Foreign Language Skills

Foreign Language Skills

Phnom Penh, August 9, 2022: I speak some French and Italian. I lived briefly in France and Italy Ė off and on, between the two countries, 40 years ago. I had studied French in high school and college in the Deep South, but I took the college courses mostly to avoid taking English literature. We read mostly 17th, 18th, and 19th Century writers Ė Descartes and Moli?re, Racine, Voltaire, Balzac, and de Maupassant. There was little conversational...

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CHARLESTON TO PHNOM PENH: A Cook’s Journal

CHARLESTON TO PHNOM PENH: A Cook’s Journal

Coming in December! With a foreword by Jessica B Harris. Neither a cookbook (though there are several dozen recipes) nor a memoir, but a collection of essays from 1987 to the present — food articles, yes, but also travel pieces and academic writing, and personal musings about life and death and insomnia and dancing and fishing, family and friends, and my peripatetic life and career on three continents. With photos and drawings as...

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Chocolate Orange Mayonnaise Cake, revisited

Chocolate Orange Mayonnaise Cake, revisited

Phnom Penh; April 21, 2022: Iíve been making a version of this cake for 15 years. As I wrote on my blog in 2008, ďIíve always loved the deep dark richness of cakes made with cocoa and the moist quality of cakes made with oils and mayonnaise instead of butter.Ē This recipe makes a very moist cake that will keep much longer than cakes made with butter. Iíve also always loved the combination of chocolate and orange. I make a blender mayonnaise with...

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University of South Carolina Press to publish anthology of my work

University of South Carolina Press to publish anthology of my work

Phnom Penh; April 1, 2022: This is no April Foolís Joke. April 1st is a very special day for me because my first book, Hoppiní Johnís Lowcountry Cooking, was published on this day 30 years ago. Remarkably, itís remained in print all this time. Mikel Lane Herrington and I were married 12 years ago on April 2. At the time, we had been together for 17 years, so this time next year it will be three decades that we have been life partners. As though...

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BIRDING

BIRDING

Phnom Penh; November 9, 20201:† There are 536 species of birds in Cambodia, but you would never know it here in Phnom Penh. When we first moved into our house on the Bassac River, which branches off from the Mekong in the middle of town, there was a wetlands area of tall reeds and grasses along the western bank that abuts our neighborhood. I occasionally saw terns and gulls, but no wading birds. The Khmer people are gentle and kind, but they are...

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Names

Names

October 5, 2021; Phnom Penh Names have always fascinated me. In the small southern town where I grew up, there were some real doozies: Mellicue Metts, Pot Fomby, and Algie Melfi Grubbs come to mind. Iíve known two men named Pinky. One of their fathers is known as Yum. Our little town was settled by Protestants from Germany and Switzerland early in the 18th century and many of the families are still there: Ziegler, Shuler, Geiger (pronounced both...

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