Nov 262010
Remember November

Every single year, I make a pledge to approach the month of November prepared, ready to tackle every challenge it issues, armed with experience and predicting the ensuing chaos. But this time, again, it took me by surprise. It ambushed me. November skulked at a safe distance behind a harvest moon, hung meaninglessly from the [...]

Nov 242010
Waka Waka

I have never been to Africa. I listened, entranced, to the stories of wonder my parents’ friends told about working on the dams in Zambia, or building the roads in Zimbabwe, tracing  afterwords on the globe the meridians that led me to those exotic countries. In elementary school, I cried silent tears of angry resignation [...]

So That's Why They Call It Comfort Food

America officially became my home in August of 1986. I arrived on a one-way PanAm flight, Belgrade-New York-Detroit, dragging behind two suitcases overfilled with books and photo albums, my heart rent with sorrow from leaving my family and friends forever, and, at the same time, brimming with anticipation. I felt like Alice in Wonderland as [...]

Nov 162010
Bleu Moon Rising

It was April of 1987, and I was boldly approaching the entrance of one of the best restaurants in the area, armed only with the innocence and arrogance of my youth. My college degree was safely tucked in the file cabinet, still smelling of fresh ink. I was starting a new life in the land [...]

Nov 152010

Mother has always been an innovative and creative cook. As long as the recipe did not contain mollusks, cilantro, or hot spices, she would enthusiastically gather the necessary ingredients, substitute the missing ones if needed, and reproduce the dish she had seen on TV or in one of the many international magazines she read. This [...]

'em's taytas, precious!

I have a great ear and respect for languages and I try to pronounce foreign words as close as a native speaker would. I get a lot of sideway glances when I insist on saying moustache and garage just the way the French would. Michelangelo never becomes a Michael, and there is no “sh” sound [...]

Nov 112010
Cole Train

I have been on a serious German kick lately. Our eternally blue California skies become speckled with fleecy white clouds and I start thinking stews, and dumplings, and root vegetables. I talk to my sister on Skype over the ululating  sirens of the Frankfurt Fire Station #39 located across from their apartment building and I envision [...]

First Call for Alcohol

Once we were past the age of uttering two repetitive syllables as means of conversation, our parents bestowed upon us a Maleficent-like gift: the burden of trust. We were never forbidden anything and had to be mature enough to make our own decisions. A lot of days had to pass by before we knew for [...]

Nov 052010
Stinks So Good

I might have been a picky eater in the making for the first several years of my life, but milk and dairy products I always enjoyed with abandon. Living in Yugoslavia, we were on the outskirts of the technological revolution that swept the western world and glorified the cold aisles of the supermarkets. As a [...]

Nov 032010
Doubtless Thomas

I am the oldest of three children. My sister and I are separated by only sixteen months, but for me it was enough to always feel like a protector. I took her to a high school dance once and had to stand up to a gang leader who had fancied her, without considering the consequences [...]

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