About the Rambler



Welcome to my ramblings on dinner & drink, people & places, our planet’s health & the future of food. I’m a journalist, author and media trainer. My kitchen forever smells of garlic and curry. And much like my mother, I start thinking of dinner long before breakfast….

Menu for Hope III

Menu for Hope big

Dear Readers,

I need your help. More than 850 million hungry people on earth need your help. Beginning today, food bloggers the world over are uniting in the third annual Menu for Hope, a fundraiser for the UN World Food Programme. Last year, Menu for Hope raised more than $17,000 for Unicef, and we hope to up the ante this time around.

That’s why scores of food bloggers worldwide have offered hundreds of tantalizing prizes for which you, fair readers, can plunk down $10, get yourselves a raffle ticket and volley for the prize of your choice. Buy two tickets, double your odds. Buy 10, and that’s $100 toward the eradication of poverty.

Just how bad is world hunger? Every year, hunger and poverty claim 25,000 lives. Every five seconds, a child dies of hunger. Hunger and malnutrition are the top risks to worldwide health.

So here’s the plan. You have until Dec. 22 to donate. I’m offering up two prizes:

Cambodia Now small Friends poster

1. A signed copy of my book, Cambodia Now: Life in the Wake of War (donation code AP20)

2. A dinner invitation to Romdeng in Phnom Penh, good for any mutually agreeable date in February 2007. Romdeng is a beautiful, spunky restaurant serving classic Khmer dishes, run by the nonprofit group Mith Samlanh, which gets kids off the streets and trains them in practical jobs as chefs and waiters. (donation code AP19)

Here’s what you have to do:

1. Choose your preferred prize. (Your options are plenty; check here for a complete list of what’s on offer in the Asia/Pacific region. Check here for a global summary of the campaign.)

2. Go to the donation page.

3. Make a donation. Each $10 will get you one raffle ticket toward the prize(s) of your choice. Please specify which prize(s) you would like in the “personal message” section of the donation form. Specify how many tickets you want and please use the prize codes (noted above). For example, a $50 donation can go toward two tickets for AP20 and three tickets for AP19.

4. Please check the box on the donation page so the campaign organizers can contact you by email if you win.

5. Check back at Chez Pim on Jan. 15 to see if you’ve won!

I thank you deeply for your support. And I thank you on behalf of the people who will benefit directly from your donations. I cringe to think of how many of my dear friends in Asia have suffered through years of war and turmoil, and days without food. It costs WFP just 29 cents to feed a human being for a day. Think how far your $10 can go.

10 comments to Menu for Hope III

  • Ed

    Any chance you could squeeze the date to eat at Romdeng to 16-18 Jan? If so I’ll buy a ticket it.

  • Oh, I’d love to but I can’t. I have to be here in Chiang Mai through the end of January. The earliest we’ll be in Phnom Penh is around Jan. 30.

  • Ed

    Bummer! But I’ll visit it anyway and buy a ticket for your book. Is there anything on the menu in particular at Romdeng that I should eat?

  • You could be adventurous and try the fried spiders. Or at least the three types of prahok (fermented fish paste), which is serioulsy tasty. Really. Plus, the Romdeng version is thoroughly cooked so you don’t have to worry about tummy bugs.

    Lotus salad is a hit. I always like banana flower or green mango salads, too. And please try something with fish (fish stew, perhaps?); Cambodia has such wonderful fish. I don’t think you can go wrong at Romdeng.

    Thanks for your interest. Enjoy dinner!

  • Thanks, Karen,
    For offering me this wonderful and fun opportunity to help hungry people. I’m passing this on to co-workers, other friends and neighbors. Since we have so many UN people living on Roosevelt Island, this will be familiar to them.
    Best wishes to you and Jerry,
    Francine

  • Thanks for your help, Francine!

  • Ed

    Karen, thanks for the tips. I think the fried spiders will make a great blog post – of pie4ce of journalism – although i do have a tin of silk worm lavae I haven’t had the courage to open yet. Look forward to all the fish an am glad they have those wonderful salads in Cambodia.

  • [...] Meeting Hunger on the Trail We walked through the far northeast corner of Cambodia along a sandy trail through overhanging crops and scattered huts. We met an old man with ripples of veins on skinny, wrinkled legs. He came up from behind and passed us on the path. He had walked ten hours from his home. He sought a small village ahead with his teenaged daughter and young thigh-high son, who dangled a roll-your-own cigarette from his lips. Another long day on a sunburnt path that kept going and going behind us, all the way to Laos if the inclination arose. Jerry took the man’s photo, then the three continued on. The girl changed clothes in two steps and a twirl; off with one sarong, into another, a flash of undies, a peek at the bra, on with a bright green shirt the color of rice in an incandescent afternoon. Presto. She was dressed for town. When we reached the village, I plopped my dirty self on a snack stand and bought neon-colored sodas, each 2,000 riel, 50 cents. Corn chips, 400 riel, 10 cents. A triangular pouch of candy, 200 riel, 5 cents. We ate and drank our goodies, then spotted the old man again. Father and daughter were cleaning the yard across the road, trimming trees, dragging branches to a pile. They worked for food. They had walked the ten hours to town because they had nothing to eat. We asked if they had any money. No. Jerry extended the man 1,000 riel as payment for the photo he had taken. The man examined the tattered note and handed it to his daughter in confusion. He asked what it was. One thousand riel, Jerry said. Twenty-five cents. That pleased the father and daughter immensely, and they bowed in gratitude. Buy rice, we told them. One thousand riel, it would buy two pounds. Then we said goodbye. We crossed the river by boat, 1,000 riel for both of us, 25 cents. We bought coffee, 1,000 riel a glass, 25 cents. We purchased water, 1,000 riel, 25 cents. One thousand riel, 25 cents. The man hadn’t known. – Excerpted from the book, Cambodia Now: Life in the Wake of War Please donate to Menu for Hope. A $10 raffle ticket offers you the chance to win a signed copy of this book (or another prize of your choosing). All proceeds go toward the UN World Food Programme. Click here to donate. Check here for full details. While pictures of starvation frequently pop up in the news, daily undernourishment is less visible, “from the shanty towns of Jakarta in Indonesia and the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh to the mountain villages of Bolivia and Nepal,” according to WFP. People go hungry every day. According to WFP, hunger in Cambodia will be a “silent emergency” in 2007. Please help. [...]

  • Hi,
    I found your blog via google by accident and have to admit that youve a really interesting blog :-)
    Just saved your feed in my reader, have a nice day :)

  • [...] There they were, on the table before us at Romdeng. This was the dinner I had offered, for a superb cause, and this was the dish my dear guest, Yvonne, and our Oregon buddy, Andy, had talked me into ordering. [...]

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