Five minutes with Bridging Peoples’ Deb Cummins

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Founder of Bridging Peoples and all-round go-getter, Deborah Cummins chats candidly with Cooking Circles about Timorese women, her passion for Timor Leste and the story behind Bridging Peoples…

It’s hard to talk about ‘Timorese women’, because of course their experiences and world views vary so much depending on what class they come from, and depending on whether they consider themselves more country women or city women…

Continue reading “Five minutes with Bridging Peoples’ Deb Cummins”

So it’s official!

Last week (Wednesday 15 April), Cooking Circles was celebrated and went public with a launch at local café, The Front Café and Gallery. The event was a chance for attendees to hear all about what Cooking Circles is, the story so far, and why it exists. More than 40 people crammed into the tiny café and snacked on a recipe inherited by the Timorese from the Portuguese, seafood rissoles, and shared platters of tropical fruits. Continue reading “So it’s official!”

Farewell…

My last night in Timor Leste. I imagine it is not the last night I’ll ever be here, not now that I’ve fallen madly for this country. Tonight we sat down to a farewell dinner feast of seaweed salad, a tuna and tomato pasta, and a delicious dish called tukkir. Tukkir cemented my curiosity of Timorese cuisine on my trip two years ago, and it is a dish that is as special to cook as it is to eat. Continue reading “Farewell…”

Culinary Conversation: More than just cooking

There’s something special about cooking with lots of people.cooking

Tonight we’ve been making naan karau — a buffalo stew with vegetables — with around eight to 10 people in the indoor and outdoor kitchens, sitting in between and outside. Some of us have been cooking (I’m learning how to cut buffalo, fry chips and cook over a fire) and others…cleaning as we go. Continue reading “Culinary Conversation: More than just cooking”

Aguasal: Portuguese Fish Soup

vegesToday I ate more papaya, was given fresh mangoes from a tree, ate a guava from Berta’s tree in her yard, and saw a giant jackfruit (also known as breadfruit) tree at a friend’s place.  An ex-pat here tells me the passionfruit is good right now so I’ll pick some up in the next few days.

Dinner tonight was Agosal, or Portugese Fish Soup. Not that I’ve cooked fish quite like this before. Continue reading “Aguasal: Portuguese Fish Soup”

Bananas, Papaya, Laughter and more…

bananasI love the fruit in Timor Leste. The sweetness of bananas and zing of grapefruits are two (very simple) reasons that I’ve returned to this spectacular country!

Yesterday, I visited the home of a Timorese friend, Anita. Her backyard has a banana tree that towers over the household kitchen sink. There are young bananas on the tree and my dear friend Vina suggests we cook with them later this week.

Alright – I’m in.

Continue reading “Bananas, Papaya, Laughter and more…”

Dili.

IMG_1526I don’t know whether the feeling in my stomach is because of nerves or the antimalarials. I’m thinking it’s both.

Today I’ll reach Dili, Timor Leste, also known as East Timor. I’ll be reacquainted with my Timorese older ‘sister’ and her family. We’ll spend our time cooking and I’ll be learning all about food in Timor. Continue reading “Dili.”