What is Rain?

A woman gazes through a window at the Bario Asal Longhouse as rain pummels the area. I started this post a few days ago, before this and this and this. Before nature smacked Colorado with a torrent of “biblical” proportions, a storm of the century, possibly the millennium. Here in New Mexico, too, we are […]

The Edible Jungle

There is a place in the hills where domestic meets wild, where humans meet jungle. Where the fertile valleys between forested mountains shelter villagers who plant fruit trees and rice and kitchen gardens across the acres they tame. But the wild – the jungle – also harbors a biodiversity that has long supplied the people’s […]

Introducing Sabor: The All-New Must-See iPad Food Magazine

OK, I’m a little biased. I had a hand in the editing. And I’m proud of the results. It’s been months in the making, a lot of back-and-forth, a lot of tweaking. A few failed attempts, but mostly success. And I give a huge, whopping platter of credit to editor/publisher Fermin Albert, who has done […]

Book Dates! And an Excerpt

A fisherman on the far eastern edge of East Timor. Read about his community in This Way More Better. Dates are very important. Every writer knows this. Every writer I know waits and worries, frets and fusses in a mixed-bag roller-coaster of celebrated anticipation of THE DATE on which her book is published. We want […]

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. […]

Misako’s Japanese Kitchen

Misako in her kitchen, Shobu, Japan, 2000 I’ve lost track of Misako. It happens, you know—we’re close to people for a short while, and then we grow apart because of distance, work, family or the natural passage of time. Eleven years ago, I stayed in Misako’s home and I explored Japan through an Oregon Sister […]

Food Miles, Southeast Asian Style

Buses stop at the Nam Ou River in Muang Khua, Laos. Tiny town it is, but it sits on a major trade route linking Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. I’ve been thinking a lot about the journeys my dinners endure. The more I read, the more I learn, the more trouble I have shaking the numbers: […]

The Goodwill Balinese Chicken

Fishing in Bali It’s crazy cold here in Colorado! We’re covered in fresh layers of snow and ice. Schools are closed. And I’m sitting here shivering. So once again my thoughts go tropical. I am fulfilling my promise to post the recipe for that Balinese chicken I mentioned on my Facebook page last week. Garlic, […]

The Fish at the End of the Road

Valu Beach, below Tutuala, East Timor This is not here. This, above, is Valu Beach on the far tip of East Timor. “Here,” for me, right now, is Boulder, Colorado, beneath a fresh dump of snow. I could use a burst of Timorese warmth right now. I’m traveling to East Timor in mind tonight, thanks […]

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 […]