» winter

Feta-p With Baked, Boiled, Sautéed, and Mashed Potatoes

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

Minestrone-y Minestrone

The weather is beginning to turn cold here (in Moroccan terms, that means it rained a little this week) so of course my thoughts turned to soup. (Actually, my thoughts turned to stir-fry first, but broccoli was not to be found for love of money. Since I’d already bought the other ingredients at our delightful Berber Sunday market, I had to rethink my meal plan.) Erm. I mean, I began craving soup.

I have always loved minestrone, but it never made me giggle until I watched Green Wing for the first time.… Read More

Colds & Christmas Crackers

I woke up in Wales on Monday morning, looked out the window, and went back to sleep. Here’s the thing about working in a school library: whenever a new super-strain of bacteria or virus emerges after circling happily through the kindergartners, it’s only a matter of time. Every teacher around you can be hacking and coughing and sneezing and sniffling, but you always think to yourself, “I’ll be okay. I wash my hands. I have a giant bottle of hand sanitizer that lives on my desk. If I see a child sneeze on a book, I wipe that book down with germ-killing alcohol. And then spray it with pure ozone. While wearing a biohazard suit. Besides, I have excellent immunity from constant exposure to these things. I eat about ten clementines a day.”

Well, readers, there comes a point when even the best precautions can no longer protect you from five to ten different versions of the common cold all vying, like tiny gladiators, to battle against your immune system in the grand stadium of your body. One of them is bound to get in.… Read More

Morocco, Weeks Seventeen Through Twenty-One

My last month has been remarkably uneventful and, at times, crushingly boring. Work, work, and then–for good measure–some more work. The weather here has been gorgeous (sunny and warm nearly every day) but sometimes I go several days at a time without feeling the sun on my face for more than five minutes.

I arrive at work just after sunrise, and often leave after dark. Go home, eat, fall asleep. Repeat. Haven’t written. Haven’t drawn. Haven’t picked up my mandolin. My camera has been sitting in a desk drawer for three weeks.… Read More