Tamale Party – a.k.a. Bridge-Playing Gringos Tackle Tamales (Part 1 of 2)

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Steamed tamales for a crowd.

Last week our bridge group (16 of us) descended on our kitchen to make tamales – with time off for a bit of bridge, loads of fun and, of course, some serious eating and drinking.  How did a group of bridge-playing gringos end up elbow deep in masa?  It all started with a side-conversation around Friday night bridge: Continue reading

Easy Outdoor Party With Seasonal Produce (Part 1 of 3)

Israeli Couscous with Sweet Red Peppers and Asparagus

Israeli Couscous with Sweet Red Peppers and Asparagus

Summer solstice – time to enjoy the glorious evening daylight, the early summer climate, lush gardens and early seasonal produce. Could there be a better time for an outdoor party?  My clever friends thought not. Continue reading

Do-Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner (Part 2 of 3) – Sausage, Sage and Apple Stuffing

Stuffing, Stuffing and More Stuffing

Since I’m cooking two Thanksgiving dinners in two U.S. states this year, I am fully immersed in “do-ahead” mode.   How else could I possibly manage??

Working through my list in Do-Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner (Part 1), I have made my turkey stock and gravy, asked friends to bring pies and ordered my turkey.   Now is the time to make my favorite part:  stuffing Continue reading

A Misstep Leads to Lima and Arroz a la Peruana

San Franciscan Church, Lima, Peru (Spanish Baroque Style, Built 1673)

Our friends were planning a trip to Peru and asked if we would like to go.  I can’t say Peru had been on our agenda for that year, but suddenly it looked like it belonged there.  My husband rarely turns down travel, but to be absolutely sure I had his commitment on this one, I reminded him that he was still indebted to me for his recent gaffe. Continue reading

Historic Hawkstone Park, English Golfing Ladies and Steamed Vegetables

Grotto Hill in Hawkstone Park

On a trip to England this spring, I caught up with my golfing friends at their annual “away” outing.  This year the golf was set in Shropshire’s historic Hawkstone Park.  The Park boasts the usual English history complete with lords, barons, castles, gory battles and executions.  In this case, it also has fascinating geography. Continue reading

The Quintessential English Farm Shop and Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Traveling throughout the United Kingdom, I struggle to understand how such a densely populated country can have so much green space and agricultural land.  The population density of the United Kingdom is a staggering 650 people per square mile — compared to 84 people per square mile in the United States.   One of the ways they achieve this “greenness” is by densely packing the cities, villages and hamlets (a village without a church) — leaving large expanses of green space for agricultural use.

Outskirts of Inkberrow Village

Continue reading