Big Tamale on Market Day, Belize

We spent the weeks before the holidays in the far southern tip of Belize. The little town of Punta Gorda sits on the water, and every day travelers and migrants arrive by boat from Honduras and Guatemala. PG, as it is called, is the capital of the country’s wettest region, known as Toledo. It’s also […]

What a Piti

I’m thinking of piti. I’ve been thinking of piti since the air went cold last week and the temperature slipped to single digits. That’s the sort of weather for piti. But that isn’t how I had my first taste of this sheep-and-chickpea stew. It’s a specialty of Sheki, in Azerbaijan’s mountainous north. It’s a rich […]

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 […]

The Aftermath

In the aftermath, I made turkey spread. Two types: a mish-mash of Mediterranean flavors using olives, capers, and lemon; and a Japanese-inspired version with miso, ginger, tamari and sesame seeds. When life hands you leftovers, make spread. I hope this season of giving and gratitude is treating each of you kindly. I spent most of […]

Lubbock Days (and Nights)

Cattle at the Hale Center Feedyard near Lubbock, Texas. Howdy, folks! Here we are in West Texas cattle country, and we’ve had beef and beans at just about every meal. In the words of one kind host, “If you’re a vegetarian, too bad.” He said it with a big grin (Texans really are friendly and […]

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 […]