Monday Meal Review: Myanmar

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Ava runs past me as I place the last clothespin on the line. Our blue sheets undulate with the breeze. Parting them with a quick swipe of her hands, Ava runs behind them and calls out: "Mama, come on! The big bad wolf is coming. Let's hide!" She points at Malky, our cat, who slouches on the grass, licking his leg. "Oh, is he the wolf?" I ask, chuckling despite myself. Together we hide behind the sheets and every time the breeze blows the soft cotton towards our faces we squeal and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Burmese Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup (ohn-no-khao-swe)

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Oh, yes. Even on the hottest day in steamy, tropical Myanmar, you'll find gaping bowls heaped with noodles, chicken, and silky coconut curry. It doesn't matter if you're sick. It doesn't matter if your skin is tacky with salty sweat.  "Ohn no khao swe" is what's for dinner. . You can call it Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup, if you'd like. To a local, this curry topped with egg and a garden of garnishes is breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It's as easy to find in rambling shacks as it is in roadside … [Read more...]

Recipe: Split Coconut Jelly (with poll)

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Let's just call this the dessert of indecision. My mom likes to say that doing the right thing is as "clear as day." But here's the thing: some problems are confusing. Even after an all night stresser, I can't figure everything out. Am I capable of writing a book? Should I wear heels to a picnic wedding? Is it better to help an old lady cross the street, or maybe I should just drive her wherever she needs to go? For every question, part of the solution is clear, but generally there's a murky … [Read more...]

Recipe: Burmese Ginger Salad (Gin Thoke)

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If we can't open our hearts to the "weird" things in life, we're not living fully. The girl who wears rain boots in the snow. The man that studies a bustling ant hill for an hour. The child that dips her scrambled eggs in molasses (Ava did this yesterday). These people all have one thing in common: they see the world through a different lens. Their world has no limitations. Wouldn't it be glorious if a salad could change how you see the world? If one bite could take away all … [Read more...]

Menu: Myanmar

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Look carefully. In this photo Ava seems to be giving me the thumbs up. This is not, in fact, what is happening. Instead, she's showing me how she holds her chopsticks. I made these kid-friendly chopsticks by folding up a piece of paper, placing it between regular chopsticks and wrapping all around it with an elastic band. Ava's been using them since she could pick up a spoon. So why am I feeding her? Because she wasn't so sure about the Burmese salad. Not yet. Our greatest role as … [Read more...]

About the food of Myanmar (Burma)

Monk crossing, photo by Scott Anderson.

Get your imagination primed; this week's Global Table is laid between ancient statues dripping with gold, miles of muddy coastlines, and blue skies held up by lush, green tropics. We're spending a week in Myanmar, a.k.a. Burma. Wander with me through the rhythms of daily life in this southeast Asian country, where flat, circular baskets whomp, whomp, whomp to thresh grain; pestles thump, thump, thump to grind ginger, garlic, and lemongrass to a paste; and mallets clang, clang, clang to … [Read more...]