Changing Scapes

Just for the record, I do not feel as though I’ve had a summer. Is early August too late to start? For many reasons, big and small, this feels like the shortest, most harried summer on record. Now, suddenly, it’s August. And soon I will embark on this next important phase of my life. Don’t […]

New Directions

We pulled into the driveway for the first time in five months, and we found a yard dressed in full regalia—budding pomegranates, blooming sage, plump cacti with new paddles spreading in every direction. And most notably: dozens of fuzzy little peaches on a tree we had planted three summers ago. These are the tree’s very […]

PIG STORIES: The Spiritual Pork

A few weeks ago, Jerry and I had the remarkable opportunity to witness an animist ceremony honoring the forest gods in a northern Lao village. Read the story in The Faster Times, and take a photographic scroll through that afternoon here. The villagers sacrificed a pig, offered bits of it to the spirits and divvied […]

Pepper of the Earth, Salt of the Sea

Boating through Kampot Happy Earth Day. In honor of the occasion, I’m taking you back to Cambodia, to a place I won’t see this trip, though I’ve thought of it often. It’s a place where salt and pepper meet on the edge of land and sea: It’s just about this time of year. Jerry and […]

A Rural Lao Food Diary

Breakfast, Day 5 Last month, we spent nine days in the field with Jim Harris’s team in rural Phongsali province. We camped at the local dispensary and showered with cold river water, which was piped uphill to the village. The team hired two young women to cook, clean and launder. Our meals were served communally, […]

Remembering the Tsunami: Part II

Seaside view from the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, before the tsunami Exactly five years ago, on the morning after Christmas, an earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra. With a magnitude surpassing 9.1, it was one of the mightiest quakes on record. It spurred a series of tsunamis that devastated parts of Asia and Africa, […]

Remembering the Tsunami: Part I

Khao Lak, Thailand, January 2005 Exactly five years ago, on the morning after Christmas, an earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra. With a magnitude surpassing 9.1, it was one of the mightiest quakes on record. It spurred a series of tsunamis that devastated parts of Asia and Africa, and it killed at least 230,000 […]

These Old Waters that Feed

Ever hear a sandhill crane directly overhead? The voice is a warble with a prehistoric ring, the wings a primordial whooosh. These are sounds in evidence of lifecycles that have endured far longer than we. The birds visit New Mexico each year in an ancient ritual that maps their lives from the far northern reaches […]

32 Hours in Derbyshire

A cool afternoon tea in a remodeled stone home at Castleton, Derbyshire. When Condé Nast shuttered Gourmet last month, the move actually opened a drawerful of opportunity for me—entire files and folders of material left undone, unpublished, unseen by readers. As with any magazine, articles and ideas get stashed in mysterious corners, some never to […]