From the Bees on the Fifth Floor: Smoothies and Popcorn


One million bees live comfortably on the fifth floor of the Boston Seaport Hotel. Their stay is forever free of charge – as long as they produce honey.

To many of us, the idea of hives around the city is strange. But urban beekeeping is a growing trend, and it’s making plenty of local honey while helping boost the bee population.

The hardworking animals at the Seaport Hotel produce an average of 1,000 pounds of the sweet nectar every year. And Edwin Medrano, the man behind it all, let me have an exclusive look at his operation.   Continue reading

picture of Tunisia

Dangerous Books and Tunisian Eggnog

This is a guest post by my friend Bruce MacDonald of Postcard from the Edge, who graciously contributed this Tunisian street food recipe because he thought it was well-suited for Cooked in Allston. I agree, and I’m very thankful to Bruce.

Dangerous Books and Tunisian Eggnog
By Bruce MacDonald

Can books change your life? Sure, if you’re lucky, or you find them at the right time.

Vagabonding book coverAs an 18-year-old college freshman, I discovered Ed Buryn’s Vagabonding in Europe and North Africa. The book is long out of print – this was 1973, mind you – but you can still find the odd copy on eBay.

To call Vagabonding a guidebook is like calling the Bible the chronicle of a late-Bronze-Age tribe. And it is equally dangerous. Buryn was a Zen Master of backpacking the world. After reading it, I came within an inch of dropping out of school.

Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed. Stay in college, my parents suggested; go abroad for your junior year. I took their advice and reward, and at Christmas during that year abroad – granted a glorious month-long reprieve from Oxford and my literature studies – found myself in Tunis. Continue reading