Monthly Archives: August 2008

Weirdest Birthday Present Ever

I got a durian for my birthday.  How weird is my life?

I have fond memories of this infamously stinky fruit.  It’s a favorite of my mothers, and she will fight you for the last piece.  It’s been years since I’ve had one, but thanks to the global food market, my friend Anthony delivered one, frozen, to my doorstep. I gathered a coalition of the brave and willing and sliced into it.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I like durians anymore.  This specimen tasted like a rotten onion and I couldn’t take more than a few bites.  Perhaps it was underripe–it didn’t have the custardy texture I remembered.  Or maybe freezing doesn’t do the poor fruit any favors.

Still, how many people in this part of the world have the distinction of receiving a durian for their birthday?  For the sheer surprise factor, you can’t beat that.



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El Premio Arte y Pico

I am honored, pleased and generally tickled to have received an El Premio Arte Y Pico blog award from Karen at Rambling Spoon. I’ve been following Rambling Spoon since I first discovered food blogs almost two years ago. Reading her reflections on food and human rights in Southeast Asia inspired me to start my own blog. It’s humbling and wonderful to have received praise from such a talented foodie.

The phrase Arte y Pico is a superlative meaning “Wow! The best art! Over the top!” (Clearly, one cannot translate the expression without a lot of exclamation points!!!!!!) The award is a way for bloggers to recognize and honor one another’s work. I take this opportunity to honor the blogs that have most inspired me with their writing, photography, culinary wisdom and creativity.

Official Rules:

  1. Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award, creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community.
  2. Each award should have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone, and a link to the blog which bestowed it upon them.
  3. The award-winner and the one who has given the prize should include a link to the Arte y Pico blog (English translation here), so everyone will know the origin of this award.

Without further ado, the new winners of the El Premio Arte y Pico blog awards are….

Mercedes at Desert Candy: Mercedes has a love affair with all things Middle Eastern: the food, the language, the land. Reading her blog makes me want to book a plane ticket right now, or at least relocate somewhere where figs and quince are plentiful. In addition to her expertise on middle eastern cuisine, she’s also a creative and knowledgeable chef in her own right.

Pat at The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook: Pat is a culinary ethnographer, collecting the stories and recipes of women from across East and Southeast Asia. Her blog takes you into the kitchens of these wise women, where the art of cooking has been passed down from mother to daughter to grandmother.

Sarah at The Real Potato: Sarah’s down-to-earth reflections on the political nature of every forkful are a must-read. And when you need it most, there’s advice about how you can keep food on the table when you’re broke and your next pay check is two weeks away.

Jules at Stone Soup: Jules has a great palate and every recipe comes embedded in a well-planned menu. She lives and cooks in Australia, however, which means that whenever I’m too hot and sticky to think about turning on the oven, she’s braising lamb! Search the archives for seasonally-appropriate food for the Northern Hemisphere.

Melissa at The Traveler’s Lunchbox: Along with Karen, Melissa was my inspiration for starting my own blog. Her palate is fantastic, her photographs divine, and her writing impeccable.


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