So, I made a pastry that is usually stuffed with meat and stuffed it with a honey cream cheese conconction. They have honey in abundance in Ethiopia, so I thought this fitting. The filling tasted amazing! The pastries were dry and hard. Looked a lot better than it tasted.

And that was Ethiopia. Not my favorite. Except for the cheese. I'm making Iab again!