In the Company of Geniuses

I completed my 10 Weeks of Cooking Genius Recipes last week, where I cooked from Food52’s Genius Recipes cookbook and sometimes online column. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please scroll down and check out my Instagram account below, where I chronicled this cooking challenge. It actually took more than 10 weeks because…

That Little Known Thing Called Vegetable

I’m terrible with names, especially names of vegetables. It doesn’t help that I usually deal with at least two languages and culinary cultures when it comes to food. Coriander, parsley, and cilantro (phak chi, phak chi farang, and phak chi in Thai respectively) always force me to consult the dictionary or Google. The allium family…

The Works at Home

Like many women of my generation, I grew up thinking that housework was not work, not for mothers in any case. I remember that in kindergarten or primary school, whenever the question of my parents’ professions came up, I always knew what my father’s job was. When it came to my mother’s, I asked our maids about it the first time I encountered the question in a homework assignment. They told me, “maebaan,” literally mother house, or housewife in Thai

Grub, Gab, and Grind

I like solitude in high doses; friendship to be constant, stable, and deep; social outings chatty, intimate, and in moderate amounts; food comforting, occasionally inventive, in generous amounts, and shared with friends. The only things I miss about having an office job are the lunches and the after-work drinks with colleagues and friends, where we…

Little Triumphs to Come

Hello, my dear readers! I hope January is treating you kindly. It’s turning out to be a pretty rough month for me. And I’m afraid this is going to be another bulleted post as life is just very busy right now. But not without inspirations or excitement. It’s been difficult to find time to sit…

Challenges—Food and Otherwise

The sweet sweet smell of baked sweet potatoes is filling my home as I type these words. The first time anything feels relaxing in my apartment in a while. I have lots of things I plan to write on this blog in the coming weeks, but I haven’t had a lot of time to sit…

A Sense of Structure

Almost two weeks into 2017 and I’m still in the process of lugging my mind, rhythm, and spirit back to work. Thankfully, I’ve found a few things that have given me a sense of structure.

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I got the idea to do the first list from the 69th issue of Australian magazine Frankie, in which they asked five artists and writers to share 20 things they did the previous year. I think it’s such a wonderfully simple way to record your year. It also gives you a chance to look back…

Reading Cookbooks

I first learned that there are people who read cookbooks from Luisa Weiss’s My Berlin Kitchen, which I read in 2014 before going to Berlin for the first time. Only up until recently I thought cookbooks were for consulting, not reading pleasure. I’m not talking about memoirs with recipes like Weiss’s first book or the…

On First Drafts

It’s been difficult to get words on the page lately. I’ve mostly been composing in my head, but for whatever reason, my thoughts, words, and sentences are accompanied by a nagging sense of fear and guilt. I did punch out two theatre reviews a few weeks ago. But I’m also working on a story that…

Tasting Thai Snacks I

I haven’t talked much about Thai food, but I want to turn Thai-snacks tasting into a regular thing here. Since I started this blog, I’ve really enjoyed browsing the supermarket and convenience store aisles to look more carefully at the products they carry instead of just searching for things on my grocery list. I’ve discovered…

A Loving Food Memoir

I just finished reading Molly Wizenberg’s first book A Homemade Life. And what’s not to love about it? Most of us with a food obsession probably know Wizenberg. I first heard of her blog Orangette back in the mid- or late-2000s. I checked it out briefly, without bothering to find out who the blogger was….

My Father’s Salad Dressing

My father didn’t grow up cooking. And this salad dressing is his one and only culinary legacy. His one and only recipe. It has been in our family for almost three decades. And since his death almost eight years ago, it’s become a reminder not only of the level of his culinary skills, but also…

She Comes Bearing Gifts

Gifts are so great. And that’s what my sister came bearing on Saturday when we met up for lunch. As I wrote in my Belgrade post, I haven’t been big on birthdays for years. But I have to say I’m still big on gifts. I take meticulous care in picking out presents for people. It’s…

Eating in Belgrade

It’s been exactly a week since I got back from Belgrade, Serbia, where I attended an international theatre critic conference, covered the Belgrade International Theatre Festival, and did some sightseeing. And in between all that, I ate, of course. It was only a six-day trip, but there’s so much to tell. So without further ado:…

Braver With Beans

Last evening, I came home from grocery shopping and almost immediately began to cook my dinner. A very simple one of boiled broccoli, flattened with a spatula and tossed in a pan with spaghetti, olive oil, and garlic, and sprinkled with Parmesan. This morning, just to put something in my stomach before my morning workout…

How I Cook

Before we go any further, I think you should know how I cook, where I am at in my cooking, and how I grew up cooking, or not cooking. So here we go… 1. I am not a good cook. Yet. But I’m working toward becoming a great home cook, not necessarily MasterChef-level great, because…

Long Way Down

My family used to drive everywhere like there were no other modes of transportation. When my siblings and I went to boarding school in Quebec, Canada, we stuffed the back of our car with suitcases and drove up from our home in Maryland semester after semester. When I went to college in Boston, we drove….

Food Don’t Weigh Me Down

I’m excited. That always comes with being inspired. And it’s a good feeling to have when you’re starting a new project. Definitely way better than anxious, which is my default mode. But before we go any further, I must credit my inspiration for this blog: Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 128 Reviews…