Ethiopia In An Rv - Life in an RV Blog at - 177328

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Ethiopia in an RV 
May 27, 2010 5:20 pm 
Updated: Jun. 4, 2010 1:45 am
Today, foodwise, we traveled to Ethiopia! I wasn't sure what to expect, I thought the main staple would be rice, but I was wrong! Ethiopia is a diverse culture, albeit, a poor culture.
Here is an update picture of my container garden. We have already had a lettuce, radish and onion salad from it, and I now have fresh Italian parsley, cilantro and mint at my beck and call. Today was another celebration, of sorts. Bob has had his last radiation treatment. We'll know after he gets the HOSE (scope) on July 8th if he'll have to have any more done. It is red and raw and sore. He has lost all the hair in the radiation area, as well. But he's on some heavy-duty pain meds, so he's tolerating it as best as he can...I love him and his strength!!
Yesterday, I could not believe how hard it was raining! I was trying to listen to the TV, but, when you live in a tin can with a tarp over the roof, it's near impossible!

Today was all about discovery...such as this honey bee nest...see the honeycomb there? I'm going to attempt to get me some of that in a couple of days...

This is what is growing in the neighbors tree. This basically happened overnight! Yes, those are bees!!

Here is the Chapatis...this is a rustic type bread made of wheat and was actually really enjoyable to make.

Ethiopia is a landlocked state in the Horn of Africa. It's capitol is Addis Ababa. It's the second most populus nation in Africa. It's bordered by Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, Sudan to the west and Eritra to the north.
Although most African nations are, in their modern form, less than a century old, Ethiopia has been an independent state since ancient times, being one of the oldest countries in the world. It's a land of natural contrasts, with magnificent waterfalls and volcanic hot springs. Ethiopia is home to some of Africa's highest mountains, as well as some of the world's lowest points below sea level. Africa's largest cave is located at Sof Omar and Ethiopia's northernmost area at Dallol is one of the hottest places year-round on Earth.
The biggest export commodity is coffee beans. It is tenth in the world for producing livestock and other main commodities are: khat (I'm not sure what that is), gold, leather products and oilseeds.
Here is a picture of the chickpea wat...I can't say that I was in love with this dish. I didn't dislike it just wasn't one of my favorites! Let me tell you a little gripe I have: I needed cardamom for a couple of these dishes and when I went to the store, it was over $9 a jar...ridiculously expensive!! I went to Winco this morning because they have a great bulk food selection and found it, finally! There is was over $16 a pound!! I bought 28 cents worth....I just can't get over the price! It's wonderful with a citrusy scent and flavor, yet, it's also earthy! Fantastic!

Ethiopians migrate to urbans areas because they are motivated by the hope of better living conditions. In rural areas, daily life is a struggle to survive. About 16% of the population is living on less than $1 per day, according to a 2008 study. Only 65% of the households consume the World Health Organization's minimum standard of food per day (2200 kilocalories), with 42% of children under age 5 being underweight. 75% of poor families share their sleeping quarters with livestock and 40% of children sleep on the floor. The average family size is 6-7 people, living in 30 square meter hut made of mud and thatch. The family usually has less than 2 hectacres of land to cultivate. Since land holdings are so small, farmers cannot let the land lie fallow, which reduces soil fertility. This land degradation reduces the amount of fodder needed for livestock, which causes low milk yields. Since communities burn manure for fuel, rather than plowing it back into the ground for fertilizer, crop production is reduced. Low productivity of agriculture leads to inadequate incomes for farmers, therefore, hunger, malnutrition and disease run rampant. When the farmers are unhealthy, they have a hard time working the land and productivity drops even mroe. It's a vicious cycle.
Although conditions are drastically better in the cities, all of Ethiopia suffers from poverty and poor sanitation. In Addis Ababa, 55% of the population lives in slums. Although there are some wealthy neighborhoods with mansions, most people make their houses with whatever materials are available with walls made of mud or wood. Only 12% of homes have cement or tile floors.
Ethiopia sorely lacks in waste treatment facilities, and this is the major contributor to the spread of illness though the water supply.

Ethiopian Chicken Wings should be their own food group...DELICIOUS!! And a much healthier alternative to deep frying. First you boil the wings, then toss with the sauce and bake...OMG!! Here is my other gripe! When I first started making chicken wings in the late 80's, they practically gave the suckers for just under 2 pounds, I paid almost $6...RIDICULOUS!!!

Ethiopian cuisine usually consists of spicy vegetables and the meat dishes, usually in the form of a wat, a thick stew, are served on top of injera, a large piece of sourdough flatbread, which is about 20 inches in diameter and is made of fermented teff flour.
Ethiopians eat with their right hands, the reason should be obvious, using pieces of injura to pick up bites of entrees and side dishes. No utensils are used.
Traditional cuisine uses no pork of any kind, as most of the population are Orthodox Christians, Muslims or Jews and are thus prohibited from eating pork.
Coffee (buna) originates from Ethiopia and is a central part of Ethiopian beverages. Equally important is the ceremony that goes along with the serving of buna, which is served from a jebena, a clay coffee pot in which the buna has been boiled. In most homes, there is a dedicated coffee area surrounded by fresh grass with special furniturefor the coffee maker. A complete ceremony has three rounds of coffee accompanied by burning of frankincense.
A mesob is a tabletop on which food is served. A mesob is usually woven from straw. It has a lid that is kept on until it's time to eat. Just before the food is ready, a basin of water and soap is brought out for hand washing. When the food is ready, the top is taken off the mesob and the food is placed inside. When the meal is finished, the basin of water and soap is brought back out for the hands to be washed again.
Ethiopian Spiced Cottage Cheese...this is fantastic! I didn't use collard greens, I couldn't find them...I used frozen spinach instead and I had to leave out the hot pepper for Bob's sake. He could actually eat and enjoy the cottage cheese, which was nice!

An Ethiopian feast...

Writing this blog and researching this country has made me aware of just how bad it is in other parts of the world, and also here in this country. I'd like to start mentioning a different charity each week in hopes of raising awareness. If you can donate, that's awesome, if you can't, that's cool, too...this week I was reading about a charity called Charity Water. What they do there is dig wells in African villages so the people can have clean drinking water. The website is and they have a toll free number 888-707-6466. Just something to think about!
I'd like to take a minute just to reflect on a lost life this week. Little Benjamin Ricketts put up a fight, but, ultimately, God chose to take this little boy back to Him and maybe you could just pause for a minute and send thoughts and prayers to his parents, Dave and Steph, for peace of mind in this hard time. It's a sad situation. Please make sure your mini-blind cords are up, up, up! Little Benjamin is in my thoughts and prayers tonight.
Groceries for tonight's meal cost me $19.24 which left just 76 cents to go into the Beach Bag. This is week 21 folks...5 more weeks and I'm halfway done with this project. The Beach Bag total is $126.61.
This week, DeCafinNW picked Kenya and chi_phx_singer picked China. This was quite the close vote, majority rules! China is next week. So, until we meet up in China...pick a random person and say or do something nice for them! There is already enough hate and discontent in this world, let's try to change that!! Peace!!

May 27, 2010 5:52 pm
As usual just a fantastic blog witchy. I am always so happy to see bees, I hope no one disturbs them they are on the decline.
May 27, 2010 5:58 pm
Sounds like a great meal! Great pics as usual! Tell Bob to hang in there! God bless you both!
May 27, 2010 5:59 pm
I think I'm getting partial to the bread and the wings. Everything else looks great, too. This is the first time I've caught your post in the early time. Your posts are always interesting and stimulating the tastebuds. Grat job, as always!
May 27, 2010 6:42 pm
I always learn so much in your blogs! I'm keeping Bob (and you) in my prayers. Your container plants are coming along really well! Food looks delicious!
May 27, 2010 6:46 pm
Oooooh yum! What an interesting one to choose! There's an Ethiopian restaurant around the corner from my apartment and I've never been, this blog totally inspired me to try it. Great job!
May 27, 2010 7:59 pm
witchy, a few of the recipe links don't seem to work.
May 27, 2010 8:03 pm
hmmm...try that's how I got to them!
May 27, 2010 8:34 pm
I like your idea of having a charity mentioned each week. We DO live in the richest nation in the world, and I don't think we really have an appreciation for it. As you mentioned here, Benjamin's family deserves peace in their lives. How on earth......
May 27, 2010 8:35 pm
PS Those chicken wings look to die for! Your photos are amazing!
May 27, 2010 8:42 pm
Loved the blog & I'm so happy to hear that Bob may be done w/his treatments. Keeping you both in my prayers & poor Baby Ben & his family, too!
May 27, 2010 8:44 pm
It's so cool how you do this each week! What an adventure. You know I have to say though when I first came on here being very blonde to the depths of my soul, a bit dingy, a bit to hyper active and so thrilled with everything that I encouter I really thought you were going to a new country in your RV. Of course it was the first time you were "travleing" in my eyes and I actually shouldn't admit to this hu?
May 27, 2010 8:45 pm
I KNEW this meal would be amazing. I have heard so much wonderful stuff about Ethiopian foods, which is surprising considering the fact that it's such a poor country. Excellent blog, as usual, WW! Thanks again for taking us on your journies with you :-)
May 27, 2010 8:46 pm
wonderful as always! wishing you and bob the best =)
May 27, 2010 9:34 pm
You wonderful friend- thanks for continuing the support of Baby Ben and his family. Your dinner looks amazing- bring that RV to Iowa and I'll make some more comfort food/and ice cream for Bob!
May 28, 2010 1:08 am
Way to go, WW! Thanks again for ALL that you do!
May 28, 2010 4:48 am
The food looked great...and for the BF has 5 hives and the honey is really good...did you know bees have 5 eyes? I have been going to the Bee Keepers meeting here ( The things you do for love}
May 28, 2010 5:44 am
The food looked great! It would be a tough country to live in, with little opportunity for a brighter future. Yes! Little acts of kindness can seem insignificant until you realize that the ripples created can be enormous!
May 28, 2010 6:17 am
Oh, those precious bees!! I'd love to see that! Your menu and photos are awesome as ever. I tried the Ethiopian Potatoes and Cabbage from this site last week and it was great! Sending good wishes to Bob.
May 28, 2010 6:19 am
The bees were safely removed and relocated by a bee handler. As cool as I thought they were to look at, I'm deathly allergic to them, so I can't say that I'm sorry their gone, but they will go off to make their honey somewhere else. The old honey bee nest in the log, however, is still there and going strong and I'm still going to attempt to get me some of that. It's all mind over matter...
May 28, 2010 6:22 am
Awesome, as usual. You are doing it WW. You're "making a difference". I'm glad to know there is a charity doing what I've often thought in my own mind would make a huge difference. If people everywhere just had access to potable WATER it would change thier lives. If I ever get a "real" job and manage to get ahead alittle, I'll send a donation. Well done. See you in China :)
May 28, 2010 6:25 am
I'm thinking that if only 50-100 of us could just send a dollar...their website said $20 would bring drinking water for a lifetime for 1 person! Seriously, $20 for a lifetime...I waste that much and more a week...I've already sent mine!!
May 28, 2010 6:26 am
LS, whenever you can....that's so cool! I didn't know how this charity would be percieved, but I really felt strongly about it after I read their website!
May 28, 2010 6:44 am
Hey WW. I was so excited to see what you would cook for Ethiopia and you did'nt disappoint!The chicken wings look so good. So sad to here about little benjamin. I'm praying for his family. Oh, and good look with the bee nest :)
May 28, 2010 7:02 am
Hi Olivia...BTW, I LOVE your screen name, it's sounds like it should be an actress's or an heiress's name....LOL! I'm sure Benjamin's family appreciates each and every prayer. if you want to stop by and leave them a note. Benjamin's dad, Dave, said something that really touched a chord in me in one of the posts. He said that this little 22 month old boy had brought 1000's together to Jesus, when he, himself, at age 30, hadn't brought was just something else to read, and that really moved me. It made me realize that when I leave this world, I want people to remember me for something good, or making them for thought! I hope you have a great weekend, Olivia!
May 28, 2010 7:07 am
Another great blog! Everything looks so good!
May 28, 2010 7:10 am
Thanks, Ellen, I appreciate that! I liked everything, but those chicken wings...oh, those chicken wings....YUM!
May 28, 2010 8:10 am
Hi amber, my Longview friend! Nice to see you!!
May 28, 2010 8:15 am
Looks like a wonderful meal, and I learned a lot from this one! The way you write about a place makes me want to go visit it! Well done! And good luck to Bob! Hopefully he can concentrate on healing now and start to enjoy some spicy food soon! ;)
May 28, 2010 8:25 am
Hey there, will, unfortunately be quite a long while before he can tolerate spicy food. Even after his throat is able to handle it, we have to keep in mind about heartburn. The reflux going up into the throat can cause substantial damage to that area, and we can't take any chances with that. I'll be able to put a serrano or jalapeno into salsa or guacamole, but, I fear buffalo wings are a thing of the past. Pizza is the worst for both of us...immediate heartburn! Good thing neither of us is really that fond of it!
May 28, 2010 9:27 am
WW, don't you love Winco for their bulk section? I do a ton of business in that spice dept. Everything looked great and I thought the chickpeas looked really good. I love chipati's and would like to make some. Thanks for the reminder to do yet another flatbread. Glad to hear Bob is through the worst of it. Have a nice holiday weekend.
May 28, 2010 10:07 am
You too, Avon! I hope we don't float away, though!! This rain is getting ridiculous!!
May 28, 2010 1:50 pm
WW, not only are your blogs entertaining, and an amazing culinary (and informative!) "trip around the world", now you're raising awareness for charities...your awesome!
May 28, 2010 2:10 pm
Thanks, just really got to me reading about the plight of Ethiopians, not to mention other countries...Charity Water says that for $20 one person can have clean drinkig water for a lifetime, and really, how much is $20? Thanks for the compliment, it's really appreciated!
May 28, 2010 3:02 pm
You should be a Geography teacher!! You really bring each country to life....I totally agree with both your gripes, I have actually taken to removing the wings before I roast a whole chicken. I freeze them until I have enough, doesn't take too long since I do a whole chicken almost every week. Thanks for another great blog.
May 28, 2010 3:25 pm
LOL! I should do that, but I have a freezer the size of one you would expect to find in Barbie's house, so I'm doing good to just save a few necks and a few backs to make a chicken soup! I had to re-evaluate what was important in there to be able to fit ice cream bars for Bob! LOL!! I don't have patience with kids so I'm afraid being a teacher is out, but I try to explain each country in a way I'd like to have them explained to me!! Thanks, BSM, I appreciate that!!
May 28, 2010 6:08 pm
I love reading your blog every week. Reading about poor Bob always makes me sad and his poor neck looks so painful. I really hope the chemo took care of everything and he gets better. Cancer is so scary. The bit about little Benjamin made me cry. Poor baby boy. I hadn't heard what happened to him until I read this. He was such a beautiful boy and his death was so tragic, I can't imagine what his family is going through. Okay, back to food: Everything you cooked looks so good! I used to live in Seattle and right before I moved away, a tiny Ethiopian restaurant opened down town. I went like 3 times in the two weeks before I left. I actually didn't care for the injera (too sour and spongy for my tastes), but everything else was so good. I can't wait to try the chickpea wat (though I may use a different kind of bean. Not authentic, I know, but I dislike garbanzos unless they're in hummus), the wings and the cottage cheese! I wanted to point out that your link to the chicken wings doesn't work because you accidentally spelled Ethiopian as "Eithiopian." Also, the same recipe is here on Allrecipes!

Yum yum, I think we're going to have Ethiopian night next week :oD
May 28, 2010 6:20 pm
Thanks, shiloh! Actually, Bob had radiation, not chemo...chemo would have been WAY worse. We're hoping the radiation took care of everything, too!! Thanks for finding where I misspelled that! I could have looked for days and not found it, so I really appreciate that! Let me know how your Ethiopian night turns out!!
May 28, 2010 7:42 pm
Excuse me, I kept thinking, "'s wat's for dinner." // Isn't it odd that this meal from one of the poorest countries in the world, ended up so nearly over budget (but for your excellent shopping)? // Benjamin's dad's heart sharing as they awaited the outcome touched more folks than he can know // With you, we celebrate Bob's courage...glad the cottage cheese went down smoothly and will remember the 8th as you await results from the scope. Prayers for a good report. // And overall, just "wow" again. I hope you are also encouraged and blessed as you encourage and be blessing to others.
May 28, 2010 7:53 pm
I know, Hezzy! Chicken wings are crazy's ridiculous!!
May 28, 2010 8:07 pm
That lettuce is growing like weeds and rain isn't affecting it at's crazy! I have 2 more packs of seeds for when we're done eating this container! I hadn't really thought about the irony of the expense of this dinner, but you all are right...irony...runny thing, isn't it?
May 29, 2010 6:06 am
Amazing blog! I love the bee photo, that is incredible. Sorry about Bob and so sorry about little Ben. I thought the same thing about the meal being so pricey from a country so poor. I bet most of them just have the bread and beans. We are so blessed as North Americans. Thanks for the informative blog, excellent as always!
May 29, 2010 7:28 am
love that you go around the world in food
May 29, 2010 7:45 am
My favourite restaurant in Toronto was Ethiopian. A little hole in the wall kind of place along Bloor, just past the Ossington subway station. Wish I could remember the name of it. Groups of friends would meet there and we'd all share an enormous platter with everything dolloped out on the injira bread. Fabulous memories. I wonder if the place is still there. (it's been about 15 years now.) Thanks for bringing back the memories for me. What was also an Ethiopian tradition at the end of the meal was to have coffee. Really strong, espresso type served in a very ornate little coffee pot with a lot or ceremony.
May 29, 2010 7:45 am
I have to chuckle at your descriptions of four-legged kids (one mouthy girl cat named Dave??). Your whole bio indicates you are a most interesting, adventurous, brave, kind woman. I'm jealous of your adventures and will have to share your info with my niece who is one of the committed Twilight fans (I saw her personal pictures of the whole town before seeing the movie). Best of luck to you, Bob, and "kids" in your continued travels and updates.
May 29, 2010 8:09 am
Hey WW, as always looks awesome. I'm so glad that is Bob's last treatment and hope he's on the mend real soon!! Those bee's looked neat, I would probably get to close and get stung because I would think I was a bee charmer or something!!! Can't wait for next week!
May 29, 2010 8:24 am
What an awesome blog you have.... I'll be praying for your hubby.
May 29, 2010 9:11 am
Once again - awesome! Thank you! Your bee picture reminded me of when our neighbor, Larry, had bees and would share the honey with us. My son was about 6 and playing outside when a honeybee landed on the table by us. My husband took his magazine to shoo it away and our son thought he was going to smash it. He hollered "Don't hurt that bee - it's one of Larry's bees!" I loved that honey!
May 29, 2010 12:23 pm
I am still working up the mental fortitude to get me some of that honeycomb! I am deathly allergic to bees so one of the residents in here has an Epi-Pen that he's going to bring down for stand-by when I do. I've never carried one, even though I'm supposed to! I just want to see how in tune with nature I really am! You all should see the bee hive that I have in storage! It's huge and it's still attached to the limb I sawed off after I smoked them out...I spent 3 days with a smudge fire getting that hive and it's a proud accomplishment to me. I usually hang it in my living room and it a cool conversation piece!
May 29, 2010 3:23 pm
Witchy, you just need to smoke out these bees too. Since the majority of them have been removed, it should be easier than the last time you did it. Btw, I have an AR "crush" on you, lady,(& not in a weird restraining order kind of way). You're just too freaking cool!:o)
May 29, 2010 4:28 pm
Actually, it's a separate nest and it's on protected land, no fires, so I'm gonna risk it all one of these that pic you can see that dark honeycomb and that the nectar of the gods and I want to try some of that! Meanwhile, here I sit inside and the sun is shining but the neighbor has his kids for the weekend and they are quite the little snake hunters and are carrying them all around, so I'm inside because to even look at those suckers on TV gives me the heebie-jeebies!! UGH! You crack me up cheepchick...that's funny!
May 29, 2010 4:44 pm
Dude. Be careful when you go for that! Can you snag it with a stick or something? Just FYI, beer makes me an affectionate person. When I seem all smooshy, I'm drinkin. Thought I should warn people. Happy Memorial Day weekend! :o)
May 29, 2010 7:40 pm
Thank you, Witchywoman. I really wondered what Ethiopia would offer, I knew it was a poor nation. Good job with it's food and showing us a glimpse of it. Hope Bob is feeling better. My neighbor raises bees, would you please stay away from those? I've seen him running away from his hives in a full bee keeping suit. Yikes! But you know if you have allergies using honey made by bees in your area will help them? Looking forward to China!
May 29, 2010 8:23 pm
Hi, WW Two books that might interest you: "Cutting for Stone" is a fictional story that takes place in Ethiopia and discusses the dishes injera and wat. The other is in "Out of Africa" when Farah goes in to Nairobi to buy Cardamom. Food for the Hungry is also a good charity if you want to look into it. I look forward to seeing where you'll end up next. :-) Lizzie
May 30, 2010 4:12 am
WW: when you do go after that honey - let us know all about it. I'd never have the guts to do that. I'm not allergic to bees, just afraid of their bite.
May 30, 2010 4:16 am
What an interesting country and cuisine! I didn't know anything about Ethipoia usual, great blog! And be careful with those bees!
May 30, 2010 5:16 am
great blog! China has such a variety of cuisines, few of which resemble the food we get in the US surprisingly enough! I lived there for two years and didn't manage to try everything. I just went to a homemade Chinese dinner yesterday actually! My friends made me homemade steamed dumplings, fried tofu in hot sauce, pickled veggies, and a honey sponge cake made by steaming (most Chinese don't have ovens except in the far north). Let me know if you want any suggestions or's so hard to choose! And try out those chopsticks - no cheating hehe ;o)
May 30, 2010 6:11 am
OMG! Thank you so much, all of you!! Cat, I want to try some of that honeycomb, I can't help it!! LOL! Lizzie...I love reading, and I will definately check out your recommendations, thanks so much! Hi Ann...I will let you know, it will be a while off though...I still gotta get some guts! LOL!
May 30, 2010 6:12 am
Hi Barbara...your lobster blog was too cool, you all should check that out! Thanks!!
May 30, 2010 6:15 am
Hey there, etoilestrella...thanks for stopping by! I'm raiding Tao's recipe box for the China blog, LOL! I have 4 recipes planned and one of them I have made before and it's to die for...that's a fact about ovens in China...I used to work at a Chinese restaurant/lounge up until last November and my boss told me the same thing. I'm interested in that steamed honey sponge cake, I'd love to have the recipe for that one! Unfortunately, I'm not going to use chopstix for this dinner, it's hard enough to get Bob to eat anything, so I'm not going to push it by putting out chopsticks for him...sorry if I disappoint there, but I want that guy to EAT, EAT, EAT!! LOL! Thanks for reading!!
May 30, 2010 7:58 am
Dont' hurt those bees! The honeybee population is dying and we need them! You should contact the local bee club (and there is always a local bee club) because oftentimes these bees die of disease. Bee keepers can provide them with the proper care to keep the hive safe and alive! Please Please!!!
May 30, 2010 8:00 am
And don't take their honey unless you know what you are doing!!!
May 30, 2010 8:17 am
Christen, it's ok, if I weren't confident in my ability, I wouldn't attempt it! I may never get the courage, I don't know! But you have to start somewhere and I already planned on talking to someone first who knows what they're doing before I try! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it!
May 30, 2010 12:01 pm
I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now, and today you actually brought tears to my eye's. You are the type of person everyone need's and should have in their life, and it's all because of your positive thinking and outlook ( I am a cancer surviveor diagnosed at 7 - cancer free at 9)I am now 49 years young, and I believe it was a divine intervention thing as chemo didn't exist then, just straight radiation, ( brutal it was indeed ) I know with all by being that positive thinking is the key to the battle with the big "C"! I think of you and Bob every single day, sometimes more than once. Don't ever change what you are doing, as the end result for what you are doing for Bob, and for all of us, is what we all should be doing every single day. I hope we run into each other some day just to give you a big hug and say " THANKS BUDDY" !
May 30, 2010 12:06 pm
I know with all MY being that positive thinking is the key to the battle with the big "C"! OOOPPPS this is the way the line should read. Im off to stand in the corner for a couple minutes for not proof reading before clicking POST
May 30, 2010 12:41 pm gave me goosebumps reading your comment. You are awesome and someday, in fact, I do hope to meet you and give you a big hug! Bob sends his thoughts to you as're awesome! I'm just the type of person that 10-15 years ago, I was negative as all get out and nothing made me happy. It took losing my mother and everything I owned in my last divorce (long story, someday, maybe, I'll get into that) to realize it's not what you have materially, but inside that makes or breaks a person. I try to live my life to the fullest everyday, although today, I'm being sorely tested by the kids next door who think it's really fun to scare the bejesus outta me with their stupid snakes that they have went over the bank and caught. I'm afraid the trucker's mouth is going to engage soon, as I'm basically being held prisoner in my own dam house! I'm over it...I used to think they were pretty good kids, but after today...not so much! I guess I should specify that it's the little boy, not the little girl. She understands me being terrified and the little snot (boy) just thinks it's funny. Sorry for my little rant here!
May 30, 2010 1:29 pm
Ok so now the initial contact thing is done, we will be chattin here real regular. As for that neighbor kid, if I were your neighbor on the other side of you, I'd help you give that little nose miner the " pineapple delight " ( from Adam Sandler's movie Little Nicky...has to do with Hitler getting his daily punishment from the devil that involves a pineapple ) All kid's need that kind of dissaplin ....except my youngest son. His older brother makes up for his goodness with us rottenness. Yep 25 & 18 they are mom allways told me...."You're gonna get it back 7 times worse when you have your own" and just my luck she was (is) right, cept I'm getting my 7x and someone else's also......DOH !
May 30, 2010 2:27 pm
You did Portugal a few week's ago ( get those mind's outta the gutter )My wife is from the Azores ( Island of Pico) and an amazing cook ( for traditional Azorean cooking ) but my mother-in-law is the Azorean cooking goddess...taught me everything she knows and I've adapted that into what we call PORTUGIFORNIAN...ok that's Portuguese/Californian (again...minds...gutters). I've been approached more than once in the grocery store and asked ......"Are you Zalina's son-in-law, the one that cook's (cause I'am California boy to the bone, born here, gonna die here. ) Tulare, Ca has the largest population of Azoreans from Terceira Island outside of the Azores, so that's why it's kinda funny, so now that u must be saying what the hell is this dude yacking about, my intent was to tell u to come to Central Calif. Tulare to be exact, and Geneveive and I will cook our asses off for u. Man lotta blah blah just to say that
May 30, 2010 4:01 pm
I've had Ethiopian food before and I loved it, yours looks delicious! My best friend just got back from China, she said China itself was amazing but she was very disappointed in the food. I can't wait to see what you make! Prayers for your hubby:)
May 30, 2010 5:05 pm
Witchywoman, I am so jealous of the pictures of your lettuce. This is the first year that i have had a garden and mine will hardly sprout! Are you already getting salads from it? WW, I love your blogs, thank you for taking all of us here on your adventures in life and cooking. I am really gonna try those wings! What would you say, if i may ask, is your favorite food that you've cooked so far during all the countries you've done?
May 30, 2010 5:27 pm
Hi sarahncmount...I am making salads out of the lettuce...I jsut made one tonight with a homemade Lime-Cumin Vinaigrette that had cilantro from the garden as well as green onions and radishes. I'd have to say my favorite has been to date Korea! I use the Kalbi marinade on all types of steaks and beef and I make the bean sprout dish at least once a month if not more! Good question, thanks for asking!! Thanks, VWill1968, I'll pass that on to Bob!
May 30, 2010 7:57 pm
Peace :>

For your love of food please check it out! its amazing and soooooo up lifting! God willing I hope YOU my lovely lady. I hope Allah blesses you soooo much in this life, I hope Allah fills your life with more and more good people and keeps evil people away, I hope Allah makes it so you don't mind snakes so much, I hope Allah makes your husband have a Full recovery, I hope you get people inspired to do good more and more, you truly are an insperation:> Hoping for you all the best and hoping for that for all the rest tooooooOO! :> love, and Peace :>
May 30, 2010 9:22 pm
WW....I want to thank you. I have been really b!tchy this week. Complaining about all sorts of stuff. But after reading your blog I feel so ashamed of myself. Reading all the information about Africa makes me realize how much I really do have. I do have roof over my head, I do have a job that allows me to buy food for me, my child and my dogs. So much more then what they have. And I do have a healthy child. I feel so bad for Dave and Steph. I could not even come close to knowing what they are feeling or going thru. The thought of losing my baby, its the scaryest thing in the world. My prayers go out to them. And my their little boy fly to heaven on the wings of angels. Thank you for making me realize how lucky I really am. As always your article was awesome. and the food looked awesome. And I am glad to hear he has finished his treatments, I will still have him in my prayers.
May 30, 2010 11:31 pm
WW I have only recently found your site. A truly amazing and informative trip through trials, tribulations.......and of course, the wonderful diversity of cultures, cusine and lands at a distance. It is a real lesson in "life learning" and appreciation for what we have......and things we have gone through. A positive attitude is the key. You are there!! I'm sure the sun will always shine on you....and Bob..and other people that you love. Best Wishes for all!!! Stay strong and keep up the fabulous journeys/recipies.
May 31, 2010 5:03 am
Rather new here, but I couldn't resist letting you know that your blog has inspired me to try different cuisines from around the world.
May 31, 2010 5:34 am
by the looks of your container garden you could have honeymoon salad! lettuce alone. old but funny. love your blog!
May 31, 2010 8:04 am
As always, I enjoy "lurking", reading your blog and the comments that follow. I am pleased that Bob has had his last radiation treatment (fingers crossed and lots of prayers). I'll be thinking of him on July 8th, because it's my youngest son's birthday and he is a cancer survivor. Loved the pics of your garden, you really epitomize "bloom where you are planted"! Take care and as always, you and Bob are in my prayers.
May 31, 2010 8:31 am
Hi REDCWOLF! I'm trying like crazy to save some of those plants! It's been raining ridiculously here and I went to check on my Russian tarragon and it was sitting in dirt soup! I could have sworn I poked drainage holes in that coffee can but apparently I didn't, so now it's full of them and I'm crossing my fingers that it's ok! I thought that the tomatillo seeds that I planted had been washed out but this morning, I have one that has popped up, and I just bought 2 plants at the farmer's market on Saturday, so I will have tomatillos. I learned something about them: not only are they in the gooseberry family and not the tomato family, but you need at least 2 plants so they can cross pollinate themselves...kind of on the same order as marijuana plants, where you have male and female plants. I've been waiting for so long for my potatoes to grow eyes and they haven't yet that I think I'll just put my tomatillos in the big container along with my French tarragon plant that needs to get potted. I also started basil, Italian parsley and chives from a kit that we got a while ago and there aren't any drainage holes in that, so I think I'll transplant those in there as well. The mixed lettuce that I planted had a ton of arugula in it and I'm really loving that stuff! It's peppery and delicious with vinaigrette. I made a lime-cumin vinaigrette last night: 1 part lime and lemon juice to 2 parts olive oil, zest of a lime (I have the baby ones), a squeeze of dijon mustard, a pinch of chili powder, about 1/2 a teaspoon of cumin, a pasted clove of garlic, finely minced Walla Walla sweet onion...about 3 or so tablespoons, or to taste and Sicilian sea salt and coarse ground black pepper to freaking good! I look forward to talking to you again!
May 31, 2010 9:53 am
I have to take moment of silence today to honor the fallen servicemen and servicewomen who have given their lives to protect the freedom that we hold so near and dear in this country. I also to take a moment to thank my dear husband, Bob, for fighting in Vietnam for freedom. He saw cr@p over there that no human should ever see, and he came home again. For that, I am eternally thankful. I'd also like to thank my father, a Green Beret, for coming home again also...I cna't imagine what these 2 men saw or experienced but it has made stronger people out of them both and I am grateful for that. Thank you Dad and Husband!
May 31, 2010 11:18 am
What a wonderful tribute to our servicemen WW! I live in Sweden, but am American through and through. I have to tell you that my husband and I lost everything we owned in Iowa due to my disability...and it took me awhile to appreciate our new, debt free life. I miss my family like crazy sometimes, but most of the time I would not have life with my husband any other way. My bil with pancreatic cancer was told 8 months ago that he had six months at the most...and now he is still going strong! I cry every time I hear his voice on the phone.. he sounds so positive. WOW would I be amazed if he is one of the 5% that beat it. I pray for you and Bob, and he and my sister every day. Anyway, I think tonight we are having chickpea wat for a side dish. I only have sweet potatoes but I know cardamom is just made for sweet potatoes. I use it all the time, but then, it is much cheaper here due to the fact that the packagers are here, and no transportation fees. I wish I could give to so many charities, and did when I could, but his pension and my disability only take us barely through the month. Still, I am happy that people do. Watch out for the charities that are phony, find out how much is "administrative fees" and how much actually goes to help people. There are a lot of charities in name only that it really makes me sick.... Thank you for your blogs and your positive are good people.
May 31, 2010 11:35 am
I am really enjoying your blog - Thanks so much for sharing. I have a friend who was a missionary in Ethiopia for a year and is married to an Ethiopian man. She has made me authentic food several times. Very good. She has his family send the spices to her - she tones the heat down when making food for us friends though!
May 31, 2010 11:41 am
hey there, just do what you can there, my friend, even if it's just sending thoughts and prayers to countries like Ethiopia! I'm only suggesting charities that are legit! No off the wall stuff or anything like that! I heard of Charity Water of Top Chef of the contestants was playing for them, so I checked out their website and made a phone call! I really liked what they had to say and on the website they state that for a $20 donation, one person can have clean drinking water for a lifetime...I take that to believe that they aren't out trying to make as mcuh as they can from people and that they truly want to help those African villagers. And I like that. And I'll support that. We take it for granted here, they struggle for their lives with it over there. Watch for the China blog to be posted tonight and I posted a dessert blog last night, if you want to check those out! Thanks, choppie, you're pretty awesome!
May 31, 2010 11:43 am
Hi Brooke, I had to cut the heat stuff out of these recipes for Bob to be able to eat it. His poor throat is on fire enough right now! I'd really like to meet or talk to your friend and her husband and find out more about Ethiopia...for some reason, these African countries just fascinate me to no end!
May 31, 2010 2:36 pm
I just want to say how much I enjoy your blog. :-)
May 31, 2010 3:14 pm
I really enjoy your blog and your adventurous approach to cooking! I cook for a pretty unadventurous bunch, so I love to "eat vicariously" through you and Bob. All the best.
Jun. 1, 2010 7:15 am
WW, Always enjoy reading your blog and really enjoyed reading your response to Jim--it's not what you have materially, but what's on the inside. Just about a year ago, I almost went through a divorce because of my selfish and negative ways--thankfully God had another plan for me, and I'm trying ever so hard to be a different person and to enjoy life no matter what comes my way. On that note, you have inspired me to create my own garden as you are doing. My husband and I built our own home and the yard is just short of a jungle--so I decided to get an old kid's pool and several old pots and create my own--therefore allowing us to work on the yard without destroying my garden. This is my first garden ever, and I got a bit carried away with the squash--my kiddie's pool is going to explode! Do you have any other suggestions of what I could use to contain my squash plants? I'm trying to use what I may have around the house as funds are tight and I don't want to buy more pots that will not be used next year. Keep us posted on Bob's progress and we will keep the prayers coming. Thanks for the great blogs---we just love them! Daisy Mae
Jun. 1, 2010 8:32 am
Did you know that the Jews from Israel have been accepted by the Israeli rabbinate as the lost tribe of Dan? That's kinda cool, they have been lost since Babylonian times. There are a lot of Ethiopian immigrants here and their food is delicious! I'm glad you enjoyed.
Jun. 1, 2010 9:27 am
That is a cool peice of information...thanks!!
Jun. 1, 2010 1:56 pm
As always a great blog WW! I look forward to your trips to a new country each and every time! I'm glad that Bob has completed his radiation treatment!! I know it can be hard to find something he wants to eat (dealt with that with my dad during his cancer battle) but you always do an amazing job of finding those things and tweaking them to appeal to him even more! I will continue to have you both in my prayers!
Jun. 1, 2010 2:12 pm
Great Blog as usual WW :D So glad Bob is done with his radiation treatments at least for now. Maybe he can heal a bit to enjoy more of your wonderful looking food. Prayers that the treatments worked and no more are needed!! I have a list of recipes from your blogs I want to try I am going to try a "theme" dinner for the kids featuring world cuisine. We are working on the "rules" rule 1. You must try everything on your plate, at least a bite 2. If you don't like it make yourself a sandwich. 3. I will do this each week or so until we have "eaten the world", so get used to it (LOL). Just wanted to let you know you inspired me :D
Jun. 1, 2010 4:29 pm
Hey WW, another GREAT job with your meal. I just love all the info you give on the country, I feel like I get a little lesson every week. I still can't believe you are able to do all that cooking in a RV...You are my hero! I will keep Bob in my prayers. See ya next week!
Jun. 1, 2010 7:21 pm
wow- I must confess...I would probably never make eithipoian food on my own... but you make it look good!
Jun. 1, 2010 7:26 pm
After reading your blog and all the wonderful, positive comments, I don't want to be redundant, so I'll just add a big fat DITTO!!! Prayer, good thoughts, and hugs coming to you and Bob from South of the Border!!!
Jun. 2, 2010 6:54 am
Hey WW! Greetings from deepest Idaho. Was thinking on your snake dilemma, as I used to be similarly afflicted. Snakes, like bees, respond to verbal communication. Have the little girl bring one over, and have a little chat. I know this sounds woo-woo, but if your promise to never harm one of their tribe, they will reciprocate... thanks for all your inspiration, culinary and otherwise, from the sailboat/roast turkey woman!
Jun. 2, 2010 7:22 am
Sweet Fang...although your suggestion is probably a good one, I can't even look at those things on TV without every muscle in my body clenching up...flight or fight is right...and I'm thinking flight. I've always been this way and have even been hypnotized to try to get me over my fear, but it didn't work. I'm just terrified of them, which is ok...everyone, I think, to a point, has one fear in life and those are mine. Bob's throat is now scabbed over where they hit him with the radiation, so hopefully, it's healing up inside. They really burned him good with that stuff, poor guy!
Jun. 2, 2010 9:09 am
WW, yours is the one blog that I must read. I love all the others but yours is no.1. I really appreciate the sharing that you do. I showed the photo of your 'magic' garden to my hubby and he thought it was wonderful. We have a very 'mini' garden started and it's becoming so exciting. I also appreciate your sharing your hubby and his treatments and ills with us. He is in my prayers as are you. He is a great example of strength to us all. As far as the photos of your cooking... you show how different kinds of food can be easily put together with excitement, fun, and some hard work and come out with an amazing dinner. On top of all this ... your photos, comments, and the discovery of another country!! WW you really need to put it all in a published book. I know I would probably buy a copy for myself and my children(6)as Christmas presents. Love ya and God bless you both.
Jun. 2, 2010 9:16 am
Great pics and great food as always. You manage to give us a learning experience and open us up to new cultures and new foods as well as opening our minds and hearts with everything you blog. The world is a better place because of you. Hugs to you and Bob.
Jun. 2, 2010 11:58 am
Do you have any locally owned farmer's markets in your area? I live in Atl and there are many large (grocery store sized) farmers markets where I find wings for $1 a lb and cardamom for 4 dollars a lb. Most of the inexpensive but good quality farmer's markets are spanish speaking but usually kind to those of us who may not speak it. I have been following your blog for quite some time. I find it inspirational. My husband has a life-long condition and my father just passed away and I find strength in your story :)
Jun. 2, 2010 2:24 pm
We have a summer-time farmer's market here in Cowlitz County, but they don't sell anything like that!! But we do have a couple of Mexican grocery stores, thanks for the idea...I'll check their prices, I know that their game hens, split in half and seasoned, are around $2.50 a pound which is super cheap! I'm glad you stopped by, Miska, I hope you go and read the China blog, as it's posted, too!
Jun. 3, 2010 3:24 am
As usual I love love love reading your blog!!! Always facinating. I agree there is much too much hate in this world and every bit of kindness that we can give in a day slowly breaks the hate cycle... Glad to hear Bob is doing well and fingers crossed for July 8!! Thank you for always enlightening my day with your informative and lovley writtin blog!:)
Jun. 3, 2010 8:10 am
Khat or Qat, is a plant of which the fresh leaves are chewed, well more sucked on, and it gives an amphetamine-like effect. It is illegal in many countries, but a very important part of countries in Eastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. It is a huge commodity and a staple social and cultural product. That wasn't my best writing, but I thought I'd let you know. I researched the use of Khat and the social implications of it being made illegal not long ago.
Jun. 3, 2010 10:41 am
That's another piece of handy info to know, thanks F11BASS! I love getting little tid-bits of info like that!
Jun. 4, 2010 1:45 am
Enjoyed your blog. Glad hubby's radiation is done (and hope his scope turns out great). Food looks interesting. Its just so sad reading about the terrible poverty in a place like Ethopia. Sometimes it seems so hopeless that anything will ever be done to help them. Good idea to mention legit charities.
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About Me
I've been married to my husband for almost 10 years. My husband is a cancer survivor. We live in SW Washington state about 30 miles Mt. St. Helens, but I'm originally from Forks, the little town made famous by the Twilight series. First, I am a food writer. My blog is called Baked Lava and I'm currently cooking my way around the world, a meal from every country and territory and lots of original recipes. I feature my original recipes in a monthly column for our local newspaper. I've had my blog featured in Trailblazer Magazine. I love my container garden and the community garden that I've helped get started. My garden passion is growing rare heirloom tomatoes. I admin several garden groups on Facebook. I love to create new recipes. I don't have children unless you count the 4-legged variety. I am a multiple prize-winning nature photographer. I am also a professional cook and work in the food industry and continue to further my education with every opportunity that comes my way.
My favorite things to cook
I don't have really a favorite thing to cook, per say...I'm not afraid to cook anything. I've recently taught myself how to can and make bread. I still have no great love of making cookies. I'm getting very well-versed in worldwide cuisine, as I'm cooking my way around the world. I love to create new recipes and rarely, anymore, do I have one that flops, but it does and will happen...the road to hell was paved with good intentions, or so they say. My favorite cuisine in this worldwide culinary adventure has been, so far, Belgium...fantastic food! I also am partial to Vietnamese, Korean, Azerbaijani and Hungarian cuisine...and Middle Eastern food kicks @ss!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My favorite family cooking tradition is the weekly international meals that I prepare. The tradition is that my blog readers choose what country they would like to see from week to week and I cook an entire meal for 4 people with a budget of $20. Right now I am in the middle of my "Austerity" project where we are solely eating from the freezers and really have to creative to do this and I am making up recipes as I go...I have used a few AR recipes and credit back to them, though.
My cooking triumphs
I've had several of my original recipes published. I've had my blog featured in a magazine. I now write a monthly food column based on my blog for our local newspaper. I am a Food Buzz featured publisher, I'm on PetitChef, RecipesUS and Foodista among many, many other cooking websites. I guess it's safe to say that due to my cooking, I have now ventured into the world of food blogging and into a smaller group of us fellow global food bloggers and I've made some amazing friends. I've recently had several recipes published in a co-op cookbook of international food bloggers.
My cooking tragedies
There have been several and there aren't enough characters in the 1000 allotted to list them all down! My motto? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You've got nothing to lose by trying something new!
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States