And the Happy New Year Winner Is…

Forrest C. of New Mexico! We did a blind drawing the other day. Thanks to all who participated in the blog giveaway, and especially for sharing your stories of food & family, friends & memories. You can read some of those here – recollections of canning tomatoes and picking olives, Christmas dinner and Vietnamese hot […]

Freezing Lemongrass for the Winter

We’re leaving. Got a 6 a.m. plane to catch. But unlike so many times before, this time we are taking a vacation—true vacation, no work, 7 days, Hawaii. Bliss. It’s been a painfully long time since we have booked time away with no obligations (that’s the trouble with a career that centers on travel… every […]

Happy Holidays, With Chile Jam

Above, a view from Christmas past: Wisconsin 2012. From all reports, something similar is happening there this year. Meanwhile, we’re at home in New Mexico now, beneath bright blue skies with a bit of snow on the mountains and luminarias to light the streets at night. Wherever in the world you are, may the season […]

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 […]

About Those Lemons….

I’m sitting on this patio, sipping my coffee, listening to a few tweeting birds and watching the morning sun creep across the flora. This is a fecund place, this California yard. As the sun climbs higher, the yard is bathed in an extraordinarily sweet scent. It’s the tree that made these lemons. Right now, its […]

The Peanut Butter Accident

I believe this is how many memorable recipes are born—of accident, of unintended consequences. As you might know, we received a tajine for Christmas, and I’ve had great fun concocting new dishes. We did well with lamb, apricots, prunes and almonds. We didn’t do so well with chorizo and chickpeas (it wasn’t bad, just not […]

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. […]

A Warm Red Curry for a Cool Autumn Night

At times, I feel a bit like I’m living in a glass house here at Chautauqua. If I keep my blinds open, tourists tromping up and down the street can peer inside and see precisely what I’m doing. On warm days, when I read on the screen porch, I can watch vehicles jockeying for parking […]

Pepper that Cocktail!

We have much to celebrate and even more to ponder this weekend, as many happenings converge. So pull up a chair and pour yourself a glass of this: nimbu pani, an Indian “lime and pepper refresher,” with recipe courtesy of Christine McFadden and her book, appropriately named, Pepper (wonderful book, and I can’t wait to […]

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 […]