Transform Your Aching Soul with Cooking

Photo credit: C. BertelsenLiving today’s hurry-up-run-run-run-faster-faster-text-text lifestyle tends to blunt contact with more earthy things, like cooking. The act of cooking offers something that the stiffest drink or most potent tranquilizer cannot. Dare I say it out loud? It’s even better than sex, in a way. Especially when chocolate is involved, but that’s another story…

Hey, Wait a Minute: Glimpsing What’s Really Behind Words like “Ethnic”

NOTE: Today marks SEVEN years since I first started writing this blog. It's been an interesting journey, with many bends and curves along the way. It's fascinating to observe the increasing awareness of how language defines so many cultural attitudes and reveals long-held biases. Take a recent article, "Why Everyone Should Stop Calling Immigrant Food 'Ethnic,'" by Lavanya Ramanathan, a Washington…

Gleaning the Lessons of Wandering

This summer is different from all other summers. This summer I’m signed up for a weekly basket of local, organic vegetables from the rented land of some starry-eyed young farmers. And this week’s bounty included four cucumbers ranging from Lou Costello plumpness to Bud Abbott skinniness, six carrots resembling the clown-twisted balloons available at all…

Art, Food, and Exile: “In love with whatever the world throws along the path”

I subscribe to The Times Literary Supplement (TLS), a much more erudite weekly bit of intellectual journalism than The New York Review of Books, which focuses on contemporary politics and other such matters more than on the history of the many things that interest me. Sometimes the depth of TLS sends me to Google or other…

On the Move: Contemplating Nuances of Exile

You shall leave everything you love most: this is the arrow that the bow of exile shoots first. ~ Dante Alighieri in “Paradiso” As a senior in high school, I endured an almost 3,000 mile journey to a new home, far from the place I'd called home for most of my young life. With that rupture,…