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Jökulsárlón Short Video

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Podcasts Worth A Listen

I’ve been listening to podcasts since around 2001, when I’d board a shuttle on my college commute, threading my iPod earphones under a down jacket so the wire wouldn’t freeze and crackle the sound. Here’s my latest list of regulars on my Stitcher app.

food-related . curious about the world . storytelling & creativity . news

Food-Related Podcasts

Stories on food and its origins and how it connects us, plus a strong thread of hearing the less-told stories of how minority groups or unexpected narratives contributed to mainstream food culture.

Food Without Borders: Food writer Sari Kamin speaks with guests on how food helps connect them to their past, ease potential conflict across cultures and strengthen the future. She also explores the immigrant experience in the U.S. today.

Gastropod: food with a side of science. Heard their oyster episode just as I was putting finishing touches on my post about going to Taylor Shellfish on a road trip. This is current go-to podcast each week, as of Spring 2018.

Gravy: the Southern Foodways Alliance has been putting out some really exciting stories over there, exploring stories and histories of food from different cultures living in the United States that traditionally haven’t had a loud voice in the mainstream.

Heritage Radio Network: the only online food station, and a powerhouse of food-related segments.

Racist Sandwich: lives in the intersection between food, race, gender and class, and shares some very frank perspectives.

The Sporkful: funny, down to earth. “The Sporkful isn’t for foodies, it’s for eaters.”

On the Radar

Podcasts I am still assessing, or that are good for context learning but not in my regular rotation.

Food for Thought: stories related to food in Seattle, under the NPR umbrella.

Special Sauce: comes from the Serious Eats professionals, hosted by Ed Levine.

The Splendid Table: American Public Media’s classic show on food.

Taste of the Past: with all the time spent listening to the ones above, this one doesn’t get my ears as much, but still makes it on the list.

Do you have a favorite food-related podcast that’s not listed here?

Please post in the comments and share, or tweet me @FoodtheWongWay.

 

Other Podcasts in Rotation

Curious about the world, looking for kindness, good stories, PNW news and inspiring life paths.

Curious About the World

99% Invisible: stories for those curious about the world!

Awesome Etiquette Podcast: I am a long-time fan of Lizzie Post and Dan Post Senning’s etiquette podcast, which offers thoughtful, friendly advice on how to be kinder to people. Yep, they are descendants of the etiquette authority, Emily Post. I heartily agree with the sentiments on the Emily Post Institute, “being considerate, respectful, and honest is more important than knowing which fork to use. Whether it’s a handshake or a fist bump, it’s the underlying sincerity and good intentions of the action that matter most.”

Freakonomics: Steve Levitt and Stephen Dubner, co-authors of the book of same name, “explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature”. This podcast regularly scratches my curious behavioral economics itch in life.

Hidden Brain: a conversation about life’s unseen patterns.

Lexicon Valley (Slate): John McWhorter explores the history and roots of different language questions.

Planet Money: like the title of this blog, the name of this podcast may seem misleadingly narrow, it touches on so many more aspects of our lives, and features great in-depth stories.

Storytelling & Creativity

Binge Mode (from The Ringer): I actually don’t have this on my Stitcher list, but Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion’s voices make it into my daily life via my partner’s podcast list through their dialogue based on binge watching various TV show series of the day. Other stories from The Ringer that I would otherwise not expect to care about seem to have one extra level of quality and compelling storytelling when Bill Simmons is involved..

Levar Burton Reads: Levar Burton reads to us! OMG, Reading Rainbow Nostalgia meets Star Trek #NextGeneration fandom meets new re-introductions to fiction from a fellow sci-fi fan. A recent read offered up an amazing listen of a short story by Octavia Butler, an amazingly insightful author (and one of the few racial minorities widely published in the mainstream sci fi genre a few decades ago). We should count ourselves lucky Mr. Burton is gracing us with his continued voice in the pool of narrative storytelling in this day and age.

The Moth Radio Hour: personal storytelling told from Moth events around the world that pulls at your heartstrings. I have actually been a paying donor of this podcast when it fit in my budget.

The Unmistakeable Creative: interviews with entrepreneurial people sharing their successes, failures, and inspiring stories.

News

Marketplace Morning Report: this is my perfunctory morning commute listen.

The Record (KUOW): local conversations from Puget Sound stories (KUOW is also 94.9 FM).

Seattleland: a newish podcast of local PNW stories, backed by Seattle Weekly.

Upcoming Food-Related Events

Living Breath Symposium 2017 - Books for further learning!

Following on the review of the First Food Tank Summit in Seattle, some upcoming food-related events, a few with social justice bents.

Race, Economies, Workers & Borders

April 3, 6-8pm at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship – Sanctuary, a Community to Community Development & Northwest Washington Central Labor Council event.

Slow Food Regional Conference

April 14 & 15 in Carnation, WA

The 2018 Living Breath Indigenous Foods and Ecological Knowledge Symposium

May 4 & 5 in Seattle, WA (on the UW campus, on the grounds of the Coast Salish Peoples)

Menus of Change Annual Leadership Summit

 June 19-21, in Hyde Park, New York

Got some intel on more?

Write me! Contact details after the ‘read more’ link.
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A Review: Food Tank’s First Summit
in the PNW

Food Tank Summit in Seattle, 2018

2018 Food Tank’s First Summit
in the Pacific Northwest: Growing Food Policy

Have you ever attended a conference and walked away super inspired, then wondered a week later if anything stuck?

I wasn’t sure what to expect of Food Tank’s first summit held in the Pacific Northwest. In the end, it was a net positive. Having taken time to mull things over, there are even some unexpected learnings which will stick with me and help me grow going forward. Writing this review actually helped me process some of it, so thanks, Dear Reader!* I’m hoping the food-interested folks reading this, and the others who participated will help keep this learning going.

To skip the narrative storytelling portion, skip to the actual review part.
 
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Gluten-Free Pot Sticker Wrappers

Gluten-free pot sticker wrappers: the cutting phase
What’s more Chinese than wheat-filled porky pot stickers?
Being a good host who makes all your guests feel welcome, that’s what.
In 1980s Minnesota, growing up a first generation American-born child of Chinese immigrants, Asian produce and processed goods were not readily available at the grocery stores on University Ave in Saint Paul. For special occasions, my parents would host parties and invite all our family friends over to help fold dumplings. They’d mix the pork filling and procure wrappers and get everyone –ethnic Chinese or not– involved in trying their hand at wrapping the dumplings.  I still remember one time our friend Javed found the filling so fragrant (it’s the toasted sesame oil in the pork) he asked if he could eat it raw. Was it that he grew up partly in Germany? Not sure, but sesame oil sure does make things smell good. Then my Mama would boil and/or fry round after round to fuel yet more dumpling wrapping. Some times my Baba would buy wrappers, other times I remember him mixing the flour and water and letting is rise, then rolling it out (by hand or by pasta roller), to be cut by the rim of an aluminum green bean can.
In light of this childhood memory, I was excited when K conceded to hosting a few friends over for a pot sticker* party for lunar new year with only a week’s notice.
New challenge: make gluten-free wrappers for my friend Jillian, so she could join in the fun!

Continue Reading

Travel Pro-tip: How to Pack Beer to Fly Home in One Piece

How to pack beer in your check-in luggage home.

“How do you pack beer home when you fly?”

-My old friend Kyle (readers may know him as the one who married an Iowan named Susannah*)

This was the nudge to finally draft this post I’ve had in mind. I hope those of you over 21 find it handy as we head into holiday travel this year. Kris and I like to bring a little craft beer back from travel as a souvenir to enjoy with friends. We’ve logged, him especially, a lot of airline miles with beer in luggage and gotten some routines down to accommodate.
[insert 10/22 photo of luggage, brighten and crop, draw arrow, caption: you can see I went with multiples of optional step 4]

The Beer-Packing Formula Continue Reading

Pro-tip Tuesday:
Unintended Extra Groceries + Tote Hack

Do you ever go grocery shopping and discover that you’re picking up 150% more than you intended to buy, that you are really hungry, and now you’re trying to figure out how to bike or walk it all home?

I recently picked up a new trick for those reusable sacs (usually cloth or polyester of some sort) with sizable handle-loops. It keeps me covered when I am carrying way more than any sane, less-ambitious urban nomad would carry. Continue Reading

Need an Easy Dinner Next Monday?
Food-related blog news.

Panko-Crusted Chicken with Zesty Lemon-Garlic Pasta, Salad

Dear Reader,
I am sharing a bit of exciting news — as of today, my good friend Sarah Yee​ and I are starting a little food business! As you all know, we both love to cook. Now, we’ll be channeling this passion and skills into cooking for our community through Josephine.

What’s Josephine?
Josephine is an awesome community where approved cooks sell their home cooked meals to friends and neighbors. You order online, pick up the food from my kitchen and take it home to enjoy! Each meal, Sarah and I will be taking turns leading, all while we get to cook together and learn from each other’s recipes. Continue Reading

Pure Icelandic Waters: Solid State – Jökulsárlón

Previous: Pure Icelandic Waters

Entertainingly, my travelling companion’s mood lightened with the cold thermal pool debacle, and mine darkened with the rain. Plus wind. I don’t recall what else went on in my mind to dampen things and I don’t care to recall more. May have also been influenced by a morose audiobook.

Reynisdrangar, Iceland
Reynisdrangar, Iceland (Photo: Yiling Wong) Fun fact: also the site of some Game of Thrones scenes.

Reynisdrangar

The distant rock of the towering formations out past the deadly waves on the beach could easily fit the Icelandic legend telling of huge trolls turned to stone at dawn, caught while dragging some ships out (or in?) long ago.

The basalt column formations (although busy with tourists) transported us to the moment of torrential, deadly-hot lava meeting the equally stormy sea, frozen in time forever, in hexagonal rock columns once the sea receded.[10] Continue Reading

Tuesday: Pure Icelandic Waters

Svellelaug hiking path, Food the Wong Way, Oct 2017

Water Water, Everywhere

Woke up amazed to find myself in the dreamland of Iceland, excited to start the day. Kris was acting grumpy-pantsed, unclear why…

We had a chance to catch breakfast from our host Snæbjörn in the flesh. I found our host accommodating but ambivalent about his home. He seemed not to like his area, but maybe because his girlfriend was in Bristol, and he’d been woken at 2AM by a drunk neighbor-friend last night. When asked if Icelanders liked to party (I’d heard they had a reputation for it), he retorted no, and that visitors seemed much more prone to drinking extra. Breakfast was toast, jams, salami, cheese, nutella, butter, coffee, and home-cooked heart-shaped waffles. We sat across from some young honeymooners from Korea. The wife was so delighted when I took a photo for the two of them, lol. Later we were also offered some caviar out of a metal tube like toothpaste. Fancy.

I’d heard of a neighborhood thermal pool in the hills nearby and we headed over. Grumpy K was not happy with the pot-holed dirt road, lest we get stuck – and even less impressed with the van of visitors when it pulled in next to us.

En route by foot to Seljavallalaug, with a hop in my step toward our first thermal pool!
En route by foot to Seljavallalaug, with a hop in my step toward our first thermal pool! If you have ever taken a Lynda tutorial on Adobe products, this scenery may feel familiar..

I tried to make the most of his mood and soldier on through overcast skies toward unknown horizons. We arrived at Seljavallalaug, loping ahead to beat the van –a photography tourism group– to find two guys in a long rectangular pool, wearing winter hats. The free pool’s changing rooms were GROSS, with discarded swimsuits and less savory sundries, empty beer cans and other refuse strewn about. I gamely changed, got in, and located the one corner with modest warmth.

Seljavallalaug pool on a not-warm day.
On site at the pool. You can’t take a picture of this lukewarm reaction, really.. hard pass.

The tourist group did not join us, but stood snapping photos all around. It was scenic, and a unique feeling – that uncertainty of whether you’re the unwitting subject of a photo, or the disruptive element in careful landscape framing. It was cold enough neither of us bothered with the effort of a selfie in the water. I imagined this pool might be fun in the height of Summer. It was originally built for the locals to have a place to learn to swim (um, in the…40’s?) Loping back the one mile “hike” of our misadventure, we swapped moods.

The weather turned from overcast to drizzle. We drove through what felt like a scenic car commercial, of gentle, swooping roads until they curved to Reynisfjara, famed black sand beaches of basalt columns.

Bonus Content: Pro-tip Tuesday: Tote Bag Hack

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