A lot of my travels were done before I can properly remember them. I was born in Kingston, NY, but can’t recall a thing about that. Possibly my first memories are of California, when my sister was born, but the memories are like small details cut from faded photographs and tell me nothing about California. Then we moved an impossibly long distance across the Pacific to the Samoan islands – and I have rain drenched memories of this place. Continue reading
Would you believe I’m finally getting it together to write a cookbook? I wrote the query this weekend, contacted Andrea, (my co-idea-co-cooking partner), and we’re going to get this baby out by summer’s end.
It made my think of how bad a cook I was in the beginning – basically I had no idea how to do anything. My mother cooked, my little brother and sister even cooked – and I poured cereal into a bowl and ate only the marshmallows. Maybe it was because I was such a picky eater. I hated everything, and until I got to France, I never thought about cooking. No, that’s not true. I was 17, in the British Virgin Islands and a Swedish woman was making a West Indian curry. It was the first time I’d ever liked something new, the first time I ever asked for a recipe, and the first time cooking became interesting. Typically, it was a melting pot of ideas and ingredients – and it was so easy a child could make it (or a teen who’d never cooked anything but rare toast). Continue reading
When I lived in Saint Thomas, one of the most magical things I experienced was the phosphorescent plankton that would appear in the secluded bay where we lived. On nights when the waves would crest with pale green light, we would go to the beach and swim surrounded by beads of green-blue light.
It happened on the hottest nights of the year, and when the sea was calm. The plankton gives off light when it’s agitated, so it glows just at the edge of the ocean where the waves wash onto the beach. Walk along the wet sand, and your footprints glow. When you swim, the plankton lights up all around you. You can smear the plankton on your body, and leave luminescent tribal tattoos. Once, on a boat at night, the plankton lit up in the boats wake. We leaned over the railing, the starry sky above, the dark water below, and it seemed we were floating along the milky way.
Of course, that’s when my glasses dropped off into the ocean, and we couldn’t afford to buy new ones. I didn’t get another pair of glasses until I’d lived in Paris for a year.