Archive for August 2012

lemon strawberry génoise

What's a génoise, you may be asking? It's an Italian sponge cake, but made without leavenings like baking powder or soda, rather using the air incorporated in the batter to make it rise. Whole eggs are whipped up with sugar instead of yolks and whites separately.

To be quite honest, I hadn't even heard of it until the day before Timothy's birthday. I just wikipedia'd that shit. I volunteered to bake my brother's birthday cake and my mother requested a simple sponge cake. Except, after a couple hours of recipe searching, I somehow got it in my head that a génoise was the only way to go and then, my mind jumped to lemons, which go so wonderfully with blueberries, both of which my brother loves. Done deal. I had to do it.

I obviously deluded myself into thinking that I was Jacques Torres or some shit like that and could handle something this ambitious. Except I'm just a college girl with lofty dreams of perfect pastries. Never mind that I've never actually made a cake before. And that blueberries were nowhere to be found in the local supermarket. I figured I might as well though, considering that I was heading off to college the next day, away from easy access to my equipment and the supermarket.

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beautiful strangers

My days in Taipei this summer were spent wandering familiar city streets and riding the metro aimlessly for hours. My favorite days were those I set off with no plan, just a metro card, a bit of money, and my camera. I would hop on the the metro (捷運 to the locals), ride to random stops, and explore the surrounding areas. Okay, not every day was a successhow can it be when I have no idea where I'm going? But there were definitely worthwhile discoveries along the way.

One thing that was continuously fascinating through everything were the people I encountered. Growing up in the suburbs and going to school in such a rural area, I'm used to the idea that people are not meant to remain strangers. I may not get to know everyone well, but in the end, I know that the faces the pass by every day will become familiar to me, even if we never speak. It's strangely refreshing to live in the city and know that I'll never see these people again, that they'll never see me again. Yet, there's the knowledge that each of these strangers live entire lives that I'll never know and that fascinates me to no end.

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lemon curd

Commence my adventures as a part time food blogger. Not wholly unexpected for those of you that know me. I started baking obsessively when I started college, using my wonderful floormates as guinea pigs for my rapid descent into the world of butter and sugar. After countless cookies, bar experiments, and cupcakes later, I figured it's about time to start organizing my recipes, and what better way than with this blog? Okay, I'm no Pioneer Woman or SmittenKitchen. Goodness knows how those women do it. My kitchen has awful lighting, I can't figure out how to take pictures as I'm baking, and college life limits my ingredients and equipment.

Lemon curd is basically a custard with a really rich lemon flavor made with egg yolks, sugar, butter, and lemons. It's creamy, smooth, and so versatile; put it in your yogurt, on toast, in a crepe, in a tart, in whipped cream, as a lemon buttercream base, or as a cake filling, like I did. Or hell, just eat it with a spoon.

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the bucket list

Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.- Alan Sachs
I met a boy this summer who had a bucket list. Hi, sasshole. I know you're reading this. 

My friends and I watched in delight and helped him as he reverse pickpocketed, let a child win a race, hiked up a mountain, rode a Ferris Wheel, got wasted, cried for real, hugged an animal, learned the ukulele—and he would document it all on his blog for his friends to see his progress. I remember making one myself a couple summers ago, but that was all that came of it. Nothing was ever done with it and I haven't looked at it since. Yet, the idea of experiencing everything life has to offer is something I preach regularly, so it seems appropriate to bring it back. And as inspired by him and Julia and all the other bloggers out there doing the same, I'll be posting updates on this blog and link from the list when I complete something and have photos/a story to go with.

I'll be adding on to the list and editing it, hopefully getting up to a hundred. Suggestions anyone?

The list.

may remembrances

Back from May when I was shooting for "I, too, am Hamilton". I couldn't resist the beautiful stained glass doorways of CJ. 

I, too, am Hamilton

I've been meaning to put together this for a while now. This was my semester long project for my photography class last semester, an exploration of diversity on my college campus. 

Artist statement: 
I was raised in Parsippany, a New Jersey suburb outside of New York City populated by people of diverse backgrounds and heritages. I had grown up alongside the sons and daughters of hopeful immigrants who had come to America in search for better opportunities. It was this environment that engendered my love of traveling and passion for exploring new cultures and perspectives, yet, strangely enough, I never fully understood my own heritage. Despite living in an area so rich in cultural diversity, it was not until I came to Hamilton eight months ago that I was really aware that I was Taiwanese. The realization of race in the face of the white upper middle class hegemony of Hamilton College is only the first step. I have to be able to understand the experiences and the implications of being a minority on campus in order to truly come to terms with this part of my identity that I had taken for granted for so long. 
This project serves as the beginning of that journey. In order to better understand my own identity, I approached students—friends, acquaintances, sometimes even near strangers—and asked them to tell me their experiences as racial, religious, and sexual minorities on campus. In surprisingly honest interviews, stories emerged—accounts of self-discovery, frustration, acceptance of the past, marginalization, loss of culture, and so much more. Through the creation of a variety of visual metaphors, I tried to give a voice to these individuals and their beautiful stories. In the end, I found my own experiences and perspectives coming into the project as well. Still, these portraits are only the beginning of a much larger lifelong journey for us.


The final setup for the exhibition and me being a tool.
Each portrait is a story, and while the details are not mine to tell, I hope the images are enough to convey the defiance, struggle, strength, and freedom of my friends. 

This project marks a shift in my style towards something much more compositionally deliberate and personally meaningful than anything I had ever done before. I spent more time interviewing my subjects and writing down ideas for each picture than I spent actually shooting and editing. Even though I'm not too sure if my future work will be made the same way, I'm proud of this project and thankful that my subjects trusted me enough with their stories to let me do this. 

P.S. If you use Bloglovin', you can follow me on there too!


Film. 1998.
Home is New Jersey. It's quiet suburban neighborhoods, cool summer nights with the smell of sun lingering on the pavement, and bitterly cold winter winds that bite. It's endless nights of homework and silly middle/high school crushes, time with friends that was never enough and places that my heart aches at the sight of.

It's been a while since I've been back. Between Tajikistan, college, Taiwan, China, and other (mis)adventures, home has ceased to be just New Jersey, rather it become where ever the people I love are and where ever I feel free enough to be myself.

I think being here is what spurred this blog resurrection. I'll admit, I've never been good at the whole blogging thing. I mean, my old one lasted for less than a summer. And goodness knows how hectic and overwhelming college life can get, but hopefully it'll be different this time around. All of a sudden, I want to document and publish my life. The photographs and music and bits of my life get all mixed up and scrambled and memory gets hazy; I wanted a way to organize everything.

More to come soon.

Stay a little bit, won't you?