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Open arms and hot soup in Eastern Ukraine

In the city of Zaporizhzhia – the first major stop for refugees fleeing Mariupol and other war-torn towns in southeastern Ukraine – we met Nella, who became a local guide, bringing us to refugee centers and hospitals, opening doors around town. On our second visit, she greeted us with homemade Ukrainian perishke, savory donuts stuffed […]

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Breakfast with the Batallion

We headed out in the early hours to visit one of the newly liberated towns surrounding Kyiv. The area was one of the first targets of Russian forces in late February and early March as they tried to encircle the capital and take hold of some air fields. That advance was largely unsuccessful, and Ukrainian […]

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Kurdish Cuisine… With a Side of Guilt

In the half-dozen trips I’ve taken to Kurdistan, not ONCE have we been able to finish the food on our table, whether we’re a party of two or of 8. Part of the charm and tradition of Kurdish hospitality is cooking and serving too much… that way if others drop by, there’s always some to […]

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Hiwa’s Do-It-Yourself Dolma Recipe

On the road, a home-cooked meal is an absolute luxury: a respite from the impersonal hotels and convivial but antiseptic restaurants that greet us at the end of each day. In Northern Iraq, we were invited (hooray!) to Hiwa’s house for his casual take on a traditional Middle Eastern dish, dolma.  Now, I knew dolma only as stuffed grape leaves. […]

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