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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Go(ld) Figure!

Figure skating champion and Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano talks about training diets, first-time sushi experiences, orecchiette love, and loathing casseroles on Episode 21 of Something About Food?

If you're old enough to remember the 1988 Winter Olympic games, then you're old enough to remember "The Battle of the Brians", when Brian Boitano beat Brian Orser for Olympic gold. I clearly remember Boitano's blue military style outfit and his sweet, sweet mullet. (Oh yes Brian, that was a mullet, and you wore it well!)

Brian Boitano gives a winning performance in the kitchen as well as on the ice. The star of Food Network and Cooking Channel’s What Would Brian Boitano Make has published a cookbook of the same name. His list of accomplishments includes winning a Primetime Emmy award and producing more than 30 TV specials. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.

On iTunes:
On Google Play:
On Soundcloud:
On Spotify:
On Libsyn:
On Stitcher:
On Player.FM:
On iHeartRadio:

Did you know that Mr. Boitano was featured in a song in the movie "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut"? Because that is what happens when you're a champion!

Orecchiette in a simple tomato sauce in Bari Italy, as Brian and I discussed.

And for the record, my mullet shade isn't from some poser - I rocked one in 1984.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sum It Up Sunday-Season 3 Premiere Guest

One of the best things about this podcast, for me, is the guests I'm finding to chat with. There is always something that surprises me during their interviews. There is also always a moment where we discover that we are connected by food, as is everyone.

Our Season 3 opening episode guest is a perfect example of that. This Tuesday you'll be able to hear all about it in "Go(ld) Figure".

Here are some solid gold hints about our premiere guest: an Olympic gold medal winner who is true to their pasta-loving Italian roots.

Athlete, cookbook author, and animated superhero, do you think you know? 
Figure it out and follow through by emailing us your guess at

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Good Food News-Tawainese Tribal Traditions

We found restaurateur/chef Lily Wen of the Taromak tribe, from the Kindoor mountains on the east coast of Taiwan, in an Eater article that showcases how she uses food as a way to help people reconnect to her heritage.

“Colonization almost destroyed my culture,” Wen says. “Food is our last line of connection.”
"Most of that work is through food. Dawana is the Taromak’s only restaurant dedicated to indigenous cuisine. The seating is entirely outdoors, with handcrafted furniture made from driftwood. It seats up to 30 people, and Wen cooks and feeds visiting tourists and private parties, most of whom hear about her unique concept through word of mouth."

We are honored that she is sharing her traditions and dishes with us. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Food for Thought

Almost two years ago I was a little over halfway through my Around the World Journey. News reports and posts from friends showed a US that wasn't the hospitable place I thought it was when I left. 
The world was so welcoming that I wrote a letter to My American Friends and shared it on Facebook.

February 26, 2016
Dear American Friends
Yesterday, here in a tiny village outside Asilah Morocco, I went for a walk. Along the way, we met up with a group of hijab dressed Muslim women. They were on their way to comfort friends who had a death in the family. They hailed us with "As-Salaam-Alaikum," the Arabic greeting  meaning "Peace be unto you." One woman even gently took my fellow volunteer's hand, smiled sweetly and wished us well.
There are two mosques within sight distance. Their calls to Prayer echo against one another through the valley. Atop the minaret of one a family of storks is nesting and raising their young.
This, my friends, is the Muslim world.
So far on my journey, I have been to 13 countries. Six of them were predominantly Muslim, while 3 have a minority of Muslim adherents.
I've met peaceful smiles, nods, and hospitality wherever I've been. The number one question I'm asked? " How are you? Are you warm/cold/hungry?"
I am not religious or spiritual. I'm restless, ever questioning and questing.
There are radicals the world over who push forth anger, hatred, and subjugation of equal rights in the name of their "religion". 

I believe that it isn't a religion we should be united against. Instead, we should be showing peace and acceptance to those who greet us with the same. "As-Salaam-Alaikum" 

The podcast was, in part, begun to carry this conversation on. We can respect one another, be hospitable and all find room at the table.

Join us.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Something About-Javier Zamora

I'm not a poetry nerd. I want to be. Poetry distills emotion and feelings into words that give meaning to experiences. This is how I felt when I first read the poems of Javier Zamora.
On A Dirt Road Outside Oaxaca, spotlighted in The New Republic, tells of the time of waiting as you prepare to run over the border. A lizard licks horchata off of a boy's hand, vans are packed with people and time ticks by. An experience I have never had, that Javier shares in a way I can recognize.

The voice Javier uses is very much his own. Part resistor, citizenship seeker, proud Salvadoran and eyes wide open contributor to the immigrant experience in the US. The New York Times featured his poem Citizenship in a piece titled Poems: A Resistance Primer.

His experiential, autobiographical poems and voice are a part of the anthology Misrepresented People-Poetic Responses to Trump's America. The responses the writers shared must be heard.

Several years ago he attended the Napa Valley Writer's Conference where the seeds of his poetry were first worked out. "The workshop Zamora joined that year with Brenda Hillman was his first ever; in 2011, he returned to Napa to work with Major Jackson. Poems he first wrote at the conference appear in Unaccompanied,"

This April 20-22, 2018, in historic Round Top, Texas, Javier will be a speaker at the Poetry At Round Top festival.  I urge you to seek him out and listen.

Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador and migrated to this country at the age of nine. He is the winner of numerous awards and fellowships; his first poetry collection, Unaccompanied, was published in September by Copper Canyon Press.

We talked about his experiences, his grandmother's cooking, Hawaiian restaurants and karaoke love in “Poetry and Pupusas”, Episode 19 of Something About Food?.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sum It Up Sunday-Here's The Scoop

Ice cream evokes many emotions for me. It isn't just a sweet thing to have on a hot summers day, or after dinner, or by the pint as you binge-watch Altered Carbon... not that I did that, I'm just sayin...

For the Clarke Clan ice cream was a big deal. Our mom wouldn't let us have it unless we were ALL good. All 6 of us. Do you have any idea how hard that is? Our oldest was only 7 years older than the youngest, so it wasn't like he was leading us with his maturity. Rather, he and the second oldest were the ones who planned, organized and executed the shenanigans we got into.

Like I said, we rarely had ice cream. This was such a big deal, that old neighbors of ours remember this rule some 40+ years down the line.

Every two weeks my mom would take us shopping, dropping the majority of us nitwits off at our Aunt Mimi and Uncle Don's, while she took two of us with her to the store. (Remember those shenanigans I was talking about? Picture six kids in a grocery store playing basketball with the balls from the big wire basket display. Now picture the carnage when said basket breaks. Hence the "only two go with her" rule.)

If 4 of us had been good for Mimi and Don and 2 of us had been good for Mom we would stop at Dairy Queen on the way home. A big if.

The Old Bird would never tell us if she had decided to stop- either she turned or we just kept on driving by.

Somehow we decided that we could influence her, not by asking or pleading, but more subliminally, because we were sooo smart. The old Brady Bunch Grocery Getting Station Wagon had a turn signal that was very loud when activated. As we approached Dairy Queen on our left, we would begin to quietly chant "blinka blinka...blinka blinka..", hoping that this would awaken the "turn left" response in our mother's brains, bring us into the Dairy Queen parking lot and enable us to partake in the sweet, cool, creaminess that a medium cone (never allowed bigger) or Dilly Bar (never allowed a banana split) are made of.
I'd say 9 times out of 1000 we were successful. But ooooh those 9 times.

The ice cream memories associated with my aunt and uncle don't stop there. We knew when we were at their house we could have treats that were unheard of at our own. They raised 6 kids as well (Irish Catholics don't ya know) who were about 10 years older than we were. And since they had an empty nest, they moved my Gram Clarke in with them.

Whenever Mimi and Don would head out to visit one of their brood they would call on my sister and I to Gram sit while they were gone. We were only 7 or 8 years old, but Gram wasn't incapacitated. And she loved to take an afternoon nap. Which meant Katie and I were left to our own devices for a few hours.

We could take the cash that they had left for us and trip down the street to Friendly's where we would share a Jim Dandy between us. Or we could dive into the downstairs freezer to build our own. I swear they had every topping you could think of in their fridge. The chocolate syrup that turns into a hard shell, maraschino cherries, butterscotch get the idea.

There it is, The Jim Dandy in all its glory!

Years later Mimi and Don found small scraps of paper from when we would play Ice Cream Parlor on their back porch. The paper was from the ice cream orders that we wrote down. We took these things very seriously you see.

Mimi is now 91 years old and can still polish off an ice cream cone or sundae without blinking an eye.

As can the oldest, you know, the not so mature leader of all shenanigans.

So, for me ice cream means family, laughter (and I guess being good)... but I'm an adult now so I can have it even when I'm bad... like when I've binge-watched Altered Carbon.... just sayin...

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Good Food News-Shared Food in Florida

Have you ever seen a child munching an apple? Messily spooning some yogurt into their mouth? And giggling while doing so? What if a child was "food insecure"?

Studies have shown that a child who is hungry will "often lag behind their food-secure peers in terms of cognitive, emotional, and physical development." We love stories that show food insecurity being combatted with compassion and sharing.

A recent article in The Kitchn  relates how some Florida schools are setting the table with shared food. Food waste is lessened and kids eat more. And that means they develop along with their peers to be the bright, giggling, goofballs they should be.

We love this!