A Celebration of Lao Food & Farming

  Farming in Laos Khao niaw, sticky rice. It’s the lifeblood of lowland Laos. The Lao phrase “to eat” specifically implies eating glutinous rice. To some, sticky rice is an integral part of national and ethnic identity. Many Laotian meals are designed around glutinous rice, which is taken with the right hand and formed into…Continue readingA Celebration of Lao Food & Farming

Hard Truths about Farming & Gardening

A few weeks ago we attended a screening of a documentary, “Growing Cities,” about the rise in urban farming across America. From rooftops to empty lots, from New York to Oregon, people are growing their own food (as humanity did for millennia until relatively recently on the evolutionary scale). The evening, hosted by Slow Food…Continue readingHard Truths about Farming & Gardening

On Gardens Near & Far. And Summer Squash Soup.

A Danu girl sorts through her family’s home-grown tomatoes in Shan State, Myanmar. Hello there. It’s been a while. I apologize for my absence from this space—not that I’ve forgotten it, or you. It’s been on my mind a lot in the last many weeks. But you know how life takes us in multiple directions…Continue readingOn Gardens Near & Far. And Summer Squash Soup.

Hungry Farmers Are Losing Land

Meet Chhek Sambo. She lives in a village not too far from Siem Reap, a burgeoning town of tourists who flock to the ancient Angkor temples. It’s a hip place to be, routinely noted as such on lists of the world’s top tourist cities. You can get a $2 hour-long foot massage, drink $2 happy…Continue readingHungry Farmers Are Losing Land

Hot Naga Chile-Chocolate Sauce, Oh My

Hello readers, I’m here! (Some of you have asked.) I haven’t abandoned you, or this site, or my commitment to food. But the year so far has kicked me in the pants with deadlines, book promotions, travel prep and plans for a little shake-up here at Rambling Spoon. The next time you come around, we…Continue readingHot Naga Chile-Chocolate Sauce, Oh My

A Borneo Food Diary

Lunch, Day 10 I should never write a blog post while hungry! If you’ve been coming ’round here for a while, you might recall a post I did several years ago, A Rural Lao Food Diary. We’d just come off a nine-day trip to the hinterlands in Phongsali, way up near the Lao/China border, where…Continue readingA Borneo Food Diary

The Edible Jungle

There is a place in the hills where domestic meets wild, where humans meet jungle. Where the fertile valleys between forested mountains shelter villagers who plant fruit trees and rice and kitchen gardens across the acres they tame. But the wild – the jungle – also harbors a biodiversity that has long supplied the people’s…Continue readingThe Edible Jungle

Introducing: A Farm, a Website, a Recipe for Grilled Padróns

  ACKKK! Confession: every time I look at this site lately, I’m socked with guilt. Guilt, because I see the expansive gaps between my posts. Guilt, because I miss my time with food and words, words and food. We’ve been busy. We’ve had a gazillion things going on in life – as everyone does –…Continue readingIntroducing: A Farm, a Website, a Recipe for Grilled Padróns

Rhubarb & Rain

A summertime strawberry double whammy: berries topped with yogurt, mint and rhubarb-strawberry sauce. Here in New Mexico, we are living in exceptional times – “exceptional” being the word weather monitors use to describe some of the nation’s worst drought conditions: rivers gone dry, ditches of dust. We’ve seen some relief this past week with afternoon…Continue readingRhubarb & Rain

Food Day Tunas

When we bought our house five summers ago, we planted a cactus garden in a hard patch of caliche beneath our westward facing office windows. It seemed the only thing to do. That little plot of land catches harsh afternoon sun all through the year, and that New Mexican soil won’t give an inch to…Continue readingFood Day Tunas