Bad Burger Syndrome

Never again. I will not eat a burger against my better judgment. This is not a condemnation of meat, or even burgers in general. It’s a red flag raised against our food system and its inherent dangers. Every year, 3,000 Americans die of foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized and 48 million get sick. I knew […]

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 […]

Eating Around: A Visual Food Tour of Phnom Penh

This, my friends, is the market where we used to shop for groceries when we first lived in Phnom Penh oh so many years ago. But I barely recognize the Boeung Keng Kong market today. I remember wooden stalls, mud puddles and mystery stenches. The vendors were generous, and I loved the magnificent arrays of […]

Massaman Curry for a Holiday Crowd

You know how it is this time of year—lots of obligations to the festive side of life. A few weeks back, we had a crowd of 15 for dinner. Not a huge gathering, but big enough to necessitate extra thought. I finally did it right: I made a vat of curry before guests arrived, allowing […]

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 […]

Grilled Beef Wrapped in Wild Betel

I got a yen for wild betel in Vieng Xay, in a laid-back local market that sold an assortment of lunch pickings—sticky rice, sour bamboo, tangy dollops of jaeow, spicy little meatballs and grilled buffalo (above, middle, left of the balls) that had been mixed with onions and spices, wrapped in betel leaves and grilled […]

‘Tis the Season to Party…

Sunday morning mess …especially when the holidays coincide with someone’s birthday. And especially when that birthday happens to be a biggie. What better excuse for a surprise? It took weeks of elaborate planning and cunning artistry (I’m a bit disturbed to discover how well I can lie). The stories involved sick cats, holiday recipes and […]

Sunderban Curry Saves Cyclist from Taliban

This is a story about the best and worst of life, a story that cheers humanity’s goodness yet shames its evil. An Indian cyclist aims to circle the globe, to teach the world about AIDS. He pedals through remote Afghanistan, his 33rd country. The Taliban capture him. They tie him up for 24 days. He […]

Good Root

I have a little secret. I add a pinch of turmeric to soups and stews and pots of almost anything in which the flavor won’t clash. Two nights ago, I sat down with a good book and a bowl of popcorn precisely as I like it: drizzled with butter and sprinkled with a little salt, […]

The Rosi Recipes #5: Num Banh Chok

I’ve lost count of the cookbooks I brought back from Asia this time. I’m fairly certain my weight in books surpassed everything else in my luggage. Among that traveling library was a copy of From Spiders to Water Lilies: Creative Cambodian Cooking with Friends. It’s a beautiful book, which finally presents Khmer cuisine in a […]