I don’t ever need a reason to dream up of something new or unusual to cook at any given time. However for this menu of rustic, everyday food borrowing from the culinary traditions of disparate parts of the world, I needed more than my imagination. The inspiration came from the travels of Rita Golden Gelman.

Her book ‘Tales of a Female Nomad’ was our latest book club read. It is a fascinating book in which the author chronicles her life and her experiences as an itinerant traveler. The interesting thing about Rita’s story is her idea to take a short break from her diurnal life to re-evaluate her marriage turns into a nomadic existence till present time, spanning over a quarter of a century!!! While any first person account of such travels would be an interesting read, Rita observes, participates and narrates from the point of view of an anthropologist, giving the book a non judgmental tone of voice.

Here is Rita in her own words ”I am a modern-day nomad. I have no permanent address, no possessions, except the ones I carry, and I rarely know where I’ll be six months from now. I move through the world without a plan, guided by instinct, connecting through trust, and constantly watching for serendipitous moments”.

Doesn’t that intrigue you? If you love to read about far off places, please get a hold of this book and I’d love for you to share your thoughts on Tales…..with me.

                                                                                                                                                           This magical scene right outside my front door caused a slight change of plans for our book club meeting. Oh well, we met the next day, we chatted and we ate our way through several continents!                                                           

Arepa chips, Corn and Avacado mash, Tomatillo Salsa and some Atole de Arroz for dessert as a nod to her South American travels.

Her brief stay in Israel was the inspiration behind this plate.

I wandered into a cooking demonstration for Gado Gado at a folk festival a while ago and it was such a great hit at our family table, that I chose this popular Indonesian dish to represent Rita’s extended stay in Indonesia. We also had coffee, Indonesian style, a spoon of condensed milk topped with strongly brewed coffee. Yum.


I have to admit to a cop out. I just set out a bowl of Kiwi fruit as I could not come up with anything else for, well you guessed it, New Zealand, where she ‘mussels’  her way through!

A special thanks to the group behind the blog ‘This book makes me cook’ where I came across this book during one of my blog travels. Thanks so much for introducing this book to me.

Thanks for dropping by,

Best, S.