An Incomplete Anthology of Food, Culture & Technology

  • Deyrolle et le Prince Jardinier

    It’s not hard to get me talking about Paris. As much as I sometimes wish I had edgier taste in European cities, I adore Paris above all others. I love the people, the buildings, the sounds, the energy, the food, the art and the language —though you’d never know that from the way I speak […]

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  • Magazines - several covers of Uppercase magazine

    Why I Still Love Magazines, Part 2: Uppercase

    Inspiration isn’t always easy to come by, and of course, you certainly can’t wait around for it if you want to stay productive. Sometimes, though, inspiration comes in a hand-held shot of artistic B-12, straight into your brainpan. When I find easy access to such sources, I like to make sure they end up in […]

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  • sleep - a sunlight dappled, unmade bed

    Sleep: Part One

    The terrain of middle age isn’t always an easy one. One of the biggest challenges is realizing that the things you used to do, that you’ve always done, aren’t having the same effect on your body, and your life, as they used to. The most popular disappointments are likely in the Boy Oh Boy I […]

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  • White Mac Laptop - Personal Blogging

    Personal Blogging: Claiming Your Story, in Your Voice

    Ages ago, I had a blog called Kimbaland. I’ve long since switched it off, but sometimes, just for fun, I pull up an old post just to see where my head was at on some random day in the fall of 2008 or so. What always strikes me is how freely I wrote then, and […]

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  • Image via sarahabrahamphotography.wordpress.com

    An Elegant Breakfast

    When we travel, one of the things I look for in a hotel is an elegant breakfast. Yup. Big beds, good wifi, a downtown location and an elegant breakfast. Finding the perfect combination of understated luxury and practical services isn’t always easy, but if you do find it, you can probably assume that there will […]

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  • Kinfolk Magazine - Kinfolk Dinners Image Search

    Why I Still Love Magazines, Part One: Kinfolk

    If you call me up and tell me you’re coming over in a few minutes, three things will happen. 1. I’ll frantically sweep up whatever pet hair I can in the limited time available. 2. I’ll settle my dog in the bedroom with a bone so he won’t herd you to death while you’re here. […]

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  • Minitel terminal, from www.lanacion.com.ve

    Minitel: The France Wide Web

    Do you remember this first time you got online? If you’re like me, it probably involved a dial-up account with AOL in 1995 or so. If you’re like Jamie, it probably happened in some computer lab about six years earlier, but hey, we can’t all be bleeding edge tech types. I wish I could fondly […]

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  • A Foodie’s Defense of Trader Joe’s

    A few years back, when my interest in food and cooking collided with my political side, and I, like millions of others, discovered Michael Pollan, I made some very serious pronouncements and decisions about food. Of course, I blogged about these decisions, as I did about all of my decisions in those days. Oh, how […]

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  • The Twitter IPO is not for you

    Twitter will hold its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on Thursday to great anticipation. Hopefully (for them, at least) this will go better than the Facebook IPO both on the technical side and on the price side. No matter which way it goes, though, the Twitter IPO is not for you. Now, if you are interested in […]

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  • It’s Hot Bread & Butter Time Again

    Here in San Diego, fall is a muted, almost imaginary phenomenon, nearly impossible to distinguish from the gorgeous weather we’ve had all summer. (And really, all year.) But the nights are finally getting cooler, and the days are getting shorter, and that means it’s time to bake bread. I love to bake bread. This isn’t […]

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  • Old blue stove

    Kitchen Tools 101, Session One

    Cooking isn’t something I came to love easily. It was a task I mastered very slowly, and with a generous amount of resistance. Forced on me by my traditional, old-fashioned parents as my punishment for being the only girl, I dug my heels in. I grudgingly brought 2 ½ cups of water to a boil, […]

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  • Golden lads and girls all must, as chimney sweepers, come to dust

    What if I told you that there’s an industry in the US that throws 10 tons of copper and brass, 30 million board feet of hardwood timber, 1.5 million tons of reinforced concrete, 100,000 tons of steel and a goodly bit of plastic, vinyl and fiberglass into the ground every year? And that on top […]

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  • The Internet of Things

    Okay, it looks like I’ve decided that I need a series of “primer” posts in order to ensure some baseline level of knowledge among my readers. If this post or the big data post are uninteresting or too basic, hang tight: more complicated posts are coming. I just don’t want to lose anyone along the […]

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  • Chicken and sausage soup

    Chicken and Sausage Soup

    The cliché is accurate: it’s always summer here. Oh, I know, people here will tell you it’s “freezing” when it’s 50°F outside, and it does get cloudy (ish) and chilly (a little) in January and February, but it takes a real act of deliberate self-deception to buy into the idea that it’s winter. So screw it, […]

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  • An old photo of the Atomium with a cauliflower photoshopped over it

    The Atomium and Freedom of Panorama

    The Atomium is Belgium’s most famous set of balls. Built for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, this odd structure was never intended to be permanent but it has since joined the Wiener Riesenrad and the Eiffel Tower in an exclusive group of European landmarks leftover from temporary exhibitions. The building’s creator, André Waterkeyn, designed the building to represent […]

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  • What is Big Data?

    If you’ve been paying any attention to the tech industry in the past year or so, you’ve probably seen almost as many references to “big data” as you’ve seen to “the cloud.” Both are ridiculous and fairly meaningless umbrella terms for things that actually matter. More on the the cloud later, but as I mentioned […]

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  • A labeled image of the Enigma Machine

    Cryptography is Hard

    Lots of things in the news recently have been pushing me to do an article on cryptography. Unfortunately, cryptography is hard, and the longer I try to work on this, the longer the article gets. Meanwhile, I realize that at >1000 words, I still haven’t really explained anything useful and my readership probably gave up […]

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  • soft boiled egg breakfast

    In Praise of the Soft-Boiled Egg

    A soft-boiled egg in a ceramic cup, served with a dainty spoon to eat it with, was part of my childhood. My brothers and I would knock the tops of our eggs off with our tiny spoons, eat the bit of white out of the shell we’d removed and then dig in, sprinkling salt into […]

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  • The KitchenAid Stand Mixer: a primer

    This is the first in an occasional series about the history and lore of kitchen gadgets and machines.  Back in my single days, I used to (sort of) joke that the only way I’d ever be able to afford a KitchenAid stand mixer would be to get married. Turns out I did something far riskier […]

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  • beignets

    Online Recipes: How do you know they’ll work?

    Like most cooks, I’ve smudged a greasy finger across my iPad screen more than a few times, and I’ve probably exposed my computer keyboard to more moisture and kitchen spooge than it was designed to handle. Cooking without the internet to help me with tasks like conversions and substitutions, and to dispense general advice, seems […]

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