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Meanwhile, Back In The Kitchen

The small, emerald padrón peppers available last week at the vendor’s stand are gone, so instead I scoop up two big handfuls of pale green, slightly wrinkled guandilla (guindilla) peppers and place them into a bag. I adore these slim, elongated chiles that in their immature green stage have a very mild pungency. They remind me

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© L.R. Heartsong

Cookbooks and Lemons: A Taste of Morocco

For a once-professional chef, I don’t own a lot of ‘cookery’ books, as my dear British friends call them. A decade ago, I possessed a significantly larger number than I do now (books, that is, not friends, though as I think on it… hmm). As a cook and self-confessed bibliophile, well, it was a bit of

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Valentine’s Day: Eros and Apples

“Find Love in What You Read.” What writer or book lover could resist such an invitation? I clicked on the email from my publisher to open it.  What a nice surprise to find my recent book, The Bones and Breath, among five titles promoted for a Valentine’s Day sale. Personally I had never considered any connection between

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The Cook and the Mango Tree: Ordinary Blessings

I need to feel the earth under my bare feet. Just a few hours ago, I was hurtling across the blue Pacific, returning home to Hawaii, my partner, and a houseful of guests. Honestly, I’m feeling more than a little tired and ungrounded. Standing in the kitchen of our Kailua house, preparing dinner for the

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Polenta à la Marlena: Food for the Soul

“Stirring polenta counterclockwise is to flirt with calamity.” Such are the words of author Marlena de Blasi, relaying old Umbrian folklore of kitchen wisdom and superstition in one of her bestselling memoirs. For several years now, ever since reading The Lady in the Palazzo (the first book of hers I discovered, though it actually comes

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