They remind me of my Uncle Herman, who was a butcher married to one of my grandmother’s four sisters.
In my mind’s unreliable eye, I remember him working from a pushcart outside a market in Boston’s Haymarket Square. There was an associated store just behind him as well, and I’m pretty sure it had sawdust on the floor and butchers in bloodied white aprons.
I know Uncle Herman called me by a pet name that I recall was Continue reading
My mother and I at home a few years ago.
Where I spent most of my life, there was the concept of going home. That referred to where I went to bed at night.
Here, Cambodians usually mean the same thing.
Were I to head to my hometown, that would refer to the Boston, Massachusetts area, where I was born and lived the first 18 years of my life.
Here in Phnom Penh, “hometown” does not exactly exist as a concept. Instead, Cambodians will say in their language they are going to their homeland.
“Homeland” is freighted with far more significance than “home” or “hometown.” It has Continue reading
An engrossing excerpt from restaurant critic Frank Bruni’s forthcoming book, Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater, caught my eye in the New York Times Sunday Magazine.
Fascinated, I read the account of his youthful indulgence, which so closely paralleled mine – thankfully, only up to a point. But here are some tidbits that resonated:
- As a youngster, he would demand and devour two hamburgers at a time, wanting more. For my school lunch, my mother had to pack two sandwiches.
- Bruni remembers almost everything about his childhood in terms of food. I am told that when I was 2 years old and my folks engaged in a rare indulgence in a lobster at a restaurant, guess who ate the whole thing? Of that I don’t have a specific recollection, but ah, those BLTs in later years, the slices of processed cheese smeared with French’s yellow mustard, the fresh (rather than canned) vegetables that I urged my mother to try cooking, the apple pie I mastered at 15.
- He recalls, as well, ice cream smothered with his mother’s homemade chocolate sauce. Continue reading