Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Closest Thing


Over the weekend I was able to obtain a pan for my faulty little stovetop and last night cooked my first meal in this apartment - a little space that truly is the closest thing to home I currently have on this earth. I'm very grateful to have it, and now that it's been warmed with the scents of marinara sauce and browned butter over the past two evenings, it carries a certain comfort and ease.

Oh but please don't start thinking that I'm spending all my time within these walls. In fact, this weekend I got to spend an hour or so on a sailboat beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, which was shrouded in fog. It is so wonderful to live near the water again.

On Sunday I walked up one of San Francisco's many hills to Grace Cathedral and lay on the grass of a small park across the street to do some reading. The views from there were spectacular, and the sun was shining warmly on grateful locals and tourists alike.



Since then the sun has disappeared, and I'm still figuring out how to gauge the weather each day. I love getting to wear scarves and sweaters and crave hot tea but find that it's still warm enough that whatever layers I add become too warm in my twenty-minute walk to work. However, they're perfect once indoors and sitting beside a window that looks out to the overcast sky.

I'm continuing to enjoy my internship, especially getting to know the people better and catching the vision of Foodzie. I've lost track of the number of hours I have stared at photographs of food in the last two days! At least eight, surely.

Surprisingly, all those pictures of buttery shortbread and chocolate truffles haven't sent me on a sugar spree. Largely it has to do with my budget, of course, and also knowing I have enough things in my fridge that I should be eating. Fava beans, for example. I bought about seven fresh pods at the farmers market on Saturday, and have been itching to try them, since I've only ever eaten them dried.


Tonight's dinner came together around the concept of coating them in a bit of brown butter, and so I took my small batch of blanched and shelled legumes and tossed them in brown butter on half of my single pan while an egg cooked in the other half. The vibrantly green favas only needed a small amount of time in the pan, so I soon replaced them with a slice of Acme Bread's Whole Wheat Levain, to toast, and sprinkled Broncha goat cheese over the egg. Granted, it's not much to look at, but its homeliness holds a certain charm, I think. And, if at all relevant, it was quite tasty.


Here are a few shots taken inside my apartment as well as with half my body out the window.




Thanks for following in this journey, dear reader. I hope you enjoy the photographs and get something more from this blog than the narcissistic journal of a nomadic twenty-something year old. Certainly, that is not what it's supposed to be.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A New City


It is quite difficult to backtrack just a week in my life and try to remember those sensations and activities because they are so very different from what I'm facing at present.

I spent last weekend wading through my belongings, sorting and simplifying, until I was down to two suitcases and a small box of winter clothes that got shipped to my mom's garage for future convenience. I struggled to enjoy this process, knowing I was missing precious time with friends who I needed to share some indefinite goodbyes with on Tuesday.

Tuesday afternoon I arrived in San Francisco, which I am embracing as my new home for the three weeks that I am here. This city is entirely different from Abilene, Texas, and I really don't think that statement requires any elaboration. You understand what I mean, right? Where are the gas-guzzling Ford pickups? And where did all the ethnic restaurants come from? All in all, I love it. I love that I can use my own two feet and the sidewalk to do errands or simply get from place to place and have innumerable companions. I love that I constantly hear snippets of conversations in different languages and, like tonight, encounter a man in full pirate attire - a plastic handled sword and all - simply crossing the street with his ordinarily dressed friends.

There are so many small details of my time in just the past three days that I would love to share, but I mainly want to talk about food and then close my eyes and get some sleep. Hopefully I'll be able to update this blog frequently to share the little moments too, but tonight you simply get an overview, my friend.

Foodzie has been an incredible place to intern and earn my last three university credits. I get to shoot photographs of food and help artisan food producers make their products available online, and through all of this, work with an incredibly intelligent, fun team. My first photos posted on a producer's site were granola bars by Olympic Granola, and they were easy to shoot because of their naturally aesthetic appeal (check out the strip of chocolate in the middle of the Mocha Mint one!) and delightful to sample in their post-photo-shoot state. I'd love to have a stock on hand for those times when a snack or breakfast on-the-go is necessary.



The Foodzie team and I went out for a spontaneous dinner at Delfina last night and enjoyed sitting outside on a gorgeous evening with good wine and satisfying pizza (my favorite was the broccoli raab). We also stopped by an event hosted by 18 Reasons, where I got to meet some more food-loving people.


The night was concluded with famous Bi-Rite ice cream, and I couldn't resist trying Sam's Sundae: chocolate ice cream with bergamot olive oil and sea salt on top with a dollop of whipped cream.

This evening we concluded the workweek at the ferry building over Humphry Slocombe's Salt & Pepper and White Miso Peach ice creams. They were both delightful in my opinion, possessing plenty of intrigue without sacrificing a fresh, subtly sweet flavor.


Tomorrow I'm taking my ol' 35mm to the farmers market bright and early and hoping to build up some good multiple exposure shots from my two rolls begun last week in Abilene. Fresh local fruits and vegetables seem like the perfect glimpse of San Francisco to add to these rolls of film that are traveling with me for the next two months. Can't wait to share the results!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Paintings For Sale


This is me scrambling a bit as I try to lighten my load before leaving Texas.

My final project for my drawing class was these three paintings that I did in acrylic paint on 40 in. x 15 in. masonite boards. They were very enjoyable to do, from the beginning stages of hunting around this house I've been staying in and capturing cropped snapshots of it. The problem is, I really don't want to pay to have them mailed to my mom's garage.

IMG_4999 copy

IMG_5001 copy

IMG_5002 copy

So, if you are at all interested and live around here, please let me know...and if you don't live around here but would like one, or two, or three, we can simply add the shipping cost onto the total. They are relatively light and painted black along the sides of their frames, so they are ready to be hung.

That's all for now. I have packing to do!

Looking a Bit Closer

If it wasn't one o'clock in the morning, this would be a longer post. And if I had a fancier camera, I'd have a photo of the stars. Even better, stars slightly blurred from moving while on a bicycle. That's how they looked as I biked home from sweet time spent with friends tonight.

Instead, I have the simple photo, above, that I took from a detail within "our" house (my friend and I are house sitting, remember?). While simple, it also seems to be a beautiful highlight of the details to be found in Abilene, if I just take the time to look a bit closer.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Friends and Chocolate

It is a widely known fact that I did not move back to Abilene two years ago for the scenery. It wasn't the art department that wooed me either. It was a certain few relationships that I just had a hunch needed more time and investment because they were worth at least that.

Tonight, standing and then eventually sitting around the kitchen of this house that has brought four somewhat random girls together, I loved the reminder that there are relationships I'm taking with me that I could have never predicted.

buttermilk chocolate cupcakes IV

buttermilk chocolate cupcakes I

For a simple belated birthday celebration for one of my house mates, I made these cupcakes tonight. My other house mate and I surprised the birthday girl with a single candle stuck in the middle of one and a rather sloppily harmonized rendition of "Happy Birthday".

The recipe was excellent, and it was a lot of fun to do some baking and shoot photos at a leisurely pace along the way as I haven't been able to do that for a while. However, I will comment that if you decide to go the cupcake route with this recipe, definitely use muffin tin liners. The cake's crumb is wonderfully tender and moist but makes for some rough looking cupcake bottoms without them. Also, it called for a hefty amount of baking soda, and I'm a bit skeptical that the full amount is necessary. I feel like it contributed a slightly tinny flavor, though my friends didn't notice.

Oh, and disregard my runny ganache. I simply didn't have heavy whipping cream, so I subbed half & half and barely had time to bring it to room temperature before using. The flavor worked out just fine, though the presentation was less impressive than PaperSeed's.

Go on over to her blog if you're interested in the recipe:
Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

And More to Come

While I didn't take these pictures today, I did manage to finally get them scanned into the computer this afternoon.

They remind me so much of Texas. Just look at that grass-less yard! But, because I'm challenging myself to think positively about this place in my remaining time (and it's refreshingly not that hard), I want to highlight more than the brown color of the ground.

First of all, these pictures are polaroids, which automatically earn some affection in my heart, and they were taken in this lovely family's backyard. I was experimenting with polaroid art (in this case, simply drawing on top of the film as it developed), and my uncle helped in the exploration as my mom watched, on one of her rare visits to Texas. The collaborative effort, bright colors, and remembrance of children at play make these photographs worth posting here tonight as I sit in a large house under and even larger star-sprinkled Texas sky.

I will hold fast to the memories I've formed in this state.

Monday, July 6, 2009

In Order to Remember

As I wrap up my time in Abilene, I want to highlight the more beautiful things of this place because often times it's easier for me to point out the ugly, or at least the areas of lacking.

To begin with:

This is in the bathroom I have adopted as my own while housesitting with a friend for the past month. The window on the long wall of the shower floods light into the room all day long, and in the mornings the combination of sunlight, white tile, and aqua wall paint makes me oh so happy...or at least it helps a bit in those early a.m. hours when I would prefer to still be in bed.