An excerpt from a novel…

The following is an excerpt from a novel, The Charleston Cookbook, that I began in 2017: .Jackie was pining for Italy, where she had become smitten with the smell of basil and marjoram and the nearly meatless cuisine and rocky terrain of the Cinqueterre. Upon leaving England the summer before, she had traveled down to southern France and over into Liguria before returning to the States, and, in her journeys, had apparently shed her academic...

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FISHING

FISHING

Phnom Penh; September 16, 2021: I caught my first fish in Key West when I was three years old, and I have the picture to prove it. We were getting ready to move from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Orangeburg, South Carolina, where the Ethyl Corporation, for whom my father did research and development, had purchased a chemical plant where he could expand and manage their experiments. Both of my parents were intellectuals, and it was a difficult move...

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RAINY SEASON

RAINY SEASON

Phnom Penh; September 15, 2021: Last night the rain started at 7pm. Just outside our second story bedroom there is a balcony with a metal roof. Just below us there is a parking area covered by another metal roof. Even a light rain can be deafening. Last night it poured. I dont know how I fell asleep Im an insomniac and often use both an eye mask and ear plugs in my own bed. I awoke at 2am to pee and it was still pouring. And again at 5:30....

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Dance Lessons

Dance Lessons

Phnom Penh; September 12, 2021.Everyone in my hometown danced. There were some shy girls, but if I grabbed their hands at a sock hop, theyd join in. Dancing is infectious, but its also tribal. If you grew up in a dancing town like Orangeburg, South Carolina, or Memphis, Tennessee, or Athens, Georgia, you surely dance. I loved to. I had two older sisters, so I never had to buy 45s because they had stacks of them. I was 6 when Nancy bought...

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A weekend in Kampot

A weekend in Kampot

September 9, 2021; Phnom Penh, Cambodia We love it here in Phnom Penh, but there is so much of the country that we haven’t seen — mostly because of the pandemic. We have traveled to Siem Reap twice — once to see the ancient Angkor temples among the hordes of Chinese tourists and again last summer when we were the only people there. We’ve been to Mondulkiri in the northeast and Battambang in the northwest and glamping on...

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Nach Waxman

Nach Waxman

Phnom Penh, August 5, 2019:I have received the following sad news from so many people. Nach Waxman was a real mentor to me. In 1984 I was working as the food editor and American liaison for the French language magazine, Ici New York. I lived on the border of Spanish Harlem, on the corner of 97th and Lexington Avenue, just a few blocks north of Kitchen Arts & Letters. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent in the store and in...

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