Lessons & Recipes from a Holiday Kitchen

This year, we decided to spend Thanksgiving at home, alone. Just the two of us. We don’t hate our families, we’re not anti-social. We’ve just had months and months of travels hither and yon, with multiple visits to relatives east and west, and more planned for Christmas. We were tired. Still are. But we had […]

Olives & Everything.

It’s the little stuff, life’s petty displeasures—muddy floors, email glitches, lost time, lack of sleep, bikes with flat tires just when I want to ride—that ruffle me and make me that person I don’t want to be. The person who lacks perspective. But it’s also the little stuff that does just the opposite: makes me […]

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 […]

Gratitude: A Work in Progress

Thanksgiving Day brunch bread made with the Good Food Store’s gluten-free mix (sold in bulk), topped with drunken tangerines swimming in honey, Amish butter and week-old Rex-Goliath Chardonnay saved for cooking. More often than not, Thanksgiving catches us mid-stream, mid-life. We have spent far more Thanksgivings away from home than in our own kitchen. In […]

Season of Thanks & Giving

Shu feeds her daughter, Ngoc Chau, at a dinner with her Hmong co-workers and trainees in Sapa, northern Vietnam. I’m breaking all the rules this week. It’s Thanksgiving, this is a food blog, and I’m not posting a single holiday recipe. Gasp! I know. But the truth is, I’m thinking more about life and less […]

Here and There: Two Extraordinary Thanksgivings

Mother of Vietnam, at the Vietnam Women’s Museum in Hanoi. The statue, nearly 12 feet tall, represents strength and beauty among Vietnamese women. She supports her child on the left shoulder and stands as a symbol of motherly love for the country. Happy Thanksgiving, the day after. I had not a moment to post yesterday. […]

Thanksgiving Nibbles

I’m getting a head start, but I fear I made these pecans a bit too early. They won’t last until Thursday. I do believe these are the liveliest pecans I’ve ever tasted, and I can’t keep them out of my mouth or my husband’s claws. I came across the recipe for Candied Chile Pecans a […]

Editors’ Choice Turkey

It’s been seven years since we spent Thanksgiving on American soil, and this will be our very first turkey in our own home. Come Thursday, I expect a kitchen full of in-laws and a house full of food. When I told this to my editor—or I should say former editor—he responded with two tips. First, […]

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick note to wish you all well. I’m off to search for rhinos by elephant back, then on to rural tribal areas. I won’t have much Internet access in the next week or so, but I have several items set to post in my absence. So please don’t go away! Eat good food. […]

Festival Frenzy

  Festival fun Happy Diwali — I hope you are sleeping better than we are! It is festival time in Kolkata, a city one native calls “impossible” any day of the year. But this week, loudspeakers blare Bollywood music at maddening levels approximately 20 hours a day (one such speaker sits directly below our hotel window), and […]