Recipe: Baltic Cranberry Sauce (w/ poll)

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Cranberries. Right now. It's their time to shine. Latvians know what's up when it comes to the cranberry. They eat it whipped in clouds of pudding, layered with breads, and beyond. Today, however, is about a mountain of sugar. A squiggle of orange zest. A few minutes on the stove and you're done. It's really that simple. Here's what I did: 4 cups cranberries 1 cup water 1 cup sugar, extra to taste 2 tsp strips of orange zest. Quickly look through your cranberries as you put … [Read more...]

Recipe: Latvian Birthday Cake (Kringel)

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  Birthdays are fun but birth days are even more so. Family and friends hugging, smiling, crying - everyone in wide eyed at the wonder of a new child's most innocent gaze. Since Keith's grandson was born last week, I thought it appropriate to make a birthday cake in his honor. I sought out such a thing in Latvia,only to find something very unexpected. Latvians have a tradition of baking pretzel-shaped sweet bread - not exactly cake - and topping it with candles. The Kringel, as its called, … [Read more...]

Menu: Latvia

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The leaves are falling, orange, red and gold, making the trees look like scratchy skeletons. The days are short; night falls before dinner is over. We all have head colds. Something drastic has to be done in times like these; I had to improve the situation. So, I did what any normal person would do. I served up an entire menu of sweets for our Latvian Global Table. Sweets always make everything better. Yes, a happy collection of apples, cranberries, and sweet bread is just the ticket. What … [Read more...]

About the food of Latvia

Beehive transport in Latvia. Photo by Tiago Fioreze.

Maybe it's this time of year - when the days are wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations and living so far away from my Bostonian roots feels so excruciatingly wrong - but five minutes into cracking the book on Latvia and I felt like I was in New England. Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But, with Latvian's weighing in with favorite foods like apples, cranberries, meat, potatoes, and gingerbread - it's hard not to draw the comparison. Apples make their way into … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Laos

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THE SCENE: Getting it right "Sometimes when I eat Asian food I get sad," Keith says. He's leaning on the counter. This is new. Keith is not one for drama.  I look at him, searching his face, wondering what past trauma has chosen to bubble up. I am bewildered. "Why?" "Because it reminds me of how long I waited to try it." He stares at the cabinets, seeming to look through them. "Most of my life," he quietly adds. I pause, staring at him, contemplating his handsome 41 year-old … [Read more...]

Recipe: Golden Coconut Dream

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I have a problem. Mangoes. I ate an entire crate of mangoes when I was pregnant with Ava. Ten mangoes in less than a week. Or was it twenty? Mangoes are so outrageously good right now. I can barely stop eating them long enough to let them soften up on the counter.  I have trouble sharing. Thankfully Laos has a dessert that showcases this crazy fruit in a fun and simple way. Remember that sticky, sticky rice? The staple of Laos? That's your ticket. Let's whip up a heaping bowl of warm coconut … [Read more...]

Recipe: Sticky, sticky rice (Khao Neow)

Planting Rice in Laos. Photo by Ondřej Žváček.

I used to think rice was a boring, safe choice, back before this Adventure. Then there was Persian Sour Cherry Rice. I died. Rice cooked in banana leaf tubes, called Longton. Lovely. Rainbow Rice. I smile on the inside and outside. Kushary - mixed with noodles, spaghetti and lentils. What? Coca Cola Rice. Who? Bottom line - rice is epic the world around. We've done a half ton of cool rice dishes on this Adventure. It goes on and on, and on, and on - no need to ever be bored with rice … [Read more...]

Beetlejuice? Oh, Jeow! Let’s go to Laos (w/ poll)

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It took me a few tries to figure out what Jeow means. Turns out Jeow is a lot of things, but mainly any sort of dipping sauce, typically made with char-grilled veggies. Sometimes spicy. Sometimes not. Always delicious. It could be vegetarian or it could be made with crushed beetles.  Or anything in between. I'll skip to the chase: my version is beetle free. Phew. And it's also really easy. Recipe for a Simple Jeow 3 tomatoes 3 Thai bird chilies 1 head … [Read more...]