Some time ago a reader mentioned they were looking forward to new recipes inspired by our time in Romania. I have no new flavor combinations to offer or undiscovered vegetables to introduce today, but I do have my new favorite method. Pressure cookers aren’t common North American kitchens, but as a non-electric, efficient, flavor-preserver appliance,… Read More Chicken under Pressure
One of the most traditional events around Christmastime in Romania is the slaughtering of the pig. Ask nearly any Romanian what Christmas means to them and the killing of the pig, a family affair, is almost always mentioned. Santa Claus and presents are high at the top of the list, the birth of Jesus might be… Read More The Christmas Pig
Țuică (zoo-EEK-u) is a Romanian spirit made from plums. If you visit a household in rural Romania, you will inevitably be offered țuică in a small glass. It will most likely have been made by your host, a relative or a neighbor. You will be pressed and pressed to try a sip until you acquiesce… Read More Making Țuică in Romania
You know the moment – the moment when pleasantries have been exchanged and the conversation wanes. The obvious commonalities that often lead to deeper conversation don’t exist – parenting, work, etc. There must be something we can talk about, common interests, passions. “Do you cook?” In the United States this is a loaded questions and can almost… Read More The Jungle Cooks – Nilgiri Mountains, India
I am very privileged to have a Moroccan friend who lives locally. She came over one morning to give me a cooking lesson. Earlier in the month she had been sitting on my couch, relaxing with a copy of Saveur magazine, when the article on B’stilla called her name. Flaky pastry dough is stuffed with layers… Read More Moroccan Chicken Pie (B’stilla): Cooking in Community
It’s the little things that trigger happy memories – memories of family togetherness during travels or times living abroad (or in another state). Little things like dessert. World Market does it to me every time. For a minuscule obligatory donation, I return home with an edible item that will trigger smiles, laughter and stories of… Read More World Cup ready dessert OR Dessert fit for Berlin
I’m convinced the essence of motherhood is delayed gratification. Or, more realistically, the hope that our hard work and dying to self will yield positive results in our children. This dying-to-self business is a challenge. In my dream world, my children sleep until 9am (and go to bed at 7pm). I wake up, run, shower, read and… Read More Motherhood, Oatmeal and Delaying Gratification
Just a few days ago if you told me Chinese New Year was quickly approaching, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. We haven’t been to China or been exposed to Chinese culture in great depth (though not for lack of desire). I particularly didn’t understand the significance of this holiday in Chinese culture;… Read More You’ve been invited to a Chinese New Year celebration. Now what?
A newly married couple in Germany, recently arrived from California, invited us over for dinner. I knew these people, our new friends, appreciated quality food. I was really looking forward to sharing their table. Then she announced she would be serving Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts? Really? Who eats Brussels sprouts, much less serves them to… Read More Brussels Sprouts? Who serves THOSE to guests?
God could have created iceberg lettuce and called it good. Instead he created romaine lettuce, kale, collard greens, swiss chard, field greens, mustard greens and spinach – and called it all good. God is the creative mastermind behind all culinary masterpieces. He created the ingredients – the oils, spices, nuts, meats, fruits and vegetables –… Read More On Food