Since Covid-19 has taken away the ability for us to travel freely throughout the world, I have decided to do a different spin on travel. I call it Lyn’s International Culinary Travel Adventure.
**I want to put the disclaimer out now that I am NOT a chef, but DO enjoy cooking and baking. I love to experiment and am not afraid to try new things. Usually if something does not turn out, I try it again until it does. You will also notice that I did not start taking my pictures until a little later. Guess I better make those dishes again that I did not get a picture of. **
Here is what I do:
- I have two large plastic cups that have a tag on them. They are labeled:
- NEW SELECTION (within this cup I have the names of six of the seven continents written on a piece of paper that are folded up)
- DONE (once I randomly select one, the piece of paper goes in here)
- I have six large plastic cups that represent six of the seven continents in the world (I left out Antarctica). They are labeled:
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- AUSTRALIA / OCEANIA
- Within each of the six cups, I have the names of every country that is associated with that continent written on a popsicle stick (I found the list at https://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/countries_of_the_world.htm)
- I have two more large plastic cups that represent the United States and Canada. Within each of these cups are written on popsicle sticks the names of the States and Provinces, respectively.
- Each week, I dump the pieces of paper in the NEW SELECTION cup out on the table or floor, close my eyes, mix the papers up and then blindly select a piece of paper.
- I put the other papers back in the NEW SELECTION cup, and then look to see which continent I drew. I then put the piece of paper in the DONE cup.
- Once I know which continent I have selected, I get the plastic cup for the continent and spill out the popsicle sticks out on the floor or table and blindly select a country.
- I put the other popsicle sticks back in the cup and look to see which country I selected. If I select the continent of North America, and select the U.S. or Canada, then I must go one step further to select which state, or which province.
- I then put all the cups away and go research the country I selected.
- I research: Where it is located, and what is north, east, south and west of the location; what the capital is; the official language(s); the climate and what food staples they generally have for their country.
- I then do a little research as to their cuisine. What their traditional meals are, what the side dishes might be and then the desserts that the natives enjoy.
- I select from my research what main dish, side dish and dessert I want to make, and snip a picture of each.
- Monday through Thursday I go find the ingredients, and on Thursday or Saturday (depending) I generally make the dessert.
- Usually Friday I will then make the selected meal and enjoy the tastes (and hope they look like the pictures I snipped).
- After the meal, I will start all over again with my culinary travel selection.
- I will cook from all six continents, before I start all over again with the continents, but only do the country (state or province) once until I have culinarily traveled every continent, every country, every state, and every province. If you do the math, it should take me an exceptionally long time to do this, but the joy I have exploring, researching, and then cooking is a lot of fun.
There are so many ways to go about doing this that the options are endless. It is just a matter of finding something that you enjoy and then share it with others.