Sharing Life’s Lumps

The amount of deaths is like Six degrees of Kevin Bacon.  But it’s not six degrees; it’s two. And it’s not Kevin Bacon—it’s the Grim Reaper. And the deaths are limited to people. The casualties include ma and pa diners, graduation parties, and baseball season.

ho-ho-ho chi minh city

There’s a lot to smile about in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) Vietnam. The endless allies to explore… And the food Zigzagging through traffic on a Grab-it scooter Taxi… And the food. The fish lady… And the coffee you enjoy after you food. And the nipple guards. (I bet you thought I’d say food again). Saigon has so much good […]

Last Two Dollars

The only thing more exhausting than visiting 10 countries in five days is visiting one country in thirty.  My trip to the USA was stuffed like my suitcase, bursting at the seams, starting in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, a mere 7589 miles from Kunming, China to finalize my divorce. No happy endings, but I do get my maiden name back-and my […]


  I miss some of my hang outs in Chicago’s Uptown. Everybody’s Coffee The lobby of Friendly Towers. Dollop. But I  do have a few hangouts in Kunming’s BeiChen area. Here are some of my stomping grounds on the flip side. This is one of my favorite coffee shops in the BeiChen Fortune Shopping Mall.  They have coffee, waffles and […]

Chinese Diners and Dives

I did the math. Eight seven thousand five hundred.  That’s the number of servings I prepared last year at Jesus People USA,  feeding  three hundred and fifty funky folks each night, five days a week.  That doesn’t include the meals that end up at Uptown shelters or the folks at Tent City. Or the lumpy grits that no one would […]

Pickle Bucket Pancake Warmer

It sounds like one of the gadgets you can only buy at Christmas time along with  a Chia Pet. A pickle pancake warmer. No batteries or assembly required. All you need is an old pickle bucket,  bubble wrap,  hot leftovers and a heart for the homeless. We had the idea today in the kitchen when we had a surplus of […]

Kitchen Bitchen

  There are a few phrases I hate muttering in the kitchen. Today it was this: If you drop a spoon in the coffee grinder, don’t wait a week before getting it out.   Here are a few other gems I hope I never have to say: #1. No eating out of the compost bucket. #2. If a clean plate touches your armpit […]

Chinese-American Test Kitchens

The four letter word terrifies me. Rice. Every time I pull a pan out of the oven and peel back the aluminum lid,  I cringe. Will it be fluffy or mush? Rice is the standard by which cooks in our kitchen our measured. There are roughly seventy two hundred grains of rice in a cup,  and in our industrial size kitchen,  we literally […]