Squash Casserole

Squash Casserole

This is a repeat of an early blog, from July 2007. This squash casserole is so simply perfect that it bears repeating: Washington DC; July 2027: I got involved in a community garden here in DC. My neighborhood, traditionally African American and Hispanic, is rapidly being gentrified, but I wanted to grow some traditional old southern favorites like okra and cowpeas with my neighbors while introducing them to other heirloom varieties such as the...

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A lovely, simple apple dessert

A lovely, simple apple dessert

Hanoi, January 6, 2024: This harrowing date always sees me going into the kitchen to make comfort food. I first saw this “apple/pear clafouti-like thing” (his words) on Bill Law’s Facebook page. Bill’s a fellow South Carolinian who now lives in Nérac, a commune in the Lot-et-Garonne department of Southwestern France, midway between Toulouse and Bordeaux. I’ve made it several times, and never the same way...

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PHNOM PENH

PHNOM PENH

Hanoi; October 26, 2023: We’ve been gone from Cambodia for 8 months now and I miss it every day. Hanoi is a big, polluted city, and I’ve yet to get my bearings or make many friends. Folks flock to Southeast Asia expecting glorious landscapes and beaches, great weather, and delicious, inexpensive fare, but the reality does not always live up to those expectations. E. coli and Vibrio are common, and many holidays are plagued by travelers’...

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CHIPS

CHIPS

Hanoi; September 6, 2023: Mikel and I have just returned from celebrating our 30th anniversary in Scotland, where we both have ancestors, but where I had never been. We visited friends, both new and old, and stayed in the Central Belt, from Ayrshire to the Port of Leith. The Fringe Festival (with its 4000 performances and 50,000 performers), the Edinburgh Festival (tonier, with everything from ballet to John Cale), and the International Book...

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Making sense of Cucurbita – Squash and Pumpkins – with two soup recipes

Making sense of Cucurbita – Squash and Pumpkins – with two soup recipes

Hanoi, Vietnam; July 5, 2023 I have written a lot about the confusing Fabaceae or Leguminosae family of plants, commonly known legumes, peas, or beans. I’ve also attempted to decipher the equally baffling Brassicaceae or Cruciferae – variously called the mustards, the crucifers, or the cabbage family  which includes many “greens,” but also cauliflower, broccoli, and radishes. Up until now I have avoided delving into the...

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Recipes that “work”

Recipes that “work”

Hanoi; 4th of July, 2023: About a week ago when I posted my oatmeal raisin cookies on social media, Faith Willinger, whose seminal books on the foods of Italy — and where to find them — are marvelous, wrote on my page, “Your recipes always work.” It was a huge compliment and flattering. I have always prided myself on the fact that the recipes I have published have been checked by me three times. But my 4th book,...

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