Whenever I visit a new city, one of my favorite pastimes is photographing stained glass in every church and cathedral I can find. Not the usual, “this is a really big wall of glass and look at all the beautiful colors” photos, but photos of the intricate details that are easily missed when taking in the window as a whole. Why do I do this? Sometimes to find inspiration for my own illustrations. Sometimes because I love the stories the glass portraits tell. Sometimes because they make me laugh. And sometimes, simply because I like the colors and shapes. Occasionally I neglect to take any photos of the entire window, and only realize this days later when sorting through my photos.… Read More
Is nine months too late to write an overdue travel post? Last June we found ourselves in peaceful Saint-Émilion, staying in an historic farmhouse in the middle of wine country.
We began in Bordeaux on the day of a huge wine festival, enjoying local wine and the best sunset of our trip. The following day, we explored St. Émilion, an ancient city dating back to prehistoric times. We explored Roman ruins, sampled more local wine (of course), confused a cat, and visited a nearby market town with friends.… Read More
I know, you guys, I know. Everybody knows how to make roasted potatoes. It is a well-known fact that American fetuses develop potato roasting abilities in the womb, possibly before they develop arms with which to roast said potatoes.
But I didn’t. You heard me. Until two months ago, I didn’t know how to make roasted potatoes. Sure, I’d tried sporadically over the years; usually well-intentioned tries at replicating my father’s delicious rosemary potato slices or late night hash brown attempts. I could microwave a baked potato from the age of six. I could sautée potatoes with onions. I could bake potato and egg breakfast casseroles. And like any self-respecting half-Jew, I could fry a decent latke. But every time I tried roasting, the world’s easiest potato-cooking method, I ended up with a pan full of charred and shriveled potato corpses littered with rosemary-flavored ashes.… Read More
Let’s all stay politically correct here, okay? Nobody wants to eat smaller-than-average bread with a complex. These went straight from my oven to a fancy dinner party at a local museum. In case you’re not important enough to be invited to such an event, these can also be rolled flat and cut into exciting shapes, like dinosaurs or ferocious undersea predators.… Read More
The next stop on our European odyssey was Py, a tiny village in the Pyrenees. First, though, we had to get to France! After saying goodbye to our hosts in Girona, we hopped on the bus to Perpignan, on the French side of the mountains. The driver chatted away to me as he hauled our bags into the belly of the bus. When I explained that I grew up in the US but currently live in Morocco, he immediately shifted to darija and spent the remainder of the trip trying out various Moroccan Arabic phrases on me and watching my reaction, despite my protestations that I only spoke “shwiya, shwiya!” (A little!) So that was entertaining for one of us.… Read More
After over a month of traveling in Spain, France, and England, I am shamefully behind in blogging my adventures, of which I have had many. Couchsurfing through Spain and France, I made new friends along the way and had some great experiences. I left Tangier by plane on June 23, with my faithful (and unbelievably patient) sidekick travel partner, Erin. Just after touching down in Girona, we were whisked away by our hosts, Miguel and Cristina, to a party in honor of St John’s Eve.
I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to Catalonia. Men fed the bonfire while their wives chattered away happily with us.… Read More
“I want hummus.” You know how many times I heard this from a friend over the course of a single week? I don’t know either, because I lost count. Neil would be over watching a movie, and suddenly: “I want hummus.” Walking through the medina: “I want hummus.” Discussing time travel: “I want hummus.” Taking self-defense lessons: “I want hummus.”
So do you know what I did? No, I didn’t banish him from my presence, my home, and the whole of Africa. I made hummus.… Read More
Upon moving to Morocco, I thought, “Aha! Tabbouleh here will be the best I’ve ever had! Beautiful farmer’s market parsley, fresh cucumbers, glowing tomatoes… I’m all set!” Well, almost. I soon discovered that bulgur wheat, one of the main ingredients, is nearly impossible to find here. I looked through shop after shop, consulted friends, and even sent my Lebanese student home to question his mother. After months of searching, the bottom line seemed to be that bulgur wheat, like Thai curry and bagels, could not be found in Morocco for love or money.… Read More
Since my last post was so long-winded, I figured I’d go in the opposite direction with this one…
At the end of March
I met my dear grandparents
down in Marrakesh
We had orange juice
for breakfast every morning
It was delicious… Read More