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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Chile, Es Natural

It’s Saturday, my first day in Costa Rica. My niece takes us on a quiet little tour of Miramar, the small town she has called home for two months. We visit the ATM. It gives us a message: “You took too much time taking your money so the bank will keep it.” It’s just a […]

The Rosi Recipes #3: A Silk Road Gourmet Meal

I’m getting behind in my Rosi posts, and this one is out of order. But I wanted to write this now, to give you right now a glimpse of Laura Kelley’s fabulous new cookbook, The Silk Road Gourmet (available soon through Amazon and Barnes & Noble; have a look at Laura’s website for further details). […]

The Rosi Recipes #2: Burmese Mutton Balls

I couldn’t resist. As soon as I read Nan San San Aye’s recipe for an aromatic mutton meatball curry, I knew it would be part of the next Rosi meal. Now, let’s get a couple of things straight. In Burma, “mutton balls” might very well mean goat testicle curry (which a friend recently referred to […]

Messy in the Kitchen

This, by the way, is the disaster we faced after 8 months away. Everything needed a thorough spring cleaning. We’d been gone so long, neither of us could remember which drawers held the towels, which cabinets the measuring cups. We’d lost our kitchen instincts. It would take a few days to find our way again. […]

The Rosi Recipes

We’re home! And we have a new member of the extended family. Meet Rosi, our darling niece. She loves to eat and burp and lots of other things—she’ll fit right into this crowd. Now, anyone out there with a 2-month-old knows the difficulty of the dinner hour. So I’ve decided to cook dinner once a […]

Burmese Guacamole

Avocado vendor, Mandalay “Karen, in your country, how do you eat avocados?” my newfound friend, Soe, asked me one day in Mandalay. I told him about guacamole with plenty of lime, chile, cilantro and salt. He laughed. “Here, we eat with sugar and condensed milk.” His comment brought back memories—fresh avocado slices sprinkled with sugar, […]

Indiana Jones New Year

Here’s to a new year of adventure! Cheers, everyone. We spent the New Year holiday working, but this is work I love—climbing mountains, scaling rocks, crawling through caverns on our bellies. We were on an archaeological mission to see ancient log coffins that have survived 2,000 years of Thai weather and history. And hoooooo boy, […]