Mental Masala’s Migration

This space is the new home of Mental Masala’s years of posts about food, history, travel and much more.  After attending the International Food Blogger Conference in July, I resolved to move my blog to a place where I would have more control. As I started planning the move, I decided to pull the plug […]

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Liquid Burdock

Summer Beverages from page 172, Good Housekeeping, Volume 9, 1889

Back in June, I wrote about setting up garden infrastructure to grow burdock root (a.k.a. gobo, Arctium lappa) so that I could have a local source for recipes in Elizabeth Andoh’s Kansha: Celebrating Japan’s Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions (my review of the book is here.).  My plants seem to be doing well, with each one […]

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Chocolate Adventure 2010 is all about cupcakes

(Updated, 11/24/16:  fixed broken links) (Disclosure: I attended the event at no charge and received various products from the event organizers.) A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending an event* at Elizabeth Falkner’s Orson in San Francisco (Update: Orson closed in 2011) to celebrate the launch of the fourth annual Chocolate Adventure, a […]

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Lime tree drama: spider vs. bee

A few weeks ago I bought a makrut lime tree (Citrus hystrix) so I could use its leaves in Asian curry pastes (Thai and Balinese, in particular), my favorite cauliflower soup, and to make infused syrups for drinks. Right now, the tree is festooned with blossoms and pea-sized fruits (most of which will probably fall […]

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Breeding ground: a visit to Luther Burbank’s farm in Sebastapol

A few weeks ago, I visited Gold Ridge, Luther Burbank’s experimental farm in Sebastopol while touring the wine country and counting the hours until our reservation at Ubuntu in Napa. Luther Burbank may not be a household name, but his work touches almost everyone. Burbank (1849-1926) was a prolific breeder of fruits, vegetables, grasses and […]

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