Duck meatball soup in Kyoto railway station.
[Photo: Badger Forrest-Blincoe]

My name is Juan Alejandro Forrest de Sloper (John Forrest when in English-speaking countries).  I was born in Argentina, grew up in Australia, went to university in England and the U.S., and then was professor of anthropology at Purchase College, S.U.N.Y for 32 years.  When I retired, I first moved back to Buenos Aires for 5 years then on to Kunming, capital of Yunnan province in mainland China, for 2. Visa problems forced me to leave China, so I moved to Mantua in northern Italy for 2 years, and then to Mandalay in Myanmar. I was hoping to stay in Mandalay for about a year but had some problems with my situation (greatest being not having a kitchen). So after 4 months I moved to Phnom Penh where I now live. All good for the taste buds.

One of my specialties as an anthropologist is ritual and celebration. I also have a passion for world cuisine (and have traveled all over the world in search of dishes in their native homes — my post-retirement rambles being merely a continuation of my habitual lifestyle).  This blog combines those two interests.  Daily (as much as possible) I will post an anniversary, birthday, saint’s feast, national holiday, or some other reason to mark that date, accompanied by a recipe that is appropriate.  You will find that no matter what the date, there is always something to celebrate and something to cook!


Norfolk Steamed Pudding

Norfolk Steamed Pudding

Cazuela de Mariscos

Cazuela de Mariscos

Ceviche in Machu Picchu

Ceviche in Machu Picchu

Spiny Lobster on Easter Island

Spiny Lobster on Easter Island


 Posted by at 1:10 pm

  23 Responses to “Home”

  1. Hello, I am so glad that I have discovered your blog! This is a great idea and I plan to look through more of the blog soon. I am doing research for a presentation on staple foods and traditional dishes of Hispanic countries as part of my dietetic internship and I would like to ask for permission to use an image from this blog. Please respond to the email I provided when convenient. Thank you.

  2. I have missed your blog and hope you are well.

    • Was laid up for a week when I was mowed down by a car, the rest of the gaps are just owing to a heavy schedule. As you might gather, these posts take several hours to compose.

      • Sometimes my promise to post “daily” takes a hit for one reason or another. The trip from Buenos Aires to Kunming made it hard. Now in China even getting online can be a serious challenge.

  3. Good afternoon, Sir.
    I am writing an article on Bela Bartok and the 70th anniversary of his death. Could you kindly tell me where you got the photo of Bartok sitting at his piano from. I would like to obtain the copyright permission in order to be able to reprint it in a publication. My sincere thanks in advance, Daniela

    • Sorry for the delay. I’ve had a very busy few weeks. I am sure the photo is in the public domain. Do an image search on Google.

  4. Those cuisines look so yummy…

  5. John, I hope this is a current site. I often remember fondly the days when you were our pastor. I still consider you a friend. Please email at your earliest convenience.

  6. Hi,
    I read your blog with great interest.
    You did an entry on Marx in which you talk about his favorite dish: pickles with hollandaise sauce. I wonder if you would share the source of this info. Thanks in advance.
    All the best,

    • Oh my goodness, you are stretching my poor memory. I write daily and sometimes I just google /person/ plus /favorite food/ It is not my usual habit to give citations because that would be an undue burden. Even though my posts are of necessity derivative in part, they take 2 to 3 hours daily with the need to edit, find photos, videos etc., and I do have a life outside of the blog. Anyway, I found this:http://vegancooking.livejournal.com/3271359.html Maybe it will help? Thanks for your interest and your query.

  7. Dear Sir,

    I would be very obliged to You for explanation in what way I can use photos from Your blog about Moe Berg at my article about him in the almanac about Russian Jewry in America.

    • As far as I am aware they are all in the public domain but I am not sure. My blog is not a commercial site so I can usually use images without cost. If you do an online search for images of Moe Berg the sites will tell you the sources. If your work is not for profit a simple citation of source will be enough.

  8. Dear Professor Forrest,

    I discovered this blog after searching for your name on SUNY Purchase’s website. I was a student of yours at Purchase and you advised me on my senior thesis that focused on the art of Northwest Coast Indians. Having never tackled a project that complex, you were an important influence on this intellectual pursuit. Although I had all my notes from a whole semester stolen from my car while I was researching in Vancouver, I ended up winning the award for best thesis in anthropology—a huge surprise. The hard work and trials of this experience made me really enjoy learning like never before and I still avidly seek knowledge and understanding.

    I’m glad to see you are doing well and savoring the adventure of life in far flung places. I look forward to reading your blog.

    Very best regards,
    Aaron DeLand

  9. I happened to discover your blog on March 30th, your birthday, (and also that of my 2nd son) without realizing it, and have been meaning to write ever since! i’ve been thoroughly enjoying reading your posts and finding all these recipes and histories intertwining. Thank you for continuing to share with us and inspire us.

    • Alissa Martucci !!! A name from the past to conjure with. You can find me at my old Purchase address — john.forrest@purchase.edu (I am a professor emeritus) — and on my Facebook page, Juan Alejandro Bosque. I still answer to “John” when I have to but I normally use my birth/legal name now. On my FB page you will find some old pals such as Jason and Christa. I can catch you up via email. I am in Italy right now, and am about to change living accommodations in 15 minutes, but I actually live in Cambodia. I returned to Mantua for a couple of weeks, via Nepal and Turkey, because I used to work here and left a pile of stuff when I moved quickly to Myanmar for a teaching job. I’ll be here another week, and my internet always works wherever I am. I’ll send a longer note to your gmail address.

  10. Dear Mr Forrest,
    Stumbling upon this blog was the best find of my week, no make that this month! You are such a huge ray of light in a world filled with so many irritants. You’re enlightening as well as inspiring. I just adore your content as well as the theme you’ve woven with history and fabulous food. What an interesting individual. Bravo and thank you thank you. Keep it up and enjoy your travels.
    a Fan

    • Thank you for the kind words — much appreciated. I am currently working on building a video blog on YouTube that will not replace BODT but will be an addition. It will deal with some of the same topics, but probably (knowing me) sprawl all over the place. If you go to Facebook you will find a page for Book of Days Tales, where I re-post daily anniversaries, Passion Intellect Persistence, a repository of my general musings, and Juan’s Whirled, the upcoming vblog. Feel free to “like” any or all of them and you will get updates.

      I’m not a huge fan of formality, and when I am called Mr Forrest I am in the habit of saying that I would rather be Dr Forrest. However, I would much rather be called Juan.

  11. Dear Professor Forrest,

    My name is Domenick Acocella. I had the honor of taking two classes with you (Senior Thesis and Qualitative Field Methods) at SUNY Purchase, which upon my graduation in 1995, was renamed “Purchase College” to lend it, and here I paraphrase, a more community feel.

    I am writing a story and recalling the field observation assignment you’d had us conduct: an hour’s observation at two different sites, recording as much as possible. I pulled a muscle trying to take as many notes as possible. I recall those days in your seminars with fondness. You were honest, hilarious, and dedicated. I never did pursue a doctorate in anthropology but my appreciation for the field grew massively in your classes.

    I hope you are well and am fascinated by your website. It is a true treasure.

    All my best,


    • Well, well, well. My past comes back to me!!! As it happens I am finishing the edit of a book on fieldwork for undergraduates that is under contract and due out some time next year. The proxemics project, and others you toiled through, are in it. When I have time I will write to your email address. I retired early 10 years ago and am now professor emeritus at Purchase (with 35 years’ service). I currently live in Cambodia. You probably don’t remember my son who was born in 1991, and so would not have been with me on campus much when you were around. He did take master classes in trumpet at the Music Conservatory in his teens, but since then he went through many changes — including becoming an anthropologist. He and I collaborate now. He lives in China and is doing fieldwork on martial arts among ethnic minorities. I’ll write in a couple of days I expect. I am teaching a little here in Phnom Penh and the next few days are a bit squished.

      • I look forward to hearing from you! I do recall your son. When I had attempted to make the case that interests in toys are rooted in culture and not biology, you took me to task, noting that your son, with no push from his parents, was fascinated with truck! Great times. Stay well!

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