Breaking the Silence of the West, and Words Near to Fail Me

Thanks to the shenanigans of Mother Nature and corpus meum, I've been confined to the couch and a big screen. Or at least the 27-inch one hugging my desktop computer. (Yes, I love the dinosaur, because it responds to me better than my laptop, which reminds me of a willful four-year-old I know. And as…

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Doing What’s Necessary: The Logical Outcome of Haute Cuisine, or, An Extremely Brief Meditation on the History of Privies and Toilets

I came face to face with the truth about outhouses on my first day in my Peace Corps village. Not that I’d never seen (or used) an outhouse before; I became intimately acquainted with the concept during the summer I worked as the assistant cook on an archaeological dig in Ozette, Washington. There, the pit…

Souls of Cooks

Slipping like honey off  a silver spoon, all the words build up to an earth-shaking, and revolutionary, crescendo. For the first time in history, cooks' words crisscross the globe,  through thin wires and invisible waves of energy, thanks to the Internet. Never before have the words of so many cooks reached so many people, making…

The Chinese in the West: How Railroad Coolies Ate

Until our own times, the nineteenth century saw some of the most profound changes in social structure and population movements in the history of the world. How people fed themselves also changed as people migrated from continent to continent. Boarding houses became extremely common and popular beginning in the nineteenth, thanks to this movement of…