Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Having just moved to the South, I am occasionally reminded of my Southern relatives and the foods that I encountered in their homes. Before I go on, please realize that my relatives were not from the Deep South—although based on their accents, you might think they were more Southern that they were. They lived around Harrisonburg, Virginia, in the parts of Virginia where they still talk about the War of Northern Aggression. It always amazed me that those same relatives, although only three hours south of my father's hometown in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, believed that my mother had married a Yankee. It's that damn Mason Dixon line that although close to both sets of relatives, once divided that part of the nation.

But back to the food, my aunt in Virginia made a certain type of green beans, a flat green bean often stewed with ham and potatoes, that remind me my childhood weekends in the south. I recently randomly reencountered this green bean in Tallahassee, FL.

Contacts Near Barcelona?

I proposed to do a project for Indensitat in Spain ( since this year's theme, HOME / AWAY, connects so well with my overall body of work. The piece will be similar to the one that I did in Beijing (, but this time, it will involve a group that is rooted in the place (local Spanish people who are interested in seeing Catalonia recognized as a nation) and one that is unrooted (the expat community). I'm hoping that the event will take place in an alternative space in Mataro called Can Xalant (

Does anybody have any contacts for me in Spain? Thanks!!!!

Food and Embodied Memories

Please contribute stories to Kelly Pendergrast's story about food and memory. See description below. You can email her at


I have a request!

I am collecting anecdotes to do with food and embodied memory for a short film project. Maybe that sounds a little theory-ific...

Essentially, I am looking for stories about an occasion that was significant to you in some way and involved (or was accompanied by) the eating of a meal/food. Does that make sense at all?

Can you tell me a story?

-Describe the event/scenario
-What did you eat?
-Why was it significant to you? ( the event, or the food, or both).

(eg you were ate your grandmother's wake with your awkward extended family, eating cucumber sandwiches because they were grandmother's favorite (true story). OR you ate dried apricots and drank cheap wine with your ex-girlfriend in a park in paris while backpacking in france and then puked all over her in the train later on (not a true story)....)

Just a short paragraph worth of story is great...

I would be delighted to have your contribution. Touching, weird, awkward, disgusting - anything!

If you'd like to email me an anecdote, that'd be great. If you are willing to tell your story and be (audio)recorded, that would be even better.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

switched servers

Sorry if the blog has been strange recently. I just switched servers...

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Paradise Found by by Nicola Jane Barratt

So, we found it! It was an 8 hour drive - though we stopped and hand
fed some lemurs while they jumped on our heads and let us squeeze
their chubby tummies and thighs. They have the nicest fur I've ever
felt - long and thick and soft and it comes in so many different
colors! Their little hands are so soft - they never scratch you even
when they jump onto your head, which the brown ones seem to be quite fond of doing.

But, I digress - paradise is called Mahambo - a little village located
about 100 miles north of Tametave, on the northeast coast of
Madagascar. The place to stay in Paradise is the Hotel Recif - Six
rattan and thatch shacks on the beach 50 feet from the high tide line,
overhanging mangroves and coconut palms. Parts of the beach are coral tide pools, part volcanic tide pools, perfect for exploring from the
beach or by snorkeling - full of rockfish, urchins, brittle stars, .
Part great for swimming - water temp 80. Air temp 70 at night, 85 in
the daytime, always a breeze. There's no one here - occasionally
someone would walk down the beach or stop for a drink - but mostly it
was just us. Miles of white sand with only the occasional lemur
passing thru for company. There were a few empty houses – there are probably more people around at Christmas. But there was no one to be bothered by the boys playing wiffle or soccer or tag or be angry for
them climbing the trees. There was noone to interrupt my cocktails
and contemplation by insisting I buy something.

There only seems to be two semi commercial occupations aside form the hotel - one is the fishermen, walking or sailing across the reef looking for lobsters - the other is infusing rum with spices or herbs
- vanilla, ginger, cannelle (a fennel like herb), lemon, pineapple or
mixed fruits. Both occupations of which I highly approve of the
outcome!!! The ginger rum with pineapple juice is my new favorite
beverage and the new house drink here at chez Heitmann!

And how's the food at the Recif? Amazing!!!! Giant bowls of hot
chocolate or coffee for breakfast with crepes or fresh baguettes.
Lunch and dinner is grilled chicken or shrimp or lobster covered in
one of a number of sauces - I loved the coconut curry sauce. Sides of
home made pasta or sauteed potatoes or grilled vegetables. Salads of
tomatoes, shrimp, vinaigrette. Desserts of flambéed bananas,
chocolate mousse, coconut custard.

Is there a down side - yes - there is only cold water in the showers -
but the staff will happily make you a bucket or two of hot water for a
stand up bath. And the avocados weren't in season. And because it's
on the east coast, there is no sunset view. But it makes the beach
nice and shady in the late afternoon - good for napping.

But in the end the visa bill arrives and you usually grimace - right?
Well the Hotel Recif doesn't take Visa or Mastercard or Amex - cash
only. Yikes, right? Wrong - the best news of all is the bill! – the
bungalows with one queen size and a set of bunk beds are $15 per
night. The lobster entree which is 2 1/2 lbs is $7. The rum drinks are
75 cents. Snorkeling is free, pirogue (canoe) rides are $5. As much
as we ate or drank or played, we couldn't seem to spend more than $100 per day – for a family of six!!! Truly paradise!!!!