The international cooking weeks project that inspired this blog was born of three factors. One, I love exploring different cultures’ cuisines. Two, my older daughter is just starting to get a sense of the world’s vastness and diversity, and I want to teach her more. Three, though this may seem unintuitive, I’m too busy not to do something like this.
I went back to work full time in January 2014, when my younger daughter was 18 months old. I quickly found I no longer had time to cook during the week. I needed to have dinner on the table as soon as I got home. Goodbye, daily dinners from scratch. I was going to have to institute daily sandwiches, daily takeout, or better meal planning and freezing. I chose the last option.
Looking for inspiration, I noticed on the calendar that Robbie Burns Day was going to be followed the next week by Chinese New Year. That’s how I got the idea to do lots of cooking on the weekends, choosing a different international theme each week. I would also take the opportunity to do related educational activities with my daughters. (OK, mostly the older one, since the little one is still more interested in exploring her nose than the world.)
On this site, you will find plenty of recipes and the odd idea for teaching children about different countries and cultures. Of course, helping in the cooking/baking process is always a great way for kids to learn, so you might occasionally find tips on cooking with kids.
All the recipes are strictly gluten-free because I’m gluten intolerant. They’re also low-FODMAP to moderate-FODMAP because I have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the low-FODMAP diet is somewhat helpful in keeping my symptoms under control. But really, this blog isn’t about restrictions – it’s about loving food and celebrating the world’s diverse cultures.
The recipes on this site aren’t necessarily culturally authentic. They’re easy for the average home cook in a Western kitchen to make, usually without having to search out exotic ingredients in specialty stores. They’re geared to family meals, not to entertaining the Queen. Many are freezable; others are good for leftovers.
I will try to tie cultural themes to calendar events when I can, but if there is no obvious cultural/national day to celebrate, I’ll go through countries alphabetically. No, not all the A’s before going on to the B’s – I’ll just pick one country per letter, then cycle back to A once I pass Z. Enjoy!