(Photo by Joanne Saab) Born in 1970 to traditionally conservative parents in South Africa, I’m still trying to figure out where the wanderlust came from. The cooking is in my genes. My maternal grandmother had a catering business and my paternal grandmother was a farmer’s wife that made amazing traditional food as only a farmer’s wife can make. My mom inherited my grandmother’s cooking gene and also chose to go the traditional South African cooking route. Although my mom taught me to cook, and from the moment I burned the rice at age 11, I leaned a little more towards the exotic.
I received my holistic nutrition diploma in 2014 and when my parents recently developed serious health issues, I decided to add a healthy nutrition section to the blog in the hopes of not only helping them, but also anyone else out there who may need ideas for more nutritious meals.
When I met my husband in 1998, neither of us had ever traveled outside of Southern Africa. I was his scuba instructor and within 6 months we were married. I inherited my extremely talented pastry chef son from him, as well as two amazing twin daughters, Melanie and Tanya. My son, Craig, was 6 at the time and our life long journey started together right there in South Africa. Currently, we have been married for 18 years. During this time, we lived in 6 different countries, moved 9 times and traveled as much as possible.
We now live in Texas, USA. Living in the USA is a big deal for me. Being South African, I never imagined that this horizon will ever be a blip on my radar. My wildest dream did come true.
As my writing progresses, you will experience various countries and places with me, as well as some of the culturally diverse foods we’ve encountered. We’ll move beyond just where we’ve lived and explore some of the places we’ve visited, as well as some of the places yet to be discovered that inspires me to write about the food.
We’ve traveled to many places, but at the same time seen so little. The world is a big place and it seems impossible to see it all. In places like the Seychelles I said, “This is the most beautiful place in the world, but can I really claim that statement to be true? I haven’t yet seen the whole world and may never have enough time to do so. I believe this need to see it all, this urge, is what builds wanderlust. That incredible desire to experience the beauty of the whole world before I lie my head to rest is what drives me to live and to cook. Seeing the whole world, of course, may never be possible, so now I will attempt to cook my way through the places we’ve seen by writing a cook book. The question for this blog remains: Where to begin?
I thought I might start in chronological order, but then decided I will start with the last big travel that we’ve done: Israel. It was a special place to visit. I was at a tremendous crossroad in my life and we went there for my daughter’s wedding. This is also where my 3 children – Melanie, Tanya and Craig – live. My heart belongs to them, so it is only appropriate that Israel is the starting point.
As I slowly build what is a new experience for me, you will find a few sample recipes from the book that’s under construction and hopefully later, some good nutrition ideas.
About the Photos: Unless otherwise stated-All the photography was done by me in our dining room. I did an online food photography workshop and read “Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots” by Nicole S. Young. Yet, I felt intimidated by all the ISO, fStop, “chasing the light” and various technical settings. Then my husband bought me a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and things became ridiculously simple. It has a food photography setting! I’m sure the professionals will giggle in their sleeves a little at my use of one setting, but it is what is working for me at this present moment and it is all about living in the moment, right?