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 […]

Hemp Milk

It’s not what you think. Well—it is but it isn’t. That is indeed a pretty white glass of milk surrounded by the lovely green leaves of cannabis sativa. Marijuana milk. Pot juice. Call it what you will, but it won’t make you high. Though hemp milk is made from the pulverized seeds of the same […]

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 […]

The Garlic Difference

Garlic vendor, Kengtung market, Shan State Do you see these garlic bunches? This isn’t the garlic typically found in American markets. You know what I’m talking about—big, fat Chinese garlic, often sold in little net bags, five heads for a dollar (at least that was the going rate in New Mexico when we left). Cheap. […]

I See the Light

Yes, I really am here. I apologize for such long pauses between posts, but I have 15 poignant reasons: my students. We’re just wrapping up an intense month of reporting on Asia’s booming population of people over 65, and the myriad problems they face. I’ll tell you more about it next week, after graduation. But […]

Assembling Home

Vernal equinox 2008 Many people have asked me what it was like to weed through a life that had been stowed for six years. Six years! Life, locked up and left alone. How did I feel? Mostly I felt sneezy and itchy. In Oregon, six years in a metal room means mold. And mice. And […]