Monday, April 20, 2009



Ashley and Jiffer are cousins and have been pen pals for the past 20 years. As kids their nicknames for each other, in person and in letters, were Smash and Sniff. This website is a continuation of their musings on life’s adventures, culture, food, and travel.


Ashley was raised by loving parents, who she tortured by fleeing to far flung parts of the planet at every chance she got. Post collegiate wanderings eventually landed her at the California Culinary School. Hard work and dedication rewarded her with a coveted job in a fine dining kitchen in the Napa valley. After three years of eating and drinking her monthly salary in black truffles, foie gras and liquid gold grape juice night after night, she rolled south. She lived for two years in La Ceiba, Honduras writing and managing grants for a micro-finance NGO. Thirsting to live and explore a spicier food culture, Mexico beckoned.

Ashley is currently living in Guadalajara, Mexico with her husband and son, and wanted to include all of you who have dreaded being in a strange country with her at meal time, for fear that she would make you eat the most bizarre thing on the menu or the proudly prepared and presented village mystery meat; she hopes to bring you back to that thrilling place of discovery. Those of you who have not yet had the squeamish pleasure, join the journey of travel and taste.


Jiffer was raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin on beer brats, squeaky cheese curds and tuna casserole topped with crumbled potato chips; educated in North Carolina where she developed an appreciation for biscuits, grits and gravy; despised millet and occasionally drank puddle water in the Peace Corps in Mauritania; moved from DC to San Francisco to Hamburg before settling in New York City for more education where she lived on bacon, egg and cheese on a roll. While in Kabul, Afghanistan, she proclaimed, “this is the last time!' every time she ate the ubiquitous kabob, delighted in the espresso brewed on the wood burning stove that warmed her office, and wrought havoc in the kitchen experimenting with whatever she picked up in the local markets and military commissaries. Her Afghan culinary anecdotes have been published in Saveur and The Far Eastern Economic Review.

Currently in Hamburg with her husband and eight month old twins, she is happy to report that Germany is bringing sexy back in the kitchen and plans to regale you with stories from the fatherland of just how wunderbar variations of the meat-potato-cabbage theme can be.