Pay It Forward

About four months ago, I received an email from my daughter Alex:
The son of a friend of a friend is a third-year medical student who has a one month rotation at our local Los Alamitos Hospital. Do you know of a place where he could rent a room for a month?
As I pondered the email, I thought to myself—I live by myself in a multi-bedroom home. I’ve had interns stay with me before. Should I open up my home to a complete stranger? After all, if my child were a third-year medical student and needed a place to stay, I would think it was awesome if a friendly family offered a rent-free home to stay in. It took me just a few minutes to decide to offer that Nathan stay at my house. We texted a couple Continue Reading

What’s up with Kimchi?

With fermented foods hitting near the top of trending foods the last few years, I think it’s time to talk about kimchi (also written “Kim Chee”). Many people have a love/hate relationship with kimchi. They love the garlicky, spicy, raw freshness of the pickled cabbage, yet have to apologize to their friends for their, well… garlic breath, which seems to also permeate one’s pores. If you’ve never tried it, but you keep hearing about it, let me enlighten you. Kimchi is a traditional, fermented, Korean side dish made with vegetables—typically … Continue reading

How DO you open a young coconut?

Well, for sure, coconut is a trending flavor. It feels like coconut is everywhere. Rows and rows of packaged coconut water are in your grocery store or at the gym; shredded chunks of fresh coconut can be found in the refrigerated section of the produce department; and coconut cupcakes, coconut milk, and coconut water are definitely everywhere you look. Although I have purchased Tetra-packed coconut water on occasion, for me there is something not quite right about drinking coconut water from a plastic container. I want the real deal. I … Continue reading

The Fruit Awakens: Why ‘Star Wars’ Produce Branding Is a Good Thing

When “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” hit theaters last month, guess what hit grocery shelves? Android BB-8 on bags of oranges and Darth Vader on bags of apples. (And R2-D2 on everything from baked chips to canned soup.) Yep, it was timed perfectly. True 21st-century marketing. But I was surprised to see some of the backlash on the “Star Wars” branding of fruits and vegetables. Many people said Disney had gone too far. There’s even a meme going around with BB-8-branded oranges that says, “Disney needs to calm the [bleep] … Continue reading