Every once in a while I get an email that moves me. For some people, my blog means the chance to remember their grandmother who made the best kopai ever, or their long-departed brother who could make oka like nobody's business. For some people, it's a chance to relive their childhood. Read on to see what this site meant for Emma and her kids.
You have helped me to connect to my heritage! For that I am so so grateful.
I am part Samoan, but for a long time estranged through family ignorance and situation from my Samoan relatives and culture.
To look at me, other Samoans know I am Samoan - but my children are very fair and you wouldn't know they are Samoan too.
Recently my daughter completed a group social studies project at school on Samoa, and seeing the lack of knowledge and support from the teacher and school really gave me a kick in the pants! My children live here in Auckland - this multicultural city, yet they exist in a mostly white bubble. None of the teaching staff are Pacific Islanders...and I realised that I am failing my kids by not bringing their heritage into their consciousness, and making it a part of their everyday life.
So together we have been reading, watching, talking about all things Samoan.
And to complete the project, I used recipes from your wonderful blog to cook a feast for kids in the project, and we invited our neighbourhood kids along too.
We made Supasui, Keke pua'a, and the Poi banana pudding. It was a big hit! (Maybe even life-changing).
So thank you again for sharing your wonderful recipes and cooking techniques,
Thank you Emma for sharing our culture with your children and your whole neighborhood. You really made my day with your email.
And these photos were sent in by Helen and Tina from Queensland. Check out their scrumptious panipopo.
Finally, from a corner of the world I know very little about, here is part of an email from Kristina:
Hello,my name is Kristina, I am form Lithuania, North Europe. First of all I would like to say how much I like your blog and recipes. Samoan food is absolutely exotic for us (we have almost 6 months of cold and snowy winter here), but I like to learn something new about cultures and to try new recipes, of course. I made keke pua'a, paifala, panipopo, vaifala and even pisua (it was the very first time we ate tapioca:) - and everything was a huge hit in my family. Thank you!...
Thank you, Kristina, for making Samoan food all the way over there in Lithuania. I'm inspired now to try out some Lithuanian food. Spurgos looks like a nice dish to start off with.
It's amazing to me how far the internet reaches - readers of our blog are making Samoan food in Dubai, Saint Lucia, Germany and even in Chile! - so I have never regretted doing what I do for this blog. I'm settling in nicely in this new location and very soon I will post up some new recipes for you all. Thanks for your continued support and for all the feedback and emails.
Your success in the kitchen is also mine.