Yes, I’ll sing to an apple tree

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The question is not whether I'd sing to an apple tree, but rather where I can find an apple tree to sing to. My Oklahoman neighborhood just doesn't deliver the crimson fruit. Regardless, I will tipple this wassail with a cheer (wassail literally means "wes hail", or good cheer)- after all in 2014 I'm learning about celebrations around the world, a suitable follow-up to completing our first adventure: eating one meal for every country in the world. January is all about … [Read more...]

Recipe: Senegal’s Black-eyed Pea Salad | Saladu Ñebbe

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This New Year, I'm making room for sunlight to lay across the floor. No more discarded shoes to trip over. No more stacks of books or useless tchotchkes. Senegal inspired me. I saw photo after photo of her beautiful waters... vast expanses where sunlight runs free, unhampered by clutter. Less stuff in general, with more of the right stuff - friendship, laughter, love. This is how I want my home and my life to be.  I want to eat fresh and right. I want sunlight in my … [Read more...]

10 New Year’s Food Traditions from around the World

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Before the confetti and the fireworks of 2013 glitter through our skies, our global neighbors teach that we must first take a little time to dream. You see, if we imagine our futures as bright and as shiny and as real as the stars above us, we come that much closer to realizing our dreams. It's called positive thinking. And all around the world, people accomplish this through a brilliant collection of New Year's food traditions. These food traditions aren't just another nice meal with a … [Read more...]

Recipe: Russian Potato Salad | Olivier Salad

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Winter doesn't just bite in Russia. It eats you alive. In the far east of this great nation, temperatures can actually drop to -95F. In the west, things are nearly so dire - winter might only drop to -22F (!), with occasional warm spurts in past years reaching 50F. 50F isn't so bad. But the rest? Yikes. By the time New Year's Eve comes, Russians are ready to break up the monotony with a blast of soul-warming comfort food. Major. Everyone tells me New Year's Eve in Russia wouldn't … [Read more...]

Recipe: Dill & Lemon Pepper Gravlax | Gravlaks (with poll)

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I can be so wimpy. Sometimes I need a little push. A little motivation. Like that time I wanted to dive off the tall board at the pool. It was seventh grade and I was so scared my heart was in my ears. Thump, thump, thump. I could hardly see. Even my knees were woozy. I held hands with a friend and, after a thirty-minute long giggle-hesitation, I actually jumped in. Unfortunately, the force of jumping 15 feet did things to my bathing suit I still don't want to talk about. I never did jump off … [Read more...]

Recipe: Glazed Orange Coconut Cake

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There are times when I want to be fancy, but not fussy. When I want a pretty cake, but I don't want to decorate it with elaborate roses. When I'd rather be swimming in the sea instead of doing my taxes. Ahem. These are the days when I want (need!) a little slice of heaven to serve along side my afternoon cup of tea. I never thought I'd find my answer in Micronesia. But I did. This orange infused cake comes all the way to us from a little Micronesian island called Kosrae and a … [Read more...]

Recipe: Lithuanian Honey Spirits (Krupnikas)

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The holidays are over. We stuffed our wrapping paper back into the closet and swept the confetti into the trash, right on top of the party hats that say 2012. The cookies and the friendly buffets of family favorites are long since gone, replaced by soulless detoxes and way-too-skinny drinks. I know some of us are even thinking about spring - scanning the frozen ground, vainly hoping to see some stray spot of green, willing a warm gust of air to come our way, instead of a moveable wall of … [Read more...]

Recipe: Blueberry Cardamom Ice Cream

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Makes 2 quarts There's an old Icelandic saying: "Even though you are small, you can still be clever." Teeny weenie blueberries, fresh from the bush may be small, but they make the most adorable and extraordinary purple ice cream. And, as you drown in bite after bite of cold, sweet, glorious goodness, you also consume a quarter ton of antioxidants. Clever, indeed. So, churn up a batch. Stick around to watch as it freezes in the belly of your ice cream maker - you'll be all smiles as the … [Read more...]