Global Warming

Heat up the winter blues with international fare

By Hilary Berg

As winter lumbers on and the barrels outside collect rain and moss, my mind tends to wander to warmer, drier climes.

I’ve never been to L.A.; yet lately, the thought of palm tree-lined boulevards and warm breezes — plus the chance to run into an occasional celeb, here or there — has me seriously California Dreamin’. That’s the truth.

Editor's Note

Hilary Berg has been the editor of OWP since 2006. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s in journalism. She and her husband own a seven-acre vineyard and winery called Roots.

Now, I realize as the editor of an Oregon-focused magazine, I should write strictly about my adopted home, but this need for sunshine is genuine.

Or, maybe I don’t need to travel south. Perhaps I could just plant myself in the kitchen and explore the pantry for spices and ingredients that will transport my palate and lighten my mood. I need something with a serious kick, some heat.

Mexican, Thai, Korean, Chinese, Indian ... these cuisines are known for warming you from the inside out with flavors distinct and delicious.

Most of the time, I leave it to the chefs to perfect these traditional recipes. I mean, I can make a decent baked potato, but a bowl of fragrant pho or a steaming plate of chicken biryani is best ordered from a restaurant, at least for me.

We all have our favorites, our “regulars,” when it comes to selections, but what if you chose a dish from a “foreign” section of the menu? It might be the adventure you didn’t know you craved.

Or go with your “usual.” There’s nothing wrong with comfort food, as long as it gives you joy and some warmth, especially on these cool, gray, drippy days.

Who’s ready for spring?

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