Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cookbooks and Diasporas

Some people come into your life, eat your food, sleep on your couch, steal your toothbrush and leave your apartment looking like it was hit by a hurricane - and you'd invite them back anytime. One such person is Kate Press, a Torontonian with piercing blue eyes, crazy hair, funky dance moves and a smoky, Kathleen Turner-like voice.

She came into my life, took over the spare room in my apartment and persuaded me to help her with a pet project - a cookbook of Sierra Leonean dishes, with a vegetarian twist.

Kate is now in Toronto, en route to Israel, where she will spend the next year doing research funded by a fellowship. Yup, she's one of those. A world traveler you can't keep in one place for long.

The book is finally finished and will be at the printers this week. An electronic copy is also available, send an email if you'd like a copy. The printed copies will be available at Diaspora, a cafe in Freetown serving NGO workers, diplomats and middle-class Freetonians.

Diaspora, where I am right now writing this post, is an oasis in a city that can be crazy at times. Jazz on the stereo, cappuccinos and ginger beer, chicken and green mango salad for lunch, both serious and frivolous discussions swirl about the room while I hide from the rain and work at the office.

Once the rain stops I'll have to leave. Back into the fray. Until then...

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