[Note: I wrote this piece in February 2005 and have revised it a bit. I scarcely remember what it is to eat inside in a restaurant anymore. I still have never been to India … .] Curry aromas waft promisingly in the cold winter air as the smudged glass door opens and closes with every … More A Brief Passage to India
Take a girl with an iffy start in life. Mix in wanderlust and cooking. And lots of books. Add a dollop of yearning for home and belonging. Knead in a pinch of self-discovery. Let rise and ripen. The result is Cynthia D. Bertelsen’s Stoves & Suitcases: Searching for Home in the World’s Kitchens, a reflective … More “Stoves & Suitcases” Book Trailer!
Trick-or-treating may well have originated in the old custom of “souling,” as people went from house to house, begging (“mumming”) for “soul cakes,” actually prayers — in sweet form. Sir James George Frazer wrote about this practice in The Golden Bough: a Study in Magic and Religion, a classic in anthropology, first published in 1890: … More Saints, Souls, and Haints: More Soul Cakes
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
Leo Racicot, a friend of M. F. K. Fisher’s, wrote an essay about M. F.’s sojourn in Japan, a part of her life that rarely gets any ink. This total immersion in the Japanese way of eating and of living changed M.F.K. Fisher. Admirers of her work boldly underscore her sojourns in France, particularly in … More M. F. K. Fisher in Japan: A Meditation by Leo Racicot
As Notre Dame burned on the night of April 15, 2019, all my memories of Paris converged, accordion-like, folding inward, into that deep place of mine where not much gets in. Sobs, tears, disbelief. History ignited, bursting into flames, before my very eyes. Never mind that history, by its very nature, changes day to day, … More Memory, My Old Friend
Like most of you, I am getting a bit off kilter here. I mean, after all it is Day 52 for me in COVID-19 lockdown. But I broke that run of strict isolation today. I didn’t want to. But I had to. This morning I dashed out to visit my spine doctor, due to ongoing … More Traveling Back in Time: Memories of Wet Markets – COVID-19 Isolation, Day 52
Curry. I can’t live without it. And thus it was only natural that I used some of my Santa Claus money to buy myself a copy of Dan Toombs’s clever cookbook, The Curry Guy: Recreate Over 100 of the Best British Indian Restaurant Recipes at Home (2017). The cooking found in British Indian Restaurants. Or BIRs. … More The Curry Guy