Monday, May 13, 2013

In celebration of Grandmothers from around the world!

Being Mother's Day here this seemed such a fitting post!

At SLATE I read this wonderful post called Celebrating Grandmas and their cuisine from round the World.

Photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s grandmother said something similar to him before one of his many globetrotting work trips. To ensure he had at least one good meal, she prepared for him a dish of ravioli before he departed on one of his adventures.  
“In that occasion I said to my grandma ‘You know, Grandma, there are many other grandmas around the world and most of them are really good cooks,” Galimberti wrote via email. “I'm going to meet them and ask them to cook for me so I can show you that you don't have to be worried for me and the food that I will eat!’ This is the way my project was born!”

Marisa Batini, 80 years old – Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy– Swiss chard and ricotta Ravioli with meat sauce -
The photographer's grandmother Marisa Batini, 80, Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy. Swiss chard and ricotta Ravioli with meat sauce.
Gabriele Galimberti/Riverboom/INSTITUTE

The project, “Delicatessen With Love”, took Galimberti to 58 countries where he photographed grandmothers with both the ingredients and finished signature dishes.

To read the whole article click here and enjoy!

Normita Sambu Arap, 65 years old – Oltepessi (masaai mara) Kenya –– Mboga and orgali (white corn polenta with vegetables and goat)

Normita Sambu Arap, 65, Oltepessi (Masaai Mara), Kenya. Mboga and orgali (white corn polenta with vegetables and goat).
Gabriele Galimberti/Riverboom/INSTITUTE

Delicatessen witInara Runtule, 68 years old – Kekava, Latvia  – Silke €“ (herring with potatoes and cottage cheese) h love Inara Runtule, 68 years old – Kekava, Latvia

Inara Runtule, 68, Kekava, Latvia. Silke €(herring with potatoes and cottage cheese).
Gabriele Galimberti/Riverboom/INSTITUTE

Fifi Makhmer, 62 years old -€“ Cairo, Egypt– Kuoshry (pasta, rice and legumes pie)

Fifi Makhmer, 62, Cairo, Egypt. Kuoshry (pasta, rice and legumes pie).
Gabriele Galimberti/Riverboom/INSTITUTE

Maria Luz Fedric, 53 years old – Cayman Islands Honduran Iguana with rice and beans

Maria Luz Fedric, 53, Cayman Islands. Honduran Iguana with rice and beans.
Gabriele Galimberti/Riverboom/INSTITUTE

Julia Enaigua, 71 years old – La Paz, Bolivia- Queso Humacha (vegetables and fresh cheese soup) –

Julia Enaigua, 71, La Paz, Bolivia. Queso Humacha (vegetables and fresh cheese soup).
Gabriele Galimberti/Riverboom/INSTITUTE

Read more on RiverBoom Here.

Read more on Gabriele Galimberte

Another theme from his website I found interesting is this one on Couch-surfing:

Stories of 100 couchsurfers around the world
CouchSurfing is the act of trading hospitality, practiced by the over 2 million members of the CouchSurfing network present in 230 countries worldwide. A CouchSurfer will stay at the host’s house for a day or more, depending on the arrangement made between the host and the guest. CouchSurfers contact each other through the organization’s nonprofit website, which exists in 33 languages and boasts 20 million hits a day. The movement began in San Francisco in 2003, merging a utopian idea of a better world with the web 2.0.
CouchSurfing was created in order to allow everyone to travel and share the widest possible range of cultural experiences. CouchSurfing is always free, as one of the few rules is that money cannot be exchanged between members. It has become a truly global phenomenon, with couches available in more than 70,000 cities around the world, from Antarctica to northern Alaska, from Tehran to Washington, from the Maldives to Timbuktu.
Riverboom’s Gabriele Galimberti traveled around the world with CouchSurfing for more than a year in order to discover this young, diverse, multicultural, multiracial global community. He has CouchSurfed on all the five continents and has hosted dozens of CouchSurfers in his house in Tuscany. He has slept on a bed worthy of a 5-star hotel in a fairytale villa in Texas and in a room ten square meters in Sichuan, which he shared with 3 generations of a Chinese farmer family. In Ukraine he was hosted by a couple that welcomed him naked, informing him they are “house nudists” and in Botswana by a young man training to become an evangelical pastor. CouchSurfing gives rise to stories of sharing, of friendship and sometimes even of love. Most of all, CouchSurfing provides a way to get to know places and people in a more profound manner and that, after all, is the true essence of travel.

In 2005 contemplating 2 weeks travel in NZ, I found out about Couch-surfing. I didn't sign on but was fascinated. During the trip I ended up staying in the beautiful area west of Auckland with wonderful people through old family connections. Already acquainted this still was a bit like couch-surfing in that it was such an informal arrangement and with people I didn't really know. In the end it turned out to be a truly delightful experience and I stayed 5 days, longer than expected.

My hosts lived in this beautiful region in a place called Titirangi, overlooking Western Port. Taken exploring one day by Marina, a gorgeous woman of Tongan background, we went along the coast road to Piha where the views were spectacular and the experience memorable. 

During my stay I'd hired a car so was able to go in to the city where I remember at the Auckland Gallery seeing work by Colin McCahon, a painter I had long admired for his ferocious take on life and personal journey as an artist as well as powerful canvases. One of the McCahon works was painted on a cupboard door from his kitchen in a Titirangi house where he evidently lived for some time.

Titirangi was a place that really spoke to me and I left there with some regret as if some part of me desperately wanted to stay! 

Needless to say this home stay with a welcoming family was the highlight of my journey. There is something about hospitality and experiencing how others live in their homes that brings so much more life to travelling, especially when travelling alone!

When in London in late 2011 I used a Home-stay organisation suggested to me by lovely blogger friend Mlle Paradis to find accommodation for my 3 different London stints between travels outside of the city. 

Not only were all three homes well appointed and very appealing, their owners were wonderful characters and the first host, Suzanne I must say went completely out of her way for me when I arrived exhausted and not so well. This is her kitchen below. I was utterly charmed... and it was wonderful hearing her stories from her Drama School days with the likes of Anthony Hopkins in her year.

I stayed also with Hilary who'd recently served as Mayor of Chiswick, was still on the council there and readily offered  glimpses into other's worlds outside my own preoccupations.
These were brief visits and the last stay was over two weeks with a couple who let out a few rooms. 

All guests were so busy seeing london I never ran into them but the fact the three stays were in the one district of London, namely around Chiswick, meant that I gained some familiarity with this lovely location, was next to public transport staying in excellent accommodation with hosts happy to help out, and not far from Kew Gardens, all in such pleasant surroundings.

Because this was a working and research trip I liked being able to return to a comfortable home atmosphere. And it was ridiculously the far cheaper options for such quality digs!

Whilst there and wanting to make a quick trip to Paris, in my search I looked into Air Bnb which I was not familiar with and didn't take up in the end. Since then its seems to have become an increasingly popular option of travellers keen to find something less predictable and more homelike.

If you've not heard of it take a peek. When looking at what's available in my city I came across the home of a designer I met through facebook who lives somewhere really delightful and is offering accommodation that I would recommend to friends to take up... in part for the location and style of the Queendlander house... and in equal part for the lovely hosts. 

Travelling alone this becomes a wonderful option because the room costs when solo are the killer part of travel expenses often. And where once a back-packers destination might have seemed the exciting option those years are long gone!

Like with anything we can get lucky or have an experience we don't wish to remember... but that's life and I for one will likely continue to seek out the alternative options that come with positive ratings.

If your coming to Brisbane this could be your bathroom at one inner city option:

this bathroom opens on the pool and the bedroom.

                                                                      The sitting room next to the pool.

Worth exploring to see what comes up... there is a lot of variation on what is being offered and the role played by hosts... but where there are extensive reviews one can glean various things.

Well... this post started in praise of grandmothers and ends with something of a celebration of newer versions of hospitality ... but the themes are not so very removed really. 

From our Mothers and Grandmothers we learn about hospitality and sharing in all its most varied forms... shaped, or perhaps not, by cultural traditions and other influences.

What has come to you that defines your values around hospitality and sharing 'home' with others I wonder?

Have a good week wont you!


le bord doré des nuages said...

Bravo pour ce reportage des grands mères autour du monde. Merci Sophie de m'avoir fait connaitre les travaux de cet excellent photographe.

Sophie Munns said...

hello.. I am so pleased you liked this photographer too!
A wonderful story that's for sure.

Valerianna said...

Wonderful Grandmothers!! My father's family was from Latvia, but the recipes didn't filter down, which might be fine with me cause I don't love herring!

And yes, couchsurfing, what a phenomenon!

Sophie Munns said...

Interesting you didn't get the recipes Valerianna.
You don't have cravings for piroshki? ... please excuse my spelling... I fear I have that quite wrong!
Couch surfing etc... seems all those options are growing these days.