Tibetan dumpling dinner with my family in Xining on the Tibetan plateau–Dumplings with yak meat and scallions and veggie sides.

Cooking Tibetan for Literacy

To those of you who are in the Madison area, I’m cooking Tibetan food at the Willy Street Co-op, benefiting Literacy Network of Dane County. This non-profit organization teaches English skills to adults and families so they can achieve financial independence and good health. This group also provides direction for literacy agencies in other states. […]

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bread "flowers", flower, Tibetan bread, steamed bread

Taking Bread “Flowers”

I heard the news today when the sun was hanging high in the middle of the sky. Upon my return from a short walk, I opened the door to let the puppy into the house but kept myself outside. A sad time and reflection was what I needed. As I sat down on the stairs […]

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superfoods, tibetan food, tsamba, Tsampa རྩམ་པ, healthy food

Tsamba: First Food of the Tibetans, Part 2

  Learning the dance In Tibetan culture, the way we make, serve and consume Tsampa is good manners. This is how everyone in the communities of my youth does this amazing spectacle. To enjoy this Tibetan soul food, it is customary for the woman of the house to layer the initial ingredient for Tsampa in individual […]

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Tibetan food, monk, buddhism practice, barley, super foods,

Tsamba: First Food of the Tibetans, Part 1

Cultural significance of Tsampa རྩམ་པ Culturally significant, nutritionally rich, and simply made with an ancient grain, barley, Tsamba (AKA Tsampa) has been a fast and honest food of Tibetan people for centuries. It is not only a predominant staple of our diet but is also used for Buddhist and mystical rituals. The word “tsamba” refers to coarse […]

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Yerma, Tibetan Spice, Sichuan pepper, Japanese pepper, Aniseed pepper, Prickly ash

Yerma གཡེར་མ: A Flavor Extravaganza

This mysterious, underused but established spice goes by a variety of names: Sichuan pepper, Japanese pepper, Aniseed pepper, Prickly ash, and others. The plant is said to belong to the citrus family – Zanthoxylum simulans. Tibetans, though, call this burgundy pigmented and uniquely flavorful spice “Yerma” (གཡེར་མ), and in our cooking it enhances any dish. Because […]

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Purple tulip

New Beginnings

Birds sing and flowers lift their bright, blushed faces.  I am drunken by the hyacinth scent and dianthus, and the beauty of tulips in various specie types. Flowering shrubs and pear buds, too, about to burst their blossoms. Peonies, snapdragons, irises, and lilies will soon stretch their legs to the fullest and showcase their greatness, I trust. […]

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tulips, spring poem, spring flowers, spring hope, spring dreams

When the Sun Kissed the Plateau

The gentle sunshine kissed the gray earth, and the warm breeze melted away, yet once again, the snow that had lingered over the mountain slopes.   And everything growing responded to the cuddly gesture; the pear trees­ and the apricot put on their new clothes and released their own power in mass blossoms. The lilacs […]

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