Pickled Tea Leaves
Food and Life in Myanmar

About

Thanks for visiting!

I live and study language in the city of Yangon, Myanmar. (How my husband and I got here and why we are here is another story, and if you’d like, you can find out more here at our work/ministry blog.)

I spent my childhood on hog and dairy farms in the Pacific Northwest, weeding the family garden in springtime, sweating it out with pressure canners full of green beans or tomato sauce in summer, and relishing the wintertime rest from working the soil. I have only ever worked in food-related jobs, everything from cheese making and pastry production to starting and managing a farmers market. In university, I realized food’s great capacity for bringing people together—and how the smell of chocolate chip cookies will beckon the most introverted student to emerge from her dorm room—and I’ve been fascinated by the social aspects of food ever since.

I started this site after realizing just how much I love sharing the process of food with others, from seed to suppertime (and then the compost afterward, of course!). I love knowing the story of food; not only the inspiration behind dishes themselves, but the tale of the hands that planted, nourished, and harvested that food. It’s a pretty big, worldwide story, really: who doesn’t need food? Food is a universal language. (You and I may differ on everything else, but several times a day, we both need to eat. Food is the great leveler, one might say.)

Pickled Tea Leaves is my piece of the greater food story. In this space, I’ll share as many recipes and tips as I can, with the curricula vitae of my ingredients included, when/if possible. This site isn’t only about amassing more recipes, though; Pickled Tea Leaves is meant to be a narrative about all the ways food touches my life here in Myanmar. It is my language learning tool as I try to grow up into an adult level of communication with the people here. I plan to tell anecdotes of meals made by others, stories about the men, women and children in Myanmar who work to make a living from food, and what I’m learning of how food keeps bringing strangers and sojourners together. Thanks for visiting, and for being a part of this story with me!

Warmly,

Breanna

P.S. What is a pickled tea leaf? Good question! The answer to that is here.

Me and my husband, Jim, at Briarcroft Farm (Autumn 2014)

Me and my husband, Jim, at Briarcroft Farm (Autumn 2014)