Author Archives: Joan E. Strassmann

About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis

Finnish foods remind me of my father’s cooking

What are your earliest food memories? A pancake doused in maple syrup? The taste of your mother’s milk? The wonder of cotton candy? Mine I realize, are the foods of my father. Pancakes made on a large aluminum griddle that … Continue reading

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Tai-ke, fabulous place for Chinese food in St. Louis!

What is it about Sichuan pepper numbing sauce that has me remember the meal for days? I never really understood 3 cups chicken before. Pork belly buns with cilantro? Yes please! Tai Ke is really good. It is Taiwanese street … Continue reading

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Where to eat in Houston in 2016

St. Louis friends are visiting Houston and asked for restaurant recommendations. Sadly, I would be nearly 5 years out of date. Are La Guadalupana, Hobbit Cafe, Lemongrass, Shri Balaji Bavan and La Mexicana still it? Should I just recommend food … Continue reading

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Throw out your old spices!

For me the next 6 weeks are about family and food. I cook new recipes, but mostly the old ones. I bake my grandmother’s stollen and S kuchen. I don’t brine my turkey because I don’t want the gravy to … Continue reading

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All hotels have bed bugs! What to do?

First I thought the line of bites along my jaw were from mosquitoes, though I could not recall seeing any in my wanderings around Seville, Spain. My friends did not have any bites, so maybe it was because I breakfasted … Continue reading

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Battling snakes on the Ghost River

    I back-stroked my cheap orange kayak up to the bridge and away from the beached kayakers, including my own family. A quick scan of the bridge under surface revealed cliff swallow nests, vines, and a few lovely wasp … Continue reading

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Leaving Memphis

  A mockingbird sang an eight-part song with no repeats, ceasing only at the insistent squeal of a fledgling. Now they are silent. Besides the basil and rosemary in the garden, my daughter has a fig tree and a crape … Continue reading

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