I grow old … I grow old … I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. ~ T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock“ Like it or not, once you’re born, you grow old. (If you’re lucky.) The end is inevitable. Think taxes. And Western society views growing old like figures … More A Meditation on Elizabeth Marshall Thomas’s “Growing Old: Notes on Aging with Something Like Grace”
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
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
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!!
Writers throw out the words “African cooking” all the time. I know. I have written same words, to my great embarrassment. But stop and think about something for a moment. The term “African cooking” is just as ridiculous as calling the cooking of Europe “European cooking,” lumping together the cuisine of France with that of … More Peanuts and the Cooking of West Africa
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
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
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