Proximo por Canal Seis: Next up on Channel Six

Thank you to Blacklane for sponsoring this post. Scroll down for more info. Eight years after my time in Uruguay, on vacation 4,500 miles north of Montivdeo, I curled up in pain on the tile floor of a Puebla, Mexico hotel room. A voice came on the TV: "Proximo por canal seis..." Next up on channel six… It didn't matter what show it introduced, the voice alone relaxed me like a shot of morphine. Living abroad brings new joys such as learning to order the local liquors, seizing the opportunity to be the exotic, mysterious foreigner, and flirting in a tongue where you haven't heard that … [Read more...]

Raccoon Battles and Bowel Movements: The Fantasy of the All-Inclusive Resort

I am as susceptible as anyone to a fantasy. Words like “gourmet” and the name of a fancy chef flying into town were peppered throughout the email invitation. I was in: sign me up for a week of relaxing at an all-inclusive resort by the sea, eating desert fruit and fresh Caribbean seafood, and interviewing the star chef. Was this real life, I wondered, as I dug out my bathing suit from its winter hiding spot? Or was I counting my freshly caught mahi-mahi before it came anywhere near the line? The answer, I’m afraid, comes with the reality that I just now had to Google what kind of fish might be … [Read more...]

Fish Markets of the World: A Photo Essay

Thank you to Blacklane for sponsoring this post. Scroll down for more info. The chaos of an early morning clamor for seafood is balm on my jet-lagged soul. The hours match up with my skewed body clock, giving me something to do besides count the flies on my hotel ceiling. Rows of freshly caught fish, stacked and ready to sell give me something besides empty roads to feast my eyes upon and the strange hours of fisherman and fishmongers mean the promise of a hearty meal at all hours. As I semi-professionally wander about the world, the fish market is often my first glimpse of a new … [Read more...]

Engineering the Perfect Cup of Coffee

In March, Café de Colombia—the Colombian National Coffee Federation—brought me to Colombia to learn more about coffee. It was awesome. Though they paid for my trip, they didn't require me to write anything or dictate what I wrote. Still, that is why this post is about coffee. And illustrated with photos of Colombia. In March, Café de Colombia—the Colombian National Coffee Federation—brought me to Colombia to learn more about coffee. It was awesome, but I wish my husband could have come. Not because I’m one of those weird co-dependent people that can’t bear a few days without my spouse, … [Read more...]

Bang, Bang, Biang: Amazing Chinese Noodles

  Bang, bang. Biang. Do you hear that? It's the sound of of handmade noodles. They're knocking on your door, telling you to get off your lazy butt. That they're as easy to make as they are get at a restaurant—and that's only an option if you live in one of the few parts of the world where there is a Shaanxi restaurant. Biang. That's the sound of your jaw hitting the floor. Give me an hour, and I'll give you the best bowl of noodles you've ever made at home. The texture alone of these noodles sings a siren song from the province of Shaanxi, broad swaths of bouncy dough, a canvas … [Read more...]

This Year in Tacos and Other Things, Too

This year was filled with tacos (both Americanized and authentically Mexican), island vacations (Lummi, Sri Lanka, Lummi again, Hawaii, Whidbey, Hawaii again, and San Juan), and some of the highest highs and lowest lows I’ve ever experienced. I won’t deny it’s easier to deal with tough times while sipping a cocktail out of a pineapple on Kauai, but I’ll also tell you that if it weren’t for my wedding in May, I could just as easily have skipped this entire year. Thrown out the many hours I spent in and out of hospitals on both coasts (for myself and for family) like they were rotten … [Read more...]

My Best Bites on Kauai

As one of the only places in the United States where raw fish is considered a completely normal breakfast, Hawaii is one of my favorite places to eat in the country. So obviously, when the Kauai Visitors Bureau invited me down to find the best bites on Kauai, I wasn't about to say no to a free trip to the land of Spam musubi (don't even try to challenge me on the tastiness of canned lunch meat wrapped in seaweed, over rice) and tropical fruits. As the rain starts to fall and drizzle and pour here in Seattle, there is no better time to start dreaming of island cuisine. Best Bites on … [Read more...]

Eating with My Right Hand

Midway through most of the meals I ate on my honeymoon in Sri Lanka, a smile and a pile of napkins started coming my way. I would swipe at my face, realizing that it once again looked like someone gave a drunken toddler one of those finger-paint-with-curry sets. Other brides count down the weeks before their wedding by practicing dance steps, reciting their vows, or fretting about décor. Something else occupied my mind: eating with my right hand. Immediately after the ceremony, my new husband and I were jetting off to Sri Lanka. (“Why Sri Lanka?” people ask. The answer: it’s as far from … [Read more...]

Kombucha: A Love Story

Certainly, I did not fall in love with kombucha because it is cute and cuddly. Mention of the fermented tea often garners the same looks as when I tell people about the time I ate uncleaned pig intestine in Laos. Commercial kombucha can often be sour or spicy; it often has too much bite. The flavored versions are unappealing and sometimes seems as if they’re trying to cover something up. So it’s amazing that I ever found out that homemade kombucha was my McDreamy of beverages. “Would you like a scoby?” sounds like something a teenager would ask his buddy under the bleachers, but in fact, … [Read more...]

On Airport Food

“I don’t know, it looks pretty suspicious,” I heard the woman in seat 1A say. “Hmm,” her partner mused. “It looks more like a sandwich to me,” I heard, as I glanced down and saw something missing from my armful of jumbled belongings. I fought my way back to the front of the plane to claim my soft-shell crab po’boy before we took off from Louis Armstrong International Airport—or were prevented from doing so by a suspicious but delicious package. The sandwich was with me because, as a traveler, I have a motto: “Never arrive at the airport hungry.” Given the options in most airports and the … [Read more...]