South Texas farmworkers’ kitchen Years ago, still close to wartime, many of my Cambodian friends spoke of dreams they chased step by step. Hunger and hardship were still too near to be called memories. Security and prosperity were distant visions on a road that felt vast and overwhelming. So they began that journey step by…Continue readingStep by Step: Inside the Homes of US Farmworkers
Benjamin Ruiz, preparing tortillas for breakfast at the soup kitchen where he volunteered on the Mexican side of the US-Mexico border. Last year, I met a 34-year-old man named Benjamin Ruiz. He volunteered at a soup kitchen, spending every morning preparing tortillas to go with rice and beans and big vats of calabacitas to feed…Continue readingOne Man’s Story
Thi Thi Oo harvests mustard greens on her land in Shan State, Myanmar, where most villagers spend their entire lives working the farm. Consequently, locals say, “the land is tired.” As families grow, they divide their farmlands among children and grandchildren. So much intensive farming has led to pests, poor harvests and over-use of pesticides.…Continue readingWill GMOs feed the world? Did anyone ask the hungry?
Earlier this spring, we followed a bomb clearance team working high in the mountains near the Lao/Vietnam border. We all camped in tents pitched inside a village schoolhouse that offered shelter from the wind, rain, cold, and critters outside. One rudimentary room with a stellar view served as the camp kitchen. Cooking took place over…Continue readingCamp Food, Laos
Forrest C. of New Mexico! We did a blind drawing the other day. Thanks to all who participated in the blog giveaway, and especially for sharing your stories of food & family, friends & memories. You can read some of those here – recollections of canning tomatoes and picking olives, Christmas dinner and Vietnamese hot…Continue readingAnd the Happy New Year Winner Is…
“It begins in the wild, in the tangled rainforests of Central America, where leopards roam and parrots screech. The world is wet, the air is thick and the ground is mud. My boots sink into the sucking, slurping bog, and all around it’s green. Everywhere, everything: a chaotic maze of vegetation in every shade of…Continue reading‘Tis the Season for a Giveaway
The first time we traveled to Bario, there were no roads in or out. We flew into this remote little outpost in the Kelabit Highlands of Malaysian Borneo. The only other option at that time (2006) was a terribly long trek (weeks) through the mountains over difficult, possibly dangerous terrain. Things change. There is a…Continue readingWhen Slow Food Isn’t Simple: A Borneo Story
Here in New Mexico, posole is the centerpiece of many holiday meals. This hearty hominy stew is ubiquitous on Christmas and New Year’s, shared with family and friends, eaten for good luck in the upcoming year. Key to the dish are large dried corn kernels, simmered for hours until they pop and split, imparting rich…Continue readingNew Mexican Posole with Red Chile: Holiday Fare for Good Luck
This week, the Cambodian people celebrate King Sihamoni’s 10th year on the throne. Ten years! I can’t believe so much time has passed. Here, I share a story I wrote (included in This Way More Better) about Sihamoni’s coronation. It’s not really about food. It’s about the character of a country. ***** It’s the tail…Continue readingHappy Anniversary, King Sihamoni
Chile in bowl, Phnom Penh Things are looking different around here. If you’re new to Rambling Spoon, welcome! If you’re a repeat visitor, you’ll notice the shift in design. Perhaps you’ve also noticed the recent lack of activity here. That will change, starting now. Greetings from a revamped Rambling Spoon. The new design should make…Continue readingNew Dish!