Cooking with Mayo

Not the creamy eggy emulsified condiment kind of Mayo, but the doctors- and nurses-in-white-uniforms kind—as in Mayo Clinic, that giant of medical care with—in its own words on its own website—physicians from every medical specialty working together, caring for patients, united in a philosophy that says “the needs of the patient come first.” Every patient […]

Danger Salad

  We had a wee bit of a scare last week when Jerry went in for his clot check (a monthly routine ever since the incident last fall). His International Normalized Ratio (INR) was way down, meaning his blood was clotting way too quickly. I’m the culprit. I’ve been feeding him too many leafy greens, […]

Wasabi Slaw & Summertime

Our cacti bloomed last week, and this little worker plunged right into the powdery vessel of pollen. Pure bee heaven. So heavenly, she apparently took a nap. Hours later, after the flower had closed, I found the bee poking her head through the tiny opening, punch drunk on cactus nectar. Off she flew into the […]

Insects in the Salad

Eretes sticticus larvae, sometimes served with laphet thote Let’s return for a moment to laphet thote. Long before I researched this article, I’d eaten a lot of Burmese pickled tea leaves. The salad has all the salty-spicy-bitter-yumminess I love on a tropical plate. But I didn’t know about the beetles. That is, not until I […]

Burmese Tea Leaf Salad

The latest edition of AFAR is on sale, and inside you will find our feature on the Burmese pickled tea leaf salad known as laphet thote. This is such an exuberant dish with hot, tangy, bitter, salty flavors that tingle every little nook of the mouth. If you’ve never had the opportunity to try laphet […]

Le Quatorze Juillet

In honor of Bastille Day, as we Americans call the French national holiday, I figured I’d revisit Paris. For lunch. Alas, I am not getting on a plane. I’m just journeying through my notebook from last fall, from a drizzly October day. We come from the underground after touring Les Catacombes and emerge on a […]

An Ode to a Grandmother

When we first arrived in Phnom Penh, in early March, all of the young waiters at the Veiyo Tonle restaurant had shaved their heads. With great sadness, manager Neth informed us their beloved Grandma had died that week and she was cremated that day. Many on staff had come through the New Cambodian Children’s Life […]

Burmese Guacamole

Avocado vendor, Mandalay “Karen, in your country, how do you eat avocados?” my newfound friend, Soe, asked me one day in Mandalay. I told him about guacamole with plenty of lime, chile, cilantro and salt. He laughed. “Here, we eat with sugar and condensed milk.” His comment brought back memories—fresh avocado slices sprinkled with sugar, […]

Out of the Kitchen

I hadn’t cooked for a month. Since I’d been working as a journalism trainer for an IMMF course on the Changing Role of Women in Asia, I’d barely stepped foot into my kitchen. I found a few new restaurant gems in surprising places, but truthfully I’m thoroughly sick of eating out for a while. Yet […]