Sunday, February 22, 2015

New Project: International Cooking Challenge

It's mid-winter break, and there are no lunches to make for the kids for the week, so I thought it was a good time to start a new project I've been contemplating for a while.

If you've been reading for a while, you may know that I am a huge fan of my friend Sasha's blog - Global Table Adventure.  She cooked her way around the world in alphabetical order, one week at a time.  It was seriously inspiring.  She has a book coming out soon, Life From Scratch, and I can't wait to read it!

When I was growing up, we never knew what continent we were going to be eating from on any given night.  My father would cook an amazing Indian meal one night, Caribbean the next, then maybe Portuguese, Cajun, and Caribbean.  He was endlessly exploring his culinary boundaries, and ours along with his.

I've done pretty well with my kids, especially with our Wacky Worldly Waffle Wednesdays... I need to get back to doing those.  We all enjoy the inspired waffles.

Recently, though, I feel like I've fallen into a rut.  I haven't been planning meals ahead of time like I really enjoy doing.  I've been kind of shopping for meals one at a time... and that's not ideal.

What better way to get back into the swing of it, and work on our culinary adventures, than a game?

I decided to pose for myself an International Cooking Challenge.  Each week, we pick different countries at random.

The Boy has a giant world map.  It's going to be on his bedroom wall eventually, but for now, he unrolled it to peruse.

I made a spinner wheel using a disused lazy susan.  We cut out wedges from construction paper and made a wheel out of them.  I taped them onto the lazy susan using packing tape, and covered the construction paper entirely with the tape.  This way, we can use a dry erase marker to write our countries of choice on each week.

Once we decided our worldly choices for the week, we spun the wheel.  I have no fancy arrow to decide "winners."  Instead, each of us put a finger above the wheel whilst it spun, and took days.  Where my finger landed would be Monday.  The Boy took Tuesday.  The Girl's would be Wednesday.

We continued in this manner until all days were filled.  We erased the countries that were picked this week, and we will add new choices for next week.
Vintage international cooking book series my brother once gave me - great for inspiration!
After all the days were assigned, we set about picking out recipes.  I looked through some of my many cookbooks, and delved into Pinterest to find inspiration.  I created a new Pinterest board for our ideas.

I will update with recipes and our discoveries along the way.  I would love to have you join us, too!

This week, our culinary adventures will take us to:

We start tomorrow.. tonight's dinner was already planned

Monday - New Zealand
Tuesday - Afghanistan
Wednesday - Bosnia
Thursday - Mexico
Friday - Indonesia
Saturday - Brazil
Sunday - Turkey

I hope this is but the start of a new series of adventures for our family, and I hope that we inspire you to travel the culinary seas.

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  1. What a fabulous idea! Can't wait to see how y'all like you new culinary adventure.

  2. Great idea! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  3. Love this idea! We love country themed meals. Some things have made it into our permanent rotation. We cook Brazilian often, and love Brazilian 'Swiss' Lemonade.