Uniformed men on horseback, lassos at the ready, chase brown and black people stumbling in the surging water of the Rio Grande near Del Rio, Texas. The photographs shock. They call up long-buried images. Of the Ku Klux Klan night riding. Of patrollers chasing runaway slaves. Of Native Americans and the U.S. Cavalry at Wounded … More On the Borderlands
My latest book is out, a story of culinary discoveries and life’s big-and-little adventures.
Witnessing doesn’t always mean expressing words out loud. Or even in written form. You act as a witness, every day, in one way or another, merely by living. Witnessing can be as simple as waking before the sun rises, shuffling to the kitchen, waiting while the coffee gurgles through the filter, peeling a bruised banana, … More Literature as Witness
Thankfully, the Millennium Bridge across the River Thames didn’t sway under my feet that day, giving lie to its other name, the Wobbly Bridge. But the chilling wind whipped at everything not tied down, painting a disagreeable redness on my nose and a deep-seated hunger in my belly. The aroma of roasting sugary peanuts floated … More A Dearth of Pleasure: The Curse of Modern Food Writing
Note: I first wrote this post in 2008, when the U.S. had been at war in Afghanistan for seven years. Now it is 2021, thirteen years have passed, and we are finally leaving Afghanistan. But the price paid by all for war is not over. And never will be. The fall of Kabul on August … More Afghanistan … Where the Enchanted Snows Fall
Once you have mastered a technique, you barely have to look at a recipe again. ~ Julia Child Everybody says it happens, yes. Love at first sight. It happens. I must concur―it was true, at least for me, when it came to cookbooks. The summer I turned fourteen, I fell hopelessly in love with the … More Discovering Cookbooks, a Memory
We’re like the wicked witch. We promise gingerbread, then eat the little brats alive. ~ Orson Scott Card It didn’t take me long to realize that no handed-down family traditions existed in my family’s kitchen. None. It was as if everything foodwise emerged sui generis from Hydra’s head. And nowhere did that dearth of tradition … More “Gingerbread” Boys