Saints, Souls, and Haints: More Soul Cakes

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

Memory, My Old Friend

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

Traveling Back in Time: Memories of Wet Markets – COVID-19 Isolation, Day 52

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

The Curry Guy

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