Olives & Everything.

It’s the little stuff, life’s petty displeasures—muddy floors, email glitches, lost time, lack of sleep, bikes with flat tires just when I want to ride—that ruffle me and make me that person I don’t want to be. The person who lacks perspective. But it’s also the little stuff that does just the opposite: makes me […]

The Cambodian Worker’s Diet

Srey Pot Mom and Ben Sarith eat a dinner of steamed rice and beef soup with gourd. The slat table on which they sit serves as dining table, kitchen counter, living room sofa, and bed. Their room, like all of their neighbors’, is just big enough for a person to squeeze between that slat bed […]

Travels in Video

Come, join us in our travels across Asia. Now you can hear the sounds and see the sights in motion. After long hours (hat tip to Jerry) and a fair bit of back-and-forth, we’re introducing the book trailer to This Way More Better. See it here. What a learning curve! We’re still new to this, […]

The Next Big Things in Books

I’ve been tagged! Jennifer Margulis, author of the forthcoming book The Business of Baby, invited me to participate in a blog meme highlighting authors and their new and forthcoming work. I don’t do a lot of memes—but I’m delighted to take part in this one. I have to break the rules a bit, though. (More […]

Lubbock Days (and Nights)

Cattle at the Hale Center Feedyard near Lubbock, Texas. Howdy, folks! Here we are in West Texas cattle country, and we’ve had beef and beans at just about every meal. In the words of one kind host, “If you’re a vegetarian, too bad.” He said it with a big grin (Texans really are friendly and […]

Lao Jaeow Night (with Deviations)

Maybe you’ve had a night like this: You head to a friend’s with plans to cook. You bring recipes and garlic, chiles and limes, an ungodly heavy mortar and pestle—all stuffed into a pack. And when you walk through her door, you begin to unwind. Wine is poured and music played. Cheese and olives are […]

The Unexpected

I’ve neglected this space. I started writing a blog post weeks ago, then everything changed. I had plans for many posts, but I put them on hold. I was in Bangkok, Jerry was in Laos. I was preparing for an inaugural trip to Azerbaijan, a surprise twist to our original itinerary, and a welcome expedition. […]

Waiting for Baby

It’s early, just as the sun begins to creep across the neighbor’s field and in through our bedroom window. We get the call. It’s time. At least we think it’s time. We thought it was time last night, when we drove north then east to care for a 3-year-old niece while her Mommy and Daddy […]

Dear Spring:

Apricot blossom, hanging on. Well, hello, Spring! Welcome to our yard. You’re sneaky, and you caught us off-guard. We’ve been so engrossed in this thing called WORK, we haven’t had a chance to fully absorb you yet. Just a few more days, and we will be free from this task (oh please, oh please, I […]

Insomnia, Nostalgia: Notes on Becoming a Food Writer

A sleepless night recently led to reminiscing about becoming a food writer. That story is now in The Faster Times. It recalls my early proposal for an article on a Phnom Penh coffee shop. Gourmet eventually bought that story, but ran only a fraction of the piece as commissioned—all writers understand the constraints of space. […]