Market Violence

Soldiers patrol a market in Pattani, in southern Thailand, where more than 3,500 people have been killed in an insurgency since 2004. More than 90 people died and 200 were injured in a car bombing that ruptured a market Wednesday in Peshawar, Pakistan. As the BBC reports, “The market mostly sells products for women, and…Continue readingMarket Violence

What’s the Trouble with a Little Smoke?

Roasting chiles for market, Bangkok. A lot, in terms of health. Fire by far constitutes Asia’s most popular cooking method, and with good and practical reason. Smoked foods taste great. Fire is easy and accessible. But the long-term health and environmental effects are vast. A massive “brown cloud” covers much of Asia, and researchers are…Continue readingWhat’s the Trouble with a Little Smoke?

PS: Coriander Root

I didn’t tell you the whole story when I posted the latest Rosi Recipes. That evening, we also ate another David Thompson-inspired recipe for Thai grilled chicken with a marinade heavy on coriander (cilantro) root. This is a critical ingredient of many Thai recipes; how frustrating to find only the leaves in markets around here!…Continue readingPS: Coriander Root

Old Coffins, Hot Noodles

Remember, around New Year’s, I mentioned an archaeological mission to see ancient log coffins in northern Thailand? Quite a trip, that was. The article is out in this month’s Archaeology. And while the story covers the history and scientific significance of this rocky terrain up near the Burmese border, it doesn’t say much of the…Continue readingOld Coffins, Hot Noodles

The Rosi Recipes #4: Japanese Crusted Tofu with Hmong Accompaniments

It’s true, I’m back at home after a delicious little trip to Costa Rica. As soon as I sort through photos and notes, I’ll tell you about coffee production, gallo pinto, topes and toucans. But right now, it’s time to catch up on a few Rosi recipes and introduce you to a couple of dishes…Continue readingThe Rosi Recipes #4: Japanese Crusted Tofu with Hmong Accompaniments

Free Range

Chickens, random temple wall, Chiang Mai, Thailand Here in New Mexico, we live in a village where people own goats instead of lawnmowers, and chickens rise with the finches each morning. We’re considered residential/agricultural. But in much of America, cities are struggling to decide what to do about chickens—chickens in backyard coops, roosters rousing the…Continue readingFree Range

The Rosi Recipes

We’re home! And we have a new member of the extended family. Meet Rosi, our darling niece. She loves to eat and burp and lots of other things—she’ll fit right into this crowd. Now, anyone out there with a 2-month-old knows the difficulty of the dinner hour. So I’ve decided to cook dinner once a…Continue readingThe Rosi Recipes

Calm Waters

OK, I’m exhausted but thriving on the words of so many friends on the other side who have written with unconditional support. I miss them, love them, and still worry about their safety. But now I’m going to take you somewhere serene, to a place far away where the horizon keeps a clear, straight line.…Continue readingCalm Waters

Things You Don’t Want to Know About Your Fish Sauce

We recently visited a small fish-sauce operation near Battambang, and our tuk-tuk driver said he used to work for a similar factory. “I know it’s not good. Sometimes the workers piss into the vats. The men, sometimes they’re lazy. They don’t go to the toilets.” I really didn’t want to know that. He also told…Continue readingThings You Don’t Want to Know About Your Fish Sauce

Great New Chiang Mai Restaurant

Meet Grandma Lek (and yes, she is small). She’s the hands and heart behind the food at a fantastic new little Chiang Mai spot called, appropriately, Grandma’s Thai Recipes. There she is above, making one of her specialties, mee krob. Grandma has long cooked for a popular restaurant on one of Chiang Mai’s outer ring…Continue readingGreat New Chiang Mai Restaurant