Thursday, January 1, 2009


For a while my endlessly creative mother sought to add educational value to dinner time by periodically featuring the cuisine and cultural elements of a particular region of the world. Or perhaps it had less to do with education than it did with attempting to slow down and improve the dining habits of four voracious boys. I have vague memories of enjoying this project, though I can remember only one specific dinner, highlighting Finland I think. It's not quite accurate to say that I recall the food itself. What I truly recollect is that she turned our bathroom into a scorching sauna and made us sweat like the little pigs we were!

For years I've thought it would be fun to replicate this project. We all enjoy, to one degree or another, cooking and eating eclectic foods. The boys are geography-mad at the moment, even having invented a game where they spin their globes, blindly jam a finger onto the whirling surface, and write down such facts as they can glean about whatever country has been crushed beneath their Brobdingnagian digits. Since one globe is about thirty years old it's also fun to talk about why it has places like the USSR and Yugoslavia and the other does not.

This will be a 2009 adventure. I don't know that I'll maintain a regular schedule, but as time constraints permit we'll undertake this culinary odyssey, which I have dorkily dubbed Grubtrotting. I hope that this year we'll be able to fill in at least a couple dozen countries on the map.

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