The Post-Employment Economy Is Permanent

Dis­cussing the wors­en­ing eco­nomic prospects for peo­ple under the age of 35 or so has been an occa­sional topic on this blog. I’ve dis­cussed the post-employment econ­omy, how the last twenty years of wage (non)growth and cor­po­rate excess have essen­tially trans­ferred mas­sive amounts of wealth from the work­ing class to the extremely wealthy, and how […]

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This Weekend, Why Not Make an Apple Tart?


Bak­ing is fun. I mean, it’s annoy­ing as hell, but most bak­ing projects are not dif­fi­cult and take a fairly rea­son­able amount of time to make. Hon­estly, I think the dif­fi­cult of bak­ing, at least at a basic level, is totally overblown. Okay so this apple tart is easy (trust me). There are two basic […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 he […]

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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, and […]

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