A Fractured Relationship—& the Kebab That Filled the Cracks

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

Some of my most visceral childhood memories involve going to the butcher’s market wit…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


Some of my most visceral childhood memories involve going to the butcher’s market with my father—dozens of nearly identical shops, each no larger than a service elevator, tightly stacked up against one another like a deck of cards. These excursions usually followed Sunday prayers at our local gurdwara, the beating heart of a bustling Delhi bazaar. Around us, processions of herders displayed their livestock like prized show horses. Lilies curled and crisped under the hot Indian sun. A pack of parched stray dogs found relief in an unlatched water tanker. I would grip my father’s hand tight as the butcher’s blade sliced through the lamb’s neck like butter, wincing at the blood and sinew.

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What Is a Buy Nothing Group? Only the Best Thing I’ve Joined.

Simply Living is a new column by Christine Platt, aka the Afrominimalist. Each month, Christine shares her refreshing approach to living with less, with clever tips for decluttering, making eco-friendly swaps, and creating a more mindful living space t…

Simply Living is a new column by Christine Platt, aka the Afrominimalist. Each month, Christine shares her refreshing approach to living with less, with clever tips for decluttering, making eco-friendly swaps, and creating a more mindful living space that's all you.


Early in my journey to living with less, I did what most people do when they are ready to part with items that no longer serve them: I gathered up my donations and drove them to my local Goodwill. I recall feeling so accomplished while waiting in line to drop off my items, a feeling that only grew stronger as my car approached the free-standing donations’ trailer. Until one day, I found myself pulling up right when items were being transported inside the local facility. Given the angle of my vehicle, I could see directly into the Goodwill storage area. I was horrified. I had never seen so many industrial-sized rolling bins overflowing with things.

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A Nourishing Soup To Heal the Cracks

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

Back in April of last year—when ambulance sirens screamed hourly of yet another coron…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


Back in April of last year—when ambulance sirens screamed hourly of yet another coronavirus casualty in a climate fraught with PPE shortages and simmering with racism against Asian Americans—my Korean immigrant mom headed to work the COVID-19 shift every day at Manhattan’s VA hospital.

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An Ode to Slimy, Slippery, Sticky Food

Few foods paint upon the blank canvas of a bowl of jasmine rice quite as brilliantly as natto. A much-loved Japanese dish of fermented soybeans, natto complements the rice sitting beneath, its gooey, stringy texture and pungent aroma lending the plain …

Few foods paint upon the blank canvas of a bowl of jasmine rice quite as brilliantly as natto. A much-loved Japanese dish of fermented soybeans, natto complements the rice sitting beneath, its gooey, stringy texture and pungent aroma lending the plain grains a satisfying kick. The moment natto hits my tongue, the luscious mouthfeel leaves me craving another bite.

This simple breakfast—topped with the sharp fragrance of garnishes like mustard, soy sauce, and chopped spring onions—appeared frequently on my family's table when I was growing up. With an enthusiasm instilled in me by my father from the time he spent in Japan, I always devoured natto, delighting in its punchy flavor and never minding its sticky texture. Natto and similarly slick foods such as seaweed and mountain yam (usually known as nagaimo or yamaimo) were permanent fixtures in my diet, their distinctly slippery textures downright slurp-worthy.

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How Indigenous South African Foods Nourished My Mental Health

I recently received a bunch of kale as a gift. “A bouquet of greens, for your smoothies,” my best friend said, a mischievous smile on her face. As I pulled some of the leaves off their stalks to freeze (because nobody likes kale that’s gone yellow from…

I recently received a bunch of kale as a gift. "A bouquet of greens, for your smoothies," my best friend said, a mischievous smile on her face. As I pulled some of the leaves off their stalks to freeze (because nobody likes kale that’s gone yellow from fridge-burn), a memory pulled me back: I was sharing a kitchen with Delle, a chef with whom I had connected while living in the forest a few months prior.

A week after my father was buried in January of last year, I went on a monthlong retreat in the milkwood forest of the South African Fynbos. I’d previously scheduled the trip, but as I prepared to leave, I was grateful for the timing of it all—it offered the space and respite that I needed during a difficult time for my mental health. I was already severely burned-out (after years of training and working as a psychotherapist), and now I was navigating the particularly complicated process of grief.

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Grief, With a Side of Baked Ziti

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

They say everyone has their own love language, their unique way of showing people tha…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


They say everyone has their own love language, their unique way of showing people that they care. For my mom, that language was, unmistakably, food.

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Putting Down Roots in a 221-Year-Old Kitchen in Italy

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories beh…

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories behind their transformations. We’ll explore their takes on sustainable living, how they express their identities through design, how they create beautiful spaces that center around accessibility—and so much more.


We bought a home in the midst of the lockdown. I'm not sure how we did it—we are still pinching ourselves—but it was probably a combination of the right timing and a bit of luck, with a lot of patience thrown in (these things in Italy can take months, even without a pandemic).

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Lessons in Sustainable Living From My 100-Year-Old Japanese Farmhouse

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories beh…

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories behind their transformations. We’ll explore their takes on sustainable living, how they express their identities through design, how they create beautiful spaces that center around accessibility—and so much more.


At first it was only a daydream to own a farmhouse in Japan.

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Dreaming of Mom’s Golden-Crisp Bread Rolls… 4,000 Miles From Home

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

My mother often tells the story of how, as children, my sister and I would come home …

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


My mother often tells the story of how, as children, my sister and I would come home from friends’ birthday parties absolutely famished and declare that we hadn’t eaten anything at all. We’d then, she says, clamber onto our dining chairs and wait as she whipped us up something delicious in a matter of minutes: the fluffiest of cheese omelets with a sprinkling of cilantro and chile; shahi tukda that always managed to walk the fine line between cloying and scrumptious; or the thing I looked forward to the most—my favorite snack of all—the bread roll.

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The Family Recipe I Couldn’t Wait Any Longer to Learn

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Wash spinach.

It’s the recipe that has eluded us all: mom’s creamed spinach à la Julia. The spinach we devoured at Thanksgiving, on any night we came home from college, on Sunday nights with roasted chicken…

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Wash spinach.

It's the recipe that has eluded us all: mom's creamed spinach à la Julia. The spinach we devoured at Thanksgiving, on any night we came home from college, on Sunday nights with roasted chicken and potatoes, just the three or, even better, four of us. The one my friends talked about for years: ​“Your mother's spinach: I've never eaten anything like it.” Or, “Will your mother make the spinach if I come over for dinner?”

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