Dawa – a simple tropical cocktail

While on vacation in Kenya with my sister, we stumbled upon (and later, because of) a fantastic cocktail. Simple to construct, lots of flavour and extremely refreshing. It’s called a Dawa, which is the Swahili word for “medicine.” I assure you, the name speaks to the effect rather than the taste.

A simple tropical cocktail
Washed-up, shore-worn sea turtle skull for scale.

Continue reading “Dawa – a simple tropical cocktail”

Summer lassis

All measurements can be adjusted as you like. These are so delicious that I can barely stop myself from drinking them in one long pull, especially the strawberry one when made with fresh sweet berries.

Mint Lassi

  • 1 cup loosely packed mint
  • 1/2 tsp toasted fennel seeds or less
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • sugar to taste, I usually add 1-2 tbsp
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 5 ice cubes
  • Litte bit of cream, totally optional

Blend! Continue reading “Summer lassis”

High-value deliciousness

I have to say that there is no food with higher deliciousness for effort than risotto. Admittedly, it does take some time. But for the total amount of effort input, there is no food that packs the same kind of tastiness. Do not endeavour to make risotto unless you have a solid 35-45 minutes. But man, if you do find yourself with enough time to wait while the rice does it thing, I cannot recommend risotto enough.

I really wanted to get this recipe out because there is only one week or so of asparagus season left in the northern mid-latitudes. Fresh, local asparagus tastes so many lightyears better than the imported green wooden sticks you get out of season, it’s important to make the most of it while it’s here. Continue reading “High-value deliciousness”

Fiddleheads, the other edible fern

It’s not real risotto, but still delicious.

Fiddleheads are local food that announces the arrival of spring. Sprouts of ostrich ferns picked in the wild, they are a culinary and mathematical delight–such taste and proportions the (Golden Mean). Fiddleheads are similar to their fern-cousin asparagus, but their the texture and delicacy are closer to spinach. They are always eaten cooked and best not overcooked since they lose their colour, texture, and taste. Continue reading “Fiddleheads, the other edible fern”

Taking a dip

At a New Year’s party in Berlin, I was happily playing sous-chef for Tiffany. As a token North American, I was told to make “some sort of dip” for a crudité platter. In fairly short order, I assembled something passable from convenience store cheese that resembled a plasticine version of Boursin, sour cream, and sundry seasonings. In the end, two dips were served, since Kristin brought mock crab dip (Note: this is different from mock-crab dip, though both are good).

That had me thinking about the whole premise of dip and who might have invented it. Some internet searching for “dip capital of the world” only led to sites with observations about chewing tobacco. Eventually, I stumbled across a site about queso cheese dip, but still I was unsated, hungry as I was for the origins of a completely unnecessary foodstuff. Continue reading “Taking a dip”

Pão de queijo

I had heard about Brazilian “cheese bread,” or pão de queijo, but had never tried it until my friend Rick found frozen ones at the grocery store a few months ago. Last week he talked the Brazilian couple who cleans his house into giving us a lesson on how to make the gougère-like rolls. They are surprisingly easy to make and will give you lead-belly in no time flat.
Continue reading “Pão de queijo”

Liver and red wine tomato sauce

Last April, we took our clients to Spaghetti Western. One of my colleagues ordered the special — a pasta with liver and red wine tomato sauce. I was intrigued. He asked if I wanted to taste it. I did want to, and so I did taste it.


I go to Spaghetti Western often, but I’ve never seen it on the menu again. The taste has been haunting me. I’ve thought about trying to replicate it , and earlier this week I decided that today would be the day. Continue reading “Liver and red wine tomato sauce”