Tuesday, October 2, 2018

coffee fiends

Friday, September 14, 2018


The last anniversary of any sort I celebrated was my workiversary when we got a bunch of deep dish pizzas because when you're a small company, you can be big on celebrating everything. The one before that.... was probably in high school.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

i am asian

Specifically, I am Chinese. Full Chinese despite what some people might guess every so often. But maybe that's a testament to how different and the same Asian to Asian within or between countries are. Whatever. I'm not here to think critically about social race issues. Even though I do whenever I get on Instagram now. Especially in this climate now. And then I inevitably get overwhelmed and frustrated and retreat back to the things that don't make me want to roll over and give up. Food things.

I used to get asked all the time if Jackie Chan was my dad. There weren't a lot of Asian kids in my class growing up. It was a stupid question, not because it was racially charged, though it was, but because I grew up in dinky Los Alamos. Now, why the fuck would a Hollywood actor be living full time in nowhere, New Mexico? Maybe my parents go divorced. I don't know. All I know is that at some point during my upbringing, with this simple repeated question echoing in my head to emphasize how I was different from my classmates, I learned to resent being Chinese. Oh my god, did I want to be white like all the other kids. White families were close. White families were homey. White families were big. White families ate pancakes and spaghetti. White families were not embarrassing.

But I don't resent it anymore. Mainly because Chinese food is the best food. It's comforting and bold, inventive and unapologetic. Asking for recipes is the only way I know how to bond with my family now, and if there's one parenting mistake my dad didn't make, it's how he fed me with an anecdote behind every special dish. It was when I took Chinese food for granted that I taught myself how to cook, but now I'm obsessed with it. I miss it, so I find ways to put it in everything. 
Like the time we made pasta, and I brought the sauces. One classic, one with a Asiany twist.

alfredo <> miso alfredo
pesto <> cilantro and preserved lemon pesto
puttanesca <> puttanesca with mushroom "soy" sauce

" 'Nothing is specifically either eatable or uneatable. You could begin munching a hat, or bite a mouthful out of a wall; equally you could build a hut with the food provided at lunch.' "
-Christopher Isherwood, from Fuchsia Dunlop's Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

by firelight

Christina Tosi's Chef's Table episode was so uplifting, I felt inspired by cake in a brand new way.
Her beautiful birthday cake was one of my favorite pieces of art since high school, and a triple birthday bash (in February) was the perfect excuse to finally attempt it after all these years of gawking at the pictures.
Except I ditched the sprinkles for black sesame seeds.

Friday, August 24, 2018

inaugural cooking club

It all started with a mutual obsession with Ratatouille and a mandolin.