Good-bye winter

in daily life, ECS Nepal, Food, Nepali dishes, restaurants, thukpa, Tibetan cooking, wintertime | No Comments »

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Most days since I became a regular here at ECS, I’ve either brought a sandwich or followed a group of coworkers to their favourite lunch spot, a local joint around the corner. However, not long ago a large rodent ran through there, inches from my feet. Fortunately I did not see it, but it has been enough to put me off returning there since. I’m well aware that many eateries in Nepal often play unwitting hosts to small creatures of all sorts, but what made this different was the fact that this place seemed to tolerant of or possibly even catering to the animal’s presence. And it was running from the direction of the kitchen, so…

This might seem a strange way to begin a post about delicious food, and yet. Feeling a little disloyal, the next time I wanted lunch I let the group go on without me and headed out on my own to a place across the street from our offices, where I’ve seen some of the staff eating before. It’s only marginally more upscale than the place favoured by most of my colleagues, but not by much. With chilly days still very much with us, I ordered one of my favourite winter dishes, a chicken thukpa. Thukpa is a thick soup of noodles and vegetables, served in a spicy broth, with or without your choice of meat or egg. It has its roots in Tibet, though the incarnations generally served nowadays in the valley’s small restaurants have evolved into a unique local variant.

Well, this version was delicious, and I was back again and again. A few days ago I opted for the slightly pricier ‘mixed’ thukpa, which has everything–veggies, eggs, and several kinds of meat. Heaven!

Yesterday–literally from one day to the next–warm, spring weather flooded the valley. Usually the change is more gradual, but this year the cold had lingered much later than usual, so the sudden change was all the more noticeable. Someone here at work said that the warm weather was triggered by the hailstorm we had a few days ago – everyone has a weather theory here!

All that to say, my thukpa eating days are pretty much over, unless we get another cold spell. So today, despite the heat, I ordered a last bowl of mixed thukpa anyway, the one you see here. It was delicious, another reminder, if I needed one, of why I love cold days best.

Whatever you’re eating as you read this, I hope it’s as tasty.

Article on 3D printed prosthetics in The Kathmandu Post

in 3D printed prosthetics, published, writing | No Comments »

As my first byline in The Kathmandu Post, I’m glad that it’s also on a topic that means a lot to me and I believe also has the potential to matter for Nepal. I love the intersection of cutting edge science and practical applications for those who need it most.

http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/printedition/news/2017-02-11/3d-printed-prosthetic-dreams.html

This was published in the print edition on Saturday, February 11th, 2017.

 

 

News

in ECS Nepal, Food, published, writing | No Comments »

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In early January I was offered the position of editor at ECS Nepal, the magazine I have contributed to for years as a freelance writer. It was a big surprise, but a good one. So far it’s been a crazy, hectic whirlwind of learning, hard work, and fun.

February’s magazine (above) is a special food issue, the first with my name on the masthead. It’s pretty funny it turned out that way, since food is the topic I’ve written about most for them over the years. The great group of people I work with did so much to make it happen on time in challenging circumstances and with a new editor taking over halfway through the process–I’m thrilled and honoured to be on the team.

Clear air, mountain views

in daily life, Himalaya, wintertime | 2 Comments »

These past three days have mostly started off chilly and hazy, and yet each of the last three days have cleared up beautifully by afternoon. Crisp, clear, snow-topped Himalayas stand out in perfect definition against the blue, blue sky. As the sun sets, they turn a beautiful, soft pink. I can’t get enough.

Wonderful winter days that make you happy to live in Nepal.

Happy New Year 2017!

in animals, birds, birds of the Kathmandu Valley, Laz the dog, pets | No Comments »

This morning when I opened my front door, the first thing I saw was a large, white-breasted kingfisher sitting high atop a tree just a short distance from the house. While it’s not an uncommon bird to see in Nepal, I can’t recall having ever seen one at this time of year before, so it was a lovely new year surprise, and especially nice to have it be the first thing I saw when I stepped outside on the first day of the new year. It stayed up there for quite a while, too, even returning after flying off for a bit, so perhaps I’ll see it again. A small thing, but it made me very happy.

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It was rather a grey morning, so it didn’t photograph well, but I wanted to share it anyway. And to make up for that picture quality, I also give you Laz: enjoying a Christmas bone and not enjoying a Christmas hat, respectively. :)

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Christmas cakes galore

in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Last night I baked the last four Christmas cakes, the same ones I’ve been baking for years now, from a free recipe handout card I got at an Oxfam years ago in London, somewhere. Funny where your most-used recipes end up coming from, isn’t it?

When I was done, I realized that, including the ones made for the Christmas fairs earlier this month, I had baked well over twenty Christmas cakes this year. These final ones are for friends, and by now I know the recipe by heart.

Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope you are enjoying eating yummy things this season!

The Mo:Mo Series — Number 5

in Food, mo: mo, mo:mo series, Nepali dishes, restaurants, wintertime | No Comments »

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These super-awesome incredibly delicious pork mo:mo are from New Dish, a little place tucked upstairs in Kichapokhari, New Road. It’s been open for 26 years but I’ve only just been there for the first time (and the second, and third–already). They have a small menu–amongst which pork mo:mo are the only mo:mo variety–but they are great. Thin-skinned and succulent, served with a simple hot chilli dipping sauce, and a bowl of broth. There used to be a place by my house that served broth with their mo:mos (basically it’s the steaming water, doctored up a little) but they closed and I’ve missed it. This place is already on my favourites list, and with chilly winter weather on the way, I know I will become a regular here.