Friday, February 16, 2007

A Caller From Melbourne

Friday, February 16

Gung Hay Fa Choy! That's Happy New Year in Chinese. I just learned that from today's program with famous Chinese chef (Yan Can Cook) Martin Yan. I co-hosted the program with our own Lisa Bu who comes from Hunan Province - Martin is from Guangzhou (formerly Canton) - both in the south. It was a delightful experience and I learned a lot about the place of food in Chinese culture.

Yesterday was a banner day. John Nichols was in studio, commenting on the fracas that went on all week between Australian prime minister John Howard and Barak Obama. Toward the end of the program we actually got a caller from Melbourne, an Aussie named Noel Knoll who told us he's a regular listener. When it's 3:00pm in the Midwest, it's 10:00 tomorrow morning in Australia. What a thrill to think we're actually growing a global public radio community. That was my dream in starting Here on Earth. Thank you, Noel! I hope we'll be hearing more from you.

On another note, next Wednesday I'll be giving a presentation on my trip to Liberia at the Center for African Studies in Ingraham Hall, UW-Madison campus. It'll be a brown bag at noon and I'll be showing slides, some of them my own, some that Swanee Hunt took herself. It's free and open to the public so I'm looking forward to seeing some of you there.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

My Remedy for the Winter Blues

Thursday, February 8, 2007

I don't usually get this personal on this blog, but I wanted to share my remedy for the winter blues with you. Yesterday I went home with a killer headache which lasted all night and kept me home all morning. About mid-morning, I started to feel better and started thinking about cooking. I rummaged in the freezer and discovered a turkey neck and innards left from last Thanksgiving. Ah hah! I thought - I can make soup. Soup turned into gumbo, but the real remedy was what I did with the turkey liver. When I was a child, my grandmother used to make a chicken liver oer'd'oeurve (she called them hors-de-vores, which drove my mother, the French teacher, crazy) which I loved. It was incredibly simple and incredibly delicious. All she did was sautee a diced onion in butter in a little frying pan to which she added the chicken livers, cut up very small, and allowed them to cook very slowly in the butter and the onion, adding just a bit of salt and pepper. This she served on Ritz crackers as the first course in a special holiday meal. So that's what I did with the turkey liver. And it made me feel better. Try it and think of my grandmother. Her name was Jenny.

Here's to daffodills and all the little yellows that are on their way!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Some Days Just Suck

February 1, 2007

Some days just suck. We've had some really wonderful programs lately - Parker Palmer on Thomas Merton's birthday yesterday was one of them; discovering Satish Kumar last week, the man who walked from Delhi to Washington D.C., was another. I had great expectations heading into today's program with Wangari Maathai, the first African woman and the first environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize for putting Kenya's rural women to work planting trees. The more I read about her the more impressed I was. Carmen and I have been chasing this woman unsuccessfully for years and then, suddenly, she lands. But on a cell phone! The connection was awful. The publicist had promised she'd be on a land line. She wasn't. She couldn't even be located at first. Then, whack, that lousy phone. Two things can ruin a radio program: a bad guest and a bad phone. And then, to top things off, she had to cut out early. Sorry folks. We'll try harder next time. And for those of you who hung in there, thanks. The good thing about live radio is that when it flops, there's always tomorrow. Let's see what "California's Second Gold Rush" - brings.