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The Ritual of Cooking Rice

The quiet click of the rice cooker is music to my ears. It is unassuming, almost unnoticeable unless, of course, you wait for the flip of the switch with steadfast anticipation, like I always do. The click heralds good news. It means the rice is ready. The meal can now commence. The meal is now complete. I’ve owned two rice cookers in my adult life. My first was a welcome gift I received when I moved to California, a hand-me-down from one of the older graduate students in the university. It was sadly short-lived; it lasted only a few months before it stopped working. My second still sits on my…

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How to Make Strawberry Shortcake

Dear Carol, You would’ve loved the weather here yesterday. Sunny with only wisps of white clouds in the sky. Ninety on the patio. It was so hot we decided it was hot enough for the pool. I know you think we’re nuts to swim this time of the year. Almost seventy isn’t really too chilly.…

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Meet Our Flower Girls

Poppy and Pansy. Lily and Daisy. Tulip and Lotus. I am so excited for you to meet the new addition to our heritage flock. They are settling in nicely in their brooder box, in their new home, pecking and peeping charmingly in between naps. A baby chick literally falling asleep on her feet is the…

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Z is for Zamboanga and How to Make Bagon de Gata

How did I not know about bagon de gata? How did I miss out on this Zamboangueño sawsawan? Bagon is Chavacano for bagoong. Chavacano is the creole language spoken in Zamboanga, based heavily on Spanish. Bagon de gata is bagoong alamang, or salt-cured shrimp, simmered in gata, or coconut milk. Bagoong alamang is cooked slowly…

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How to Make Fish Sarciado

I propped my camera up against a nest of beach towels I crafted on the picnic table. It was a silver point-and-shoot, a present he gave me for Christmas. I framed the photograph with him standing on the beach, blocking the sun that was about to set behind the peaks, casting a long shadow on…

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Happy 2014 from Jun-blog!

I trust you had a wonderful holiday. Spent with family and friends, with loved ones. Around the dinner table, in the kitchen. On the road, perhaps. Across time zones, with a little help from the internet, of course. With time-honored traditions. With good food. Always with good food. Many thanks to you, my dear friends,…

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