A week ago, I came across this press release which lifted my spirit so much and gave me enough encouragement to continue what I am doing. An article by Thomas Page of CNN mentioned Aftrad Village Kitchen as one of the 5 African Food bloggers to follow now, CNN EDITION. I thought wohoo, this is great! To be mentioned as one of the 5 bloggers to follow now made me ecstatic. But what was more interesting was his summary about Aftrad Village Kitchen, in his own words:
‘’Great recipes? Check. Step-by-step guides? Naturally. Fully illustrated step-by-step guides? Even better. Aftrad Village Kitchen’s no-nonsense blog is a lean, mean foodie machine, knocking up the best of Ghanaian cuisine on a weekly basis. Run by an ex-pat living in London via Accra and Botswana, it’s all about helping “people connect with their African identity through food.”Recipes span mains, desserts and sides; broad in their scope and often long in their ingredients lists. Special mentions go to street food dish Waakye and condiment Shito, Ghana’s ubiquitous Black Pepper Sauce. Foodies buying the latter off the shelf, take note — there’s a lot more to it than you might think’’.
His summary is exactly what Aftrad Village Kitchen is set out to do. To share great authentic African recipes, provide step by step guide and easy to follow recipes and basically a vehicle to help people connect with their African identity. Yes this is what Aftrad Village Kitchen is all about. I started Aftrad Village Kitchen out of my passion to pass on and teach my children and others about their Ghanaian culture through food. Becoming an expat, I realised the pressing need for my kids to know their identity and be well routed in it. I also craved well loved dishes which I couldn’t easily get my hands on. I wish I knew how to make lots of them. I also realised, the ones I knew how to cook, I was gradually forgetting how to make them because I had not cooked some dishes in a while. My mum was my cooking mentor and inspiration but unfortunately she was no longer around for me to fall on for great tips and recipes. That’s when I thought, I need to start documenting what I know and gather information on other well loved foods, ingredients and dishes. A Ghanaian saying (in the local twi dialect) goes, ‘Amamre woho yi, yento ntwene’ meaning, we don’t discard culture. The fact that we live outside Ghana doesn’t mean we have to forget about our culture. What was even worrying was the fact that certain recipes were gradually dying out with the older generation in Ghana. Recipes were handed down by word of mouth or show and tell sessions done by our grandmothers, mothers, aunties, sisters, cousins etc generation after generation. There weren’t much documented recipes and even when they existed, they lacked measurements. Recipes were learnt using good judgement on the proportions of ingredients to use. So this is where the passion stems from. It is my desire that Aftrad Village Kitchen will be the place to reach out to when looking for authentic and traditional Ghanaian dishes and with time this would extend to other African dishes. If you share in this passion, or know someone who would benefit from this information, please do not hesitate to share and recommend. Also if you have a traditional recipe which you would like to share and preserve, please don’t hesitate to send it via firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s together help to preserve our traditional food and culture. Thank you.