Homebound: I Self-Isolated for 6 Years. Now I’m Doing It Again.

Home is a powerful place for all of us, and its presence feels particularly acute right now. But how do quarantine and isolation affect our perception of the space? Homebound: Dispatches on COVID-19 & How We Live asks this of three writers currentl…

Home is a powerful place for all of us, and its presence feels particularly acute right now. But how do quarantine and isolation affect our perception of the space? Homebound: Dispatches on COVID-19 & How We Live asks this of three writers currently negotiating this reality in different parts of the world—Hong Kong, Seattle, and Florence. We hope their explorations can help us better understand our changing sense of home.


A March spring day is preciously brisk in Hong Kong. But I have no intention of going outside. With my morning coffee still hot to the touch, I’m standing in my kitchen amidst a mental confrontation with the raw chicken before me.

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The Spicy Peanut Noodles That Got Me Through My Move to Beijing

Writer Mandy Lee, whom you might know from her blog, Lady & Pups, is one of our favorite recipe developers and storytellers. In her debut cookbook, The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story, with Intensely Good Flavors, Mandy shares about her j…

Writer Mandy Lee, whom you might know from her blog, Lady & Pups, is one of our favorite recipe developers and storytellers. In her debut cookbook, The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story, with Intensely Good Flavors, Mandy shares about her journey moving from New York to Beijing—a new home she didn't really like, but wanted to accept because her husband's job brought her there—and how cooking was the only thing that helped her cope with the transition. The following excerpt (plus, three delicious recipes) from The Art of Escapism Cooking is about the kind of food Mandy loves to cook when she's by herself.


When I first arrived in Beijing, I was blissfully excited. Undeniably, a city cloaked in complicated ancient history, much of which is beautifully mysterious and some of which is evidently dark and savage, should be a pulsating magnet for anyone who is the least bit curious about the world at large, including me. Not to mention my adoration of the foods I found there, which obviously inspired many of the recipes in my cookbook. I swear that I went to Beijing with my best effort at an open heart.

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