On Gardens Near & Far. And Summer Squash Soup.

A Danu girl sorts through her family’s home-grown tomatoes in Shan State, Myanmar. Hello there. It’s been a while. I apologize for my absence from this space—not that I’ve forgotten it, or you. It’s been on my mind a lot in the last many weeks. But you know how life takes us in multiple directions […]

Portobello Summer Soup

Let’s say you have a couple of leftover portobellos and you really don’t feel like grilling them. You could, instead, make summer soup with garden herbs. You could slice one shallot, a couple of garlic cloves, two carrots, three celery stalks and sauté them with butter in a stock pot. Then—because you open the fridge […]

What a Piti

I’m thinking of piti. I’ve been thinking of piti since the air went cold last week and the temperature slipped to single digits. That’s the sort of weather for piti. But that isn’t how I had my first taste of this sheep-and-chickpea stew. It’s a specialty of Sheki, in Azerbaijan’s mountainous north. It’s a rich […]

It’s Not Pork

Our friend Rith takes us home to his village, where his auntie cooks soup in a dimly lit kitchen, black from years of use. Little rays of sunlight beam through tiny pinholes in the ceiling. Her thick tamarind cutting board sits on a slat bed, where she chops scallions, basil, culantro and lime. Her pot […]

Lamb Meatballs with Mint & Preserved Lemon

I waited a month, and then patience grew thin. I had to taste those lemons! We were leaving soon, and I couldn’t take off without making one last tajine with a twist of homemade pickled lemon. I opened the jar to a nose-clearing waft. If you’ve smelled preserved lemons, you’ll know what I mean. One […]

Persian Beef Stew with Celery Leaves

I’m bundled in wool as a faint snow falls outside. Long gone are the farmers markets that wowed me this summer and fall in Missoula. But the taste lingers. A few weeks back, during one of the last Saturday markets, I picked up a bunch of celery from a local Hmong vendor. That celery was […]

Happy Earth Day! Go Sour.

Fresh ingredients for Cambodian sour fish soup. Happy Earth Day! Unfortunately, I’m not feeling overjoyed about the state of our planet. For months, I’ve buried my head deep into research on the many injurious things we do to Mother Earth. My plate, of late, includes everything from CAFOs to fracking, fertilizer runoff, flame retardants, E. […]

Bahston Chowdah! A Gluten-Free Seafood Odyssey

Boston I’m an amphibian in the desert. I’m always drawn to water. I love fish. But I don’t get much of either in Colorado or New Mexico. Occasionally I’ll treat myself to a piece of wild Alaskan salmon or a frozen package of some sustainable specimen that gets the Monterey Bay Aquarium OK. But mostly, […]

Big Soup, Big Love

I post this picture today in honor of Valentine’s Day, my husband and the animated life we have created together. I know he’s missing travel as much as I am right now, so here’s a little reminder. This is about the biggest noodle soup we’ve ever encountered, anywhere. It’s served with a smile at the […]

New Year Peace in a Pot of Peas

Happy New Year, everyone. I wish  peace, health and happiness for all in a brand spanking new 2011. I don’t know about you, but 2010 was one heck of a mixed bag for us. Highs and lows that peaked and plummeted all year long. I’ve written a wrap-up for The Faster Times. It explains what […]