Cooking Albania: Tavë Kosi

I’m not a food blogger. I like to eat, and I’m good at that, but writing about eating is a whole different skill set. A skill set I have not worked very hard at developing. And don’t get me started on food photography. I’m not even a beginner at beginning to learn that…

Also, food blogs often irritate me (that’s a whole other post), and kill my motivation to write. So, I’m way behind on a very fun and worthwhile side of this project.  I’d love to say that I’ve turned some kind of corner, but who knows…the proof is in the blog posts, right? Onward and upwards.

Albania! You have REALLY GOOD food!

For those of you who haven’t been introduced, please meet your new favorite comfort food: Tavë Kosi. Simple, but rich, it has all the flavors you want during the colder months. I’ve been making this on the regular for quite some time now and it’s a favorite in my house; I was notified recently that after Peasant’s Cabbage and Bacon from Poland, this is my spouse’s top pick from this blog adventure.

Tavë kosi

Adapted from a recipe at BBC Food

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2lb boned lamb shoulder, cut into 2in cubes ( I use beef, actually. Don’t tell anyone)
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4.5 tbsp long-grain rice, rinsed
  • 3.5 tbsp plain flour
  • 2.5 cups Greek-style yogurt
  • 4 eggs, beaten ( I used 5 this time. Why not?)
  • freshly grated nutmeg, to finish
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Country #44: New Caledonia

I am so excited about my next destination! I hate to admit how unaware I was about New Caledonia’s place in the world – as in, I literally had no idea where it was – but now I do know, and I’m thrilled to learn as much as I can.

I already have quite a few books lined up and ready to go, so I’m diving right in.

Nice to meet you, New Caledonia!

 

Reading Ukraine: Borderland by Anna Reid

What a world we live in. So much we don’t know…but we can try to learn. Books are one of the best weapons in the battle to gain knowledge, especially something like Borderland, my selection for reading about Ukraine. Written by Anna Reid, a British journalist with work and family ties to the country, it’s an informative, well-researched, and very readable dive into the history and politics of a darkly complicated part of the world. It’s perhaps not the most in-depth resource out there but it’s an approachable one, and that’s a win when it comes to a place buried in tangled webs.

Written in 1997, it goes without saying that much has transpired since but after absorbing this book, you’re in a good spot to find out what’s happened next. Bonus for Americans: it’ll give you insight into the shenanigans of Paul Manafort and some other folks currently under investigation, and of Putin’s motives; it won’t make you feel any better, but at least you’ll have a solid framework of understanding…

View of Carpathian National Park from Hoverla. Carpathian National Park, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Ukraine
View of Carpathian National Park from Hoverla. Carpathian National Park, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Ukraine (Image by Balkhovitin via Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

Country #43: Ukraine

Oh boy, here we go.
I don’t really know much about Ukraine, but I do know that there’s a lot I should know.

So, time to learn.