Midwest Book Review on “Stoves & Suitcases”

My newest book garnered the following review from Midwest Book Review:* Stoves & Suitcases: Searching for Home in the World’s Kitchens should be in the holdings of any collection strong in culinary biography and history. What began as a search for home and roots evolved into a culinary exploration, as Cynthia D. Bertelsen documents in chapters that … More Midwest Book Review on “Stoves & Suitcases”

On the Borderlands

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

Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz: Remembering Her Latin American Food Writings

She was British, he was Mexican.  And from a meeting at the United Nations in New York came a surfeit of riches of cookbooks and food writing. Articles for Gourmet and House and Garden flowed from her pen. thanks to the support of José Wilson, editor of House and Garden, who opened the publishing door … More Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz: Remembering Her Latin American Food Writings

Hospitality, a Forgotten Concept in Today’s World: A Tale of Ice Cubes

Open-air markets symbolize community to me. Time as commodity – which is how we view it in this country – disappears in the hustle and bustle of these markets. What matters is relationships between people. Community. And hospitality, in other words. Hospitality takes many forms. Learning how to recognize those forms takes much time, sometimes … More Hospitality, a Forgotten Concept in Today’s World: A Tale of Ice Cubes

Memories of Chaos: Reflecting on Dictatorship

There’s something very disturbing to me about witnessing 20,000 armed soldiers in the U.S. Capitol building. Why? Perhaps this story might explain why. At least partially. I lived on an island in the Caribbean – Haiti – for nearly three years. My husband Mike worked with a USAID-sponsored farming-systems project, surveying Haiti’s agricultural infrastructure by … More Memories of Chaos: Reflecting on Dictatorship

A Kitchen in Exile

Until recently, I really never thought of exile as having anything to do with me. To speak of exile brings up visions of Napoleon Bonaparte languishing on Elba (later St. Helena) or Leonardo da Vinci doodling in the Château du Clos Lucé, near Amboise, France, yearning for his native Italy. Or the sad case today … More A Kitchen in Exile