Lamb Shanks Two Ways, and the World’s Rarest Pasta

Awhile back, I was reading Saveur magazine, and stumbled on an article entitled “On the Hunt for the World’s Rarest Pasta.”

Su filindeu — or “threads of God” — are a hand-pulled pasta the width approximately of human hair, served at the end of a 20-mile overnight pilgrimage through sheep country on the isle of Sardinia, a tradition that has dwindled down to two or three woman still able to make it. Here’s the article, a great read, if you want to learn more of the back story.

Sardinian sheep

The fine filamented noodle supposedly takes decades to master. Repeatedly stretched by hand, it grows thinner and thinner with each successive round. It is only eaten one morning a year, following a foot bath, in the Sardinian village of Lulu at the Sanctuary of San Francesco, boiled in a sheep stock and showered with grated sheep’s cheese. More

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Breakfast with the Luthier

My uncle, Ernie, arrived with aunt Deb for an overnight stay. Our beers were hardly poured before he announced his new profession:

“I’m now a luthier!”

The Luthier

The Luthier

For those of you who, like I, had no idea what that means:

A luthier (/ˈluːtiər/ LOO-ti-ər) is someone who builds or repairs string instruments generally consisting of a neck and a sound box. The word “luthier” comes from the French word luth, which means lute. More

Why Iceland?

My 11-year-old son Flynn is obsessed with Iceland.

“I think I want to learn to speak Icelandic,” he declared to us at some point.

He now has two different Icelandic apps on his iPhone and paces around the house working on his pronunciation.

“Kveðja!” he says cheerfully by way of an Icelandic goodbye to our 5-year-old daughter Imogen as she heads off to summer camp.

Svið (singed sheep's head)

Svið (singed sheep’s head)

Why Iceland? I take some responsibility, having introduced him to the Icelandic band, Sigur Rós, and taken him to one of their very dramatic concerts.

I’ve always been a bit intrigued by Iceland myself. I’m Irish, I like cold and dramatic northern landscapes and broody people who drink a bit too much and write mournful poetry and music. More

Tehrangeles, Pt. II

One of the most extraordinary and exciting things about living in Los Angeles is the diversity of people and cultures you are exposed to. Over the years, I have dated women from Sri Lanka, Japan, Peru and Afghanistan. I’ve had friends from Malaysia, Brazil, Germany, South Africa, Egypt, New Zealand, Morocco, Norway, China, India, Australia, Fiji, Ukraine, Ireland, Israel, Argentina, France and nearly every region of Mexico. And of course, from Iran.

Three generations — Alex, Miles & Reza Tehrani

Sometime after college, while I was living in Santa Monica, I met Roxanna. She was funny and awkward and beautiful and innocent, and she was from Iran. We were not romantic — she dated Iranian men. But people could be forgiven — and often were — for assuming that we were, seeing us leave one another’s apartments late at night. We were, however, only talking. And eating. More