Cabbage and Black-Eyed Peas, Oh My! A New Year’s Tradition in the South

New Year’s Day, coming up fast. Planning your menu, are you? There’s a good reason to hesitate, to take your time, because there’s really only one thing to eat that day. Black-eyed peas, a gift from a part of Africa ruled by the French for a long time. They were there as early as 1659 at St. … More Cabbage and Black-Eyed Peas, Oh My! A New Year’s Tradition in the South

Cooking in Africa: Memories and Reflections During COVID-19 Isolation

During the week of May 11 – 15, Elatia Harris interviewed me about my latest book, Wisdom Soaked in Palm Oil, available from both Amazon.com and IngramSpark. Read the whole interview below. Day 1: EH: This week I am conducting a live interview in this space with Cynthia Bertelsen, author of Wisdom Soaked in Palm … More Cooking in Africa: Memories and Reflections During COVID-19 Isolation

“Wisdom Soaked in Palm Oil: Journeying Through the Food and Flavors of Africa” My Newest Book Now Available!!

Announcing the publication of my newest book, a collection of essays and meditations related to Africa and the wonderful food there, dedicated to the women of Africa, may they persist: And the book includes dozens of recipes, too! Plus a multitude of chapters on ingredients found in the cooking of Africa. Africa has a way … More “Wisdom Soaked in Palm Oil: Journeying Through the Food and Flavors of Africa” My Newest Book Now Available!!

Vivre en l’Outre-Mer, or, The Trials of Living in French Congo ca. 1923: Part III

Once settled into their bungalow overlooking Stanley Pool in Brazzaville, the Vassals faced the problem of hiring household help, especially a cook. Unlike many Europeans, they found a cook who knew his business, of whom Gabrielle wrote: I am glad, too, to have a change from German cooking.* Our primitive black Matamba is far superior … More Vivre en l’Outre-Mer, or, The Trials of Living in French Congo ca. 1923: Part III

Prometheus Unbound: New Evidence on Humans’ Early Use of Fire

I woke up this morning fully intending to end my two weeks of silence on this blog – due to familial obligations – with a preliminary examination of the role of ducks in French cuisine. But that alluring topic took a sudden backseat when I opened up my local newspaper and read, “Humans May have … More Prometheus Unbound: New Evidence on Humans’ Early Use of Fire