Istanbul

Istanbul

  Thanksgiving in Istanbul It’s only an hour-long flight to Asia from Sofia. Neither Mikel nor I had ever been to Turkey, and the only place in the Orient where I had been was Sri Lanka (Mikel has lived in both China and Indonesia). Thanksgiving in Istanbul seemed to us the perfect, easy, exotic getaway for a few days. The only problem? Four days is hardly enough time to scratch the surface of this fascinating ancient city that...

Read More

Bulgaria November 2011

Bulgaria November 2011

Thanksgiving 2011: Hoppin’ John’s® Celebrates 25 Years!!!   Can it really be twenty-five years ago that I opened Hoppin’ John’s® in downtown Charleston? Edna Lewis was cooking at Middleton Place, so my sister Sue and her son Duke and I went there for Thanksgiving dinner, then we came back and got ready for the opening. Many people had told me not to open on Thanksgiving Day, that no one would come. But...

Read More

Istanbul: Çiya

Istanbul: Çiya

A meal at Musa Dagdeviren’s remarkable Ciya Sofrasi in Kadikoy Long before I had planned my itinerary, and before I had gone back to my friend Tom Sietsema’s Postcard from Istanbul to see where he recommended, and before I had consulted my colleague, the great Mediterranean culinary expert, Paula Wolfert, I knew that I was going to eat at Ciya Sofrasi on the Asian side of Istanbul. How could I not? The folks at Istanbul Eats had...

Read More

Bulgaria Aug-Oct 2011

Bulgaria Aug-Oct 2011

October 18, 2011 A busy month ending in a small village in northwestern BulgariaI have been traveling a lot lately — to Transylvania for a week, exploring the Saxon and Rroma villages, to the wine regions of southwestern Bulgaria with my wine guru, Debbie Marlowe, who was visiting for a week (stories and recipes on those trips to come), and now I’m staying with a retired couple who are my age and who live in the village of...

Read More

The Rhodope Mountains

The Rhodope Mountains

Traveling through the Rhodope Mountains of Bulgaria For several weeks in the summer of 2011, I traveled with Mikel throughout Bulgaria visiting Peace Corps Volunteers. Here are some of my photos, with captions. I have not yet proofread this, so let me know if you find something before I do! In many of the Peace Corps sites, the volunteers work with Bulgarian Muslims, or Pomatsi. Their villages tend to be in the higher, more remote locations....

Read More

Provence

Provence

Honeymoon in Provence, October 2010     Mikel and I rented a house in Saint Antoine, a suburb of the antiques center, Isle sur la Sorgue, not far from Avignon. I’ll be writing about the process of renting a villa for the Washington Post next spring, but here’s the rental agency we used. An October 15, 2010, article in TIME magazine warned that officials are cracking down on short-term rentals because many home owners...

Read More