How To Travel the World For Only $30

Rating: Chocolate Cake

Okay, so my title may be misleading.  Perhaps you thought that I was going to tell you about some airline/hotel combination that would allow you to see the sights for hardly anything.

Unfortunately, that is not the case.  If it were, would I be sitting here writing to you?  Maybe not.  I would be out, wondering some bohemian-style, ancient street, taking pictures and savoring the smells (at least the good smells).  Perhaps later, I would settle down to write about these experiences and post my pictures of the Parthenon or the Eiffel Tower.

Not today.

Instead, I want to tell you about the adventure that I went on yesterday.  It involved a book and it involved food.

Of course it did.  After all, I am not The Very Hungry Bookworm for nothing.  Two of the most transporting experiences I know are stories and food.

When I eat chicken and stars soup, I am no longer sitting at school or in my apartment.  I am sitting at the cozy little table in my Mema’s house.  When I smell a grilled cheese sandwich, I am at home, chatting with my mom.  Pistachio gelato will always bring me to Paris.

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The Kitchen Rituals of a Very Tired Teacher

Rating: Orange

For Christmas this year, I had the great joy of unwrapping heart of the artichoke and other kitchen journeys by David Tanis.  This gift may not have been a surprise since I had strongly hinted in several ways that its presence in my apartment would not be a problem.  I am a big fan of Alice Waters and David Tanis, the great minds behind Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California.  I have not yet had the opportunity to eat there (why do three thousand miles separate us???), but the restaurant that sparked America’s local and simple food movement owns a very special place in my heart.

Furthermore, David Tanis spends the half of the year that he isn’t acting as head chef at Chez Panisse living in Paris.  Paris!  Only my favorite place in the world.  I majored in French in college, spent time in Paris, and have surrounded myself in my apartment with pictures of Paris so that I can at least feel like I’m there.  This dude rocks. Continue reading