Mar 17, 2014

Ceylon Cinnamon, Part 2

While traveling around the tear-drop island of Sri Lanka, I ate an incredible variety of fruit - mangoes and bananas, coconut, durian, mangosteen, watermelon, guava, pineapple. They filled in the hungry gaps, they brought bright spots of color to the landscape and the markets, and most of all they inspired me to hurry home and start cooking.

Mar 9, 2014

Ceylon Cinnamon, Part 1

You will be known among strangers / as the cinnamon peeler's wife. - Michael Ondaatje

I have never felt so focused with a knife. As I sat in a large concrete shed beside a Sri Lankan cinnamon peeler I learned to put the tip of a knife beneath the inner bark of a tree and gently glide it along the length of the branch. It was hard not to tear the delicate bark, like the skin of an animal almost, but he seemed to do it so easily, with a gentle grace. I blinked my eyes; I was completely drenched in sweat, both from the humidity but also from my intent focus.