Once upon a time, if you arrived via an airplane, or left your hotel room, wearing puffy white sneakers, you were immediately branded un américain, scorned for your fashion faux pas. So Americans (myself included) purposely wore regular shoes so as not to be pegged as, well – Américains.

A few of us brave souls occasionally bared our American patrimoine (heritage), bucking fashion in favor of comfort. I sometimes wore sneakers, carefully sidestepping those of the puffy variety, and if anyone had a problem with it (or them), I didn’t see it. But I was in the minority in Paris as sneakers were vaguely interdit, and most wore regular shoes around town. When I returned to the States for visits, if I ran into friends, looking down at my feet, they thought I had returned to attend a funeral

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I’ll be at Omnivore Books in San Francisco this Thursday, March 14th from 6:30 to 7:30pm for a chat and to sign books. Copies of all of my books will be there, including a few vintage copies of Room for Dessert (!) If you can’t make it to the event and would like a signed book, contact Omnivore Books and I can personalize it, and…

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Pad Thai

Even though some think it’s a cop-out ordering Pad Thai in a Thai restaurant, marking you as a newbie, I like it quite a bit. I do tend to go for Pad See Ew, wide pan-fried rice noodles, although I’m a little picky about them because I like the dish when the chewy ribbons of noodles have stuck to the wok and start sticking together,…

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I first wrote this post back in 2007. Yes, I know some of you may not have even been born yet, but I was well into my life as cook and baker, and shared what was one of my favorite knives at the time. Due to search engines, however, your past is always going to be hovering close to the present. One of the nice…

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When I arrived in Paris, I was surprised to see pink grapefruits as objects of such adulation. Métro billboard ads extolled the virtues of pink grapefruits, with ones from Texas being the most prized. Of course, it was a marketing campaign, but those grapefruits are rather good. When I lived in California, we didn’t just have grapefruits, we had everything, from Oroblancos, to tangelos and…

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Hitting the road again, or the skies I should say (although we did one bus ride during our trip – more about that later…), we touched down in Da Nang, specifically to visit The Museum of Cham Sculpture, a museum that is not to be missed if you’re in Vietnam.

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Vietnam

I wrote a story in my next book about all the places that I’m supposed to go to, or want to go to, or should go to. For a long time, Vietnam was near the very top of that list. We have friends that live in Vietnam, settling there after a few years of living in Japan, Laos, and Thailand. An assortment of commitments had prevented…

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When I realized we were going to Vietnam, I decided not to start making lists of places to go or things to eat, like I often do. (I’m learning to say “Yes” to less-scheduled vacations.) Fortunately, a friend who lives with her family in Ho Chi Minh City planned almost our entire trip for us, and I was happy to relinquish the role to her….

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Soup is something I never order in a restaurant. I never really knew why it didn’t appeal to me, but making this one make me realize that it’s because soup is something I can easily make at home. Even if you’re not someone who considers yourself a cook, a simple Celery Root Soup or Potato Leek Soup with just a few ingredients simmered up and blended…

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