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if this is how a twelve year old gives compliments, how will he do insults?

Yesterday around dinner time, I asked Liam if he wanted chicken in a tortilla or just plain chicken with rice (I know, what a dazzling array of options. Don’t tell Ina Garten; she’d just feel threatened). Liam, sprawled on his bed in his fuzzy bathrobe, surfaced out of the book he’s reading (The Name of the Wind, which is apparently the Best Book Ever in the History of Words). “You …

Abu Dhabi Tex-Mex: the secret of Maria’s kitchen

When we first moved to Abu Dhabi, I binged on Middle Eastern food: humus, moutabel, babaghanoush, tabouleh, chicken shwarma.  Yum.  And when I could no longer look a chickpea in the face, there were other foods to choose from…but I couldn’t find good Mexican food in a restaurant, and in the grocery stores, all I could find were the Old El Paso taco “kits,” replete with stale corn tortillas and …

Grace in Small Things #4: In Praise of Grandma

1. Not a small grace note but a BIG grace note: my mother has been visiting us for the past week and having her here makes living so far away suddenly seem manageable.   It’s both extraordinary that she’s here and…completely ordinary. Of  course she’s here; Grandma always comes to visit in the fall.  The fact that she flew fifteen hours to do so…well, that’s just logistics. 2. Grandma brought candy …