When I was in Bolivia a year ago, I grew mildly obsessed with trying quinoa in any and every possible way…pizza, sandwiches, burritos, sushi, soup, pilaf, beer, cereal puffs, energy bars, creme brulee. The possibilities are endless.

Well, I’ve gotten right past that culinary fling and moved on to a fascination with lemongrass and its uses lately. Last summer this manifested in a batch of lemongrass ice cream. Last month it became lemongrass martinis. And last night it turned into lemongrass martini chicken, using the infused “starter” that I set in motion before Christmas and couldn’t bring myself to jettison. It turns out that soy sauce, vodka and vermouth brown and steam chicken thighs nicely over a bed of halved and smashed lemongrass stalks sizzling away for about half an hour, then served over sticky rice.

See? No photo needed. You can just imagine the sound, smell and taste of that, can’t you? The same way you can close your eyes and summon your own personal picture of what Hobbiton or Rivendell or Mordor are like when reading Tolkien’s books. In fact, wouldn’t you rather do that? I guess it’s a personal goal of mine to be able to write in a way that obviates images outside our brains. Whether I succeed, well, you be the judge… But please, if you’re coming to my house from a major population center, bring some lemongrass! And an appetite.

I might as well have announced I’m moving to Mars with that last post putting a personal moratorium on bacon, based on the reactions I got from friends. But I don’t intend to starve in 2015, or survive eating brown rice on white rice or white rice on brown rice either.

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