I’m hungry


My name is Kim and I am an American living in Cape Town, South Africa.

A view of Lion's Head and Signal Hill after an excruciating hike up Table Mountain

I arrived in South Africa on a study abroad program in 2008 and fell in love with the country as well as a man named Tyrone (pronounced Tyran).  Four years later, here I am in South Africa, smitten in my tiny apartment with a barely-there yet perfect kitchen, a small garden, and my Ty.  When I am not cooking or eating, I am studying towards my Master’s in Public Health at University of Cape Town and am honing in on my skills as a Research Assistant at a local research centre.

My Ty and I in Kruger Park

Growing up I lived off of all things unhealthy and easy to cook – Kraft mac n’ cheese, Ramen noodles (AKA two-minute noodles for you South Africans), Chinese food, and frozen pizza bagels – and was a chunker because of it!  My dad and stepmom slowly taught me the pleasures of cooking – the chopping, chatting, spicing, and smells– and most importantly, the beautiful tradition of family dinner.  My mom is my going-out-to-eat partner and I presume is the one who gave me the always-wanting-to-go-out-to-eat genes.  My sister, who is 5 years older than me, let me spend time cooking with her under the condition that I peel her garlic. And Ty taught me how to cook the meanest mince and spaghetti dinner with his secret ingredient Portuguese Chicken Spice …I have some amazing food memories that have resonated in my mind, which I will share with you as time goes on.

As soon as I wake up I begin thinking about food.  After breakfast, I am thinking about what I am going to make for lunch, and after lunch, I am thinking about what I am going to make for dinner, and after dinner, I am thinking about what I am going to make the following day.  I don’t food plan for the week and tend not to write shopping lists but rather am all about buying a plethora of random ingredients and figuring out what fun dishes I can make.  Cooking in my little kitchen soothes my soul and enables me to express myself.  To me, food is not just a basic life necessity but also one of the greatest pleasures in life.  I love to cook because I love to eat but nothing brings me greater joy than cooking for my friends and family and listening to their “food-gasms” as they dig in to one of my creations.

Me at an Indian Food cooking course

It is important that your taste buds are able to express themselves and an amazing meal enables them to do so.  The perfect blend of aromatic flavors will elicit a tongue tantalizing, tastebud teasing, moreish “food-gasm” and I rate the success of my meals by measuring their magnitude.

Despite my limited pallet growing up, I have become extremely adventurous in my eating and am eager to try any and all types of foods, especially local cuisines, which is how the name of my blog came to be.  A work colleague of mine took me to a township café and I bravely ordered tripe because I had never tried it before.  My friend dug in, slurping up the smelly, squidgy, multicolored grey, towel-material casings swimming in pale soup, and then, with a huge smile on his face, scooped up a spoonful for me to try.  I took a deep breath and as that spoonful fell into my mouth, I immediately had to pray to the food gods and center my chi in order to swallow.  And ever since, I vow to eat all things except for tripe.

Tripe

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16 thoughts on “I’m hungry

  1. Ah yes. I remember the garlic peeling my little cooking slave. lol. Dad taught me to make pasta sauce using like an entire bulb of garlic, so surely I didn’t want my hands stinking for the next week (even though my breath probably did. lol.). You used to be more than happy to help do the dirty deed!

    PS. Don’t knock the culinary delights I made for you in your formative years. Mac and Cheese and Ramen are like total staples.

    • I would never knock mac and cheese! It is and always will be my ultimate comfort food favorite. Mom mailed me about 10 packets last year and we coveted them dearly. I believe we have one packet of Annie’s left and are saving it for a special occasion! 🙂

      • Ah. Sounds like me and Foxon Park Soda. I savored that 12 pack of soda for months and months. LOL. One of Gabe’s best gifts ever.

  2. I also wake up thinking about food! That is why we’re such awesome cooking buddies!! The curry class photo took me back to those glorious evenings….. *sigh*. Happy blogging, and remember that D and I are always read for a food “gasm”… bring it on!!! Except for tripe….

  3. Love your blog, very nice Kim! It brought me back to our times in the kitchen and especially baking our favorite whole foods banana bread together….yummmmm. Have lot’s of other fun memories, like that crazy looking cake you made for your dad for his b;day one year…so colorful! Keep having fun in the kitchen ❤

  4. I went to a really yummy Italian market called Bay City Market in Santa Monica today. I ate a monster of a sandwich called the Godmother filled with prosciutto, sopressata, mortadella, provolone, shredded lettuce, pickled celery jalapenos, pepperoncin, tomato, mayo, and mustard. I wouldn’t try making this one at home, unless u know a good butcher..
    Bong-

  5. I remember that you had emailed me the recipe for Bobotie and I never tried it, mainly because I’m not a red meat eater. Do you think any substitute would work? Let me know if you think of something…there must be vegetarians in South Africa : ) Keep writing Kim, can’t wait to see what’s next.

    • Hi Sue, you could always use chicken instead of beef, but if you want to go totally vegetarian, I bet you could substitute lentils and grated carrots and it would be tasty! If you try it, you must let me know how it goes!

    • Just finished making Chewy Thug Bars…nice recipe. We tried the burn your taste buds technique of tasting as you did and now we are waiting for bars to cool to do the final taste test. Beautiful pictures and wonderful recipes!

      • Yay! You are the first to try one of my recipes! Did you make any substitutions or additions? I am glad you liked them and sorry about your tastebuds but I hope it was worth it. Keep trying more! And please send me your enchilada pie recipe so I can try it out – sounds awesome.

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