How to Bread

How to Bread
  For some reason, there is a mystique about bread. People think it’s some crazy thing to make, the result of days of tedium and difficult work, when the reality is that it’s simple. In fact, bread cannot be simpler — this basic loaf, easy to make every week, has four ingredients (five if you ...

On Salsa (A Non-Recipe)

On Salsa (A Non-Recipe)
Salsa is one of the great condiments of the world. No, that’s not over-speaking: few sauces can convey such a bewildering variety of flavors, both raw and cooked, to such a variety of dishes. But part of what makes salsa so entrancing is its simplicity and the difficulty of making it well. In that sense, ...

How About Chow Mein?

How About Chow Mein?
Weeknights suck for cooking food at home. That’s why so often I wind up doing a stir fry — even an inauthentic one on an American stove. Proper stir fries need a well-seasoned wok and a burner that can go really hot right in the curved bottom of the pan. American stoves simply don’t get ...

Dried Mushroom Soup

Dried Mushroom Soup
Winter weekends are made for soup. The weather is supposed to be cold, and if it’s raining or something, being stuck inside provides a great excuse to cook things. Especially if they’re easy, fairly quick, and taste earthy. The great thing about mushroom soup is you can dress it up a bunch of different ways. ...

Why Not Cook?

Why Not Cook?
Long time readers of my much-reduced Twitter feed will remember the constant deluge of food photographs I once posted there in the evenings. It was a catalogue of food I was cooking at the time, a mixture of whim and the limitations of my own refrigerator. Truth be told, it was fun — but I’d ...

Pugs, Even When Golden, Are Awesome

Kazaxia, the wonderful blog about Kazakhstan, is giving out its Golden Pug Awards for 2013. And I won! The Golden Pug Lifetime Achievement (Central Asia) Award This year’s Golden Pug Lifetime Achievement (Central Asia) Award goes to Joshua Foust, who has strode the world of Central Asian analysis like a colossus for many years. Now ...

Moving to Something New

As of Monday, I will no longer be a freelance journalist. I won’t be writing much, if ever, about national security issues, either. In fact, I won’t even be in national security at all. I’ve decided to take a job as the communications officer at the Eurasia Foundation, a fantastic NGO that does education, civil society, ...

The Complete Sarah Harrison Statement: Analysis

In case you (understandably) don’t want to click on Wikileaks. Analysis to follow. Tidbits, misstatements, and lies to follow: Do we know she’s really in Germany? There are no photos of this, only a statement posted to Wikileaks’ website. Was this meant to distract from the German parliament declining to interrogate Snowden earlier today? Harrison, ...

Quote of the Day

Stroebele said Edward Snowden appeared healthy and cheerful during their meeting at an undisclosed location in Moscow. The German television network ARD, which accompanied Stroebele, said the Germans were taken to the meeting by unidentified security officials under “strict secrecy.” – on the pilgrimage to Edward Snowden, living secretly and under secure guard arranged by ...

The Most Worrying NSA Revelation Yet

It’s no secret I’ve shrugged at most of the revelations brought about by the documents Edward Snowden stole: most described legal programs doing things you’d expect the NSA to do — and in many cases exposed completely legitimate programs that should never be exposed. Now, however, Bart Gellman and Ashkan Soltani have published something truly ...