Salad with my Favorite Vinaigrette

This post is a collaboration with Eden Tree.


I love a good salad, especially on a hot day at home, and feel a vinaigrette takes it to the next level. My Favorite Vinaigrette is more like a life hack than a recipe (no measurements, just guidelines!) that I hope will bring you joy! I make my vinaigrette in big batches and keep in a bottle in the fridge.


Favorite Vinaigrette
  • A generous splash of a good vinegar ( I like Apple Cider Vinegar right now, but anything goes)
  • Two generous splashes of oil, preferably Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Something sweet (Just a little Ghanaian honey is fab)
  • One or two cloves of garlic
  • A dollop of French mustard
  • Dried herbs like Thyme, Oregano, Tarragon, or a mix like Herbes the Provence
  • Black Pepper and Salt to taste

Combine all the wet ingredients in a bottle with a reliable cap. I like to put the cloves in the bottle whole, but for them to release their garlicky taste better, you can bruise, break, or if in a hurry to gobble up the vinaigrette, press them. Add the dry spices and the mustard and shake. In my experience, it runs out before it goes bad (but can probably sit safely for a few weeks in the fridge).


  • A bag of Eden Tree Lettuce
  • Half a bag of Eden Tree Basil
  • Half a bag of Eden Tree Parsley
  • Diced Eden Tree Tomatoes
  • Slanted Eden Tree Cucumber or unripe pawpaw
  • Possibly: Smoked fish, olives, lightly boiled green beans, boiled eggs, a good bread etc.

Separate and rinse lettuce leaves and the herbs. It is not strictly needed as Eden Tree vegetables are ready to eat off the shelf, but I always wash veg for freshness. Cut the dried leaves (wet leaves repel vinaigrette, dry leaves soak them up!) and combine with the other cut ingredients. With green beans, eggs, and smoked fish it turns into a Salad Nicoise, with olives and feta cheese it is a Greek Salad, with a bread and some olives it is a good lunch!

Drizzle the Favorite Vinaigratte over your delicious and healthy salad at the table. Soak up any remains with a good bread!


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Reactions to the State of the Nation in 2015: #SOTNGhana

This morning, Ghana’s president John Dramani Mahama stood in front of parliament to give us this yearly landmark speech. The radio stations have been gearing up for days and as a social media pundit who loves politics, I had been looking forward to this – very significant online – event.*

The state of the nation is kind of mixed at this moment. I mean not having power two nights/days out of three is very, VERY bad. But there are also improvements in infrastructure, especially water in the Grater Accra area. There is much hope that the pending IMF deal will restore confidence in the Ghanaian economy, but also many critical voices towards Ghana having to “go beg”. Many other aspects of the state of the nation can of course be discussed, but I will focus on the reactions.

Last year the State of the nation address was criticised for being too jovial This year, the tone was different, but I was saddened to realise that Ghanaians on Twitter could not take anything the president said in his speech at face value, mostly sour comments and satirical outbursts filled my Twitter time line. However, I was also not surprised. We are hot, angry and some of us hungry due to the current power crisis. It was also pointed out that a state of the nation address is supposed to chronicle what has happened thus far, but instead of somber reports, grand promises of future large scale projects were rather trumpeter out – election campaigning style! Mahama even mentioned what he was to do in his second term!

The opposition came to the parliament dressed in black and red to display their sorrow at the current state of affairs, and that deepening raft between governing NDC and opposition NPP is maybe the most worrying as, pointed out by small party PPP leader Ndoum earlier in the week, Ghana stands in front of challenges that need longterm, non-partisan solutions.

Now, Mahama towards the very tail end of his speech did touch upon that:

I do agree with the analysis made by both Nduom and Mahama, but attitude and excessive partisanship are most definitely leadership questions. Where is the bipartisan IMF delegation? The humility of statesmen and women in the face of hard times? The rapid responses to the worst effects of power crisis for citizens? Not much of those around for now.

*Although it was puzzling to us the president “announced” a hashtag different from the one we have used for years when discussing this event: #SOTNGhana, but did not even use that new hashtag in his own tweets! (Thanks to @Kwabena for pointing that out)

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The Melcom Collapse, the Tip of the Iceberg?

Waking up this morning was painful. All day yesterday, we were onlookers to what seemed like the most unnecessary catastrophe and its excruciatingly slow rescuing process, still ongoing. A six storey building holding a department store collapsed in the morning trapping and crushing many inside.

Exactly when and how many are affected, we still do not know. Some reports say the building collapsed just as the store was about to open other reports say when it had already opened and hence the scale of this disaster is still unknown.

The news spread like wildfire around the globe, but under the rubble our sisters and brothers were – and are – still stuck. The rescuing scene seemed chaotic – it was broadcast live on TV. As one of Ghana’s most popular shops had burst open in a bustling business area, there was a large crowd surrounding the scene that seemed curious and in some cases in shock. We had scattered reports about looting, equipments missing, and cracks in the building seen and ignored.

This morning the report came that the building had no building permit. A six storey building smack in the middle of a vivid business area. No building permit. What do we make of this?

On Twitter the discussion flowed back and forth:

Radiostation Joy FM asked on Facebook:

“The Collapsed MELCOM Shop in Achimota like Many Other Disasters, Has Got Ghana Talking. But As We Talk, More Such Weak Structures Are Left Standing and Being Used…. Tell Us Of Disasters Which You Know Are Just Waiting To Happen in Ghana!”

Their post had 136 comments last time I checked. Some of the comments cover other commercial buildings and even schools!

This morning, this is all I can think about. Is the Melcom collapse not a freak accident, but the tip of  the iceberg? Are there hundreds or thousands of similar death traps masking as buildings open to the public out there?

Why do Ghanaians have to risk their lives when going to work, when going to buy everyday items, when attending school? 

The institutions to maintain standards, to follow the laws are there, but why are they failing Ghanaians and who is in charge?

Follow #Melcomcollapse on Twitter for updates.

Pic borrowed from Talk of GH.



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Achebe, Szymborska and Kindle: My 2012 Readings

Inspired by one of my newly discovered favorite blogs, Kinna Reads, I will hereby attempt to answer the question “What are your reading plans for 2012”?

Overall, I just hope to read a novel a month, because really this is looking like a very busy year, professionally. When reading is part of your work, I have come to realize that “relaxing with a book” does not have the same allure. Then add a nursing baby as the cherry on top!

Still, what self-respecting writer-wannabe can live without reading?

Right now, I am reading Achebe‘s Anthills of the Savannah, slowly, slowly. I like it, especially the idea of capturing a corrupt government from the inside, but stylistically the constant switch in persons telling the story confuses me. Plus I want to know if any part of this book can be used for understanding dictatorship, say in a classroom. Hence, I need time. I am also reading the collected works of Wieslawa Szymborska with the same non-speed. Now, this slow reading is for a completely different purpose. I read slowly to create my own images and because I like to think about that these are all the poetry we will ever have by her as she passed away earlier this month.

Then I am trying to get used to my Kindle. See pic! The reason I since October 2011 own a Kindle is all due to book-bloggers Accra Books and Things and Fiona Leonard. They convinced me that reading off a Kindle is just like reading from a book, only better. As ordering books to Ghana is a lil’bit of a nightmare, I normally fill my suitcases with literature. BUT STILL, if in Ghana when one hears of a new book, waiting is included. Enter the Kindle. In seconds one can get books of interest. Seconds! I am not even exaggerating! It is amazing really.

So far, I have read Fiona Leonard‘s book the Chicken Thief in full and many samples of books (they are free). Right now, I am “involved in” two non-fiction books on my Kindle. One is book on teaching critical thinking by bell hooks. I find it extremely relevant and am happy to finally be reading “the author without capital letters”. The other book by Ester Perel is called Mating in Captivity and is about long-term relationships. Interesting topic and great, flowy prose. My friends were right, by the way. Reading off a Kindle is better than reading from a physical book.

As I am bilingual, my reading habits are as well. I have read a collection of shorter texts Avig Maria, by Mia Skäringer. I have a few softbacks I might turn to, and my cook books, but maybe there will be less reading in Swedish now that I have a Kindle? The reason is the Kindle only carries English titles as you have to buy them off a big American chain store…

Kinna has promised to report monthly on her reading progress. Let me not make any promise of that sort, I would rather like to know about your plans!

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