17 May 2018


It was not a good idea to choose all oily food for this week's meals. I'm craving clear soup so much rn.

Chestnut style omelettes with a side of potatoes. 

I've only succeeded once at folding it without breaking the sheet of egg, but it is 32cm in diameter and pretty thin (only 3 eggs) so I'm okay with this level of performance.


Grilled cheese(s) for dinner: gruyere with caramelized onions and a side of miso green beans on top, goat cheese with spinach and artichoke and a side of moroccan carrots on bottom. Both on Bertinet sourdough tin loaf.

Yes this is really an excuse to buy Bertinet bread (look at that blistered crust! swoon!!) and cheese, both ingredients which make for quite an expensive cost per meal. Actually I lied, the primary motivation is actually to use up mayo. I'm already thinking of how to clean out my pantry. But to think in ~4 month I'll no longer have convenient access to a good bakery, the horror... Although I will have my dutch oven again and a copy of Flour Water Salt Yeast waiting for my return.

Photography side note: while it's nice that sunset is past 9pm so there's enough daylight to actually take photos of my dinner, Fuji's auto balance is a definite weak point so I'm left to struggle to balance different color temperatures. I'm definitely buying at least one color adjustable LED light for my home.


A pretty photo of carrots in a new falcon enamelware pie plate that I bought. I told myself that I'll make icebox desserts / trifles in it, but the temperature keeps dipping back to the 10s. My north facing room is also perpetually cold.

16 May 2018

like a shot in the dark we were lost from the start

It works well as a soundtrack to Natsu no Zenjitsu

14 May 2018

Natsu no Zenjitsu

One more season to visit Hokkaido: a stronger desire to see sunflower fields

This is quite literally Honey & Clover but with some more mature themes.

Let's count the similarities:

  • Great pacing! I'll be repeating this point in the context of other things a lot
  • Setting is both art college and making art / finding a job afterwards is an important plot driver 
  • Tetsu is like...Mayama...quite a lot
  • Mori is like Morita...also quite a lot
  • The mangaka girl is sorta like Takemodo, hard to tell since she only gets 1 chapter of back story
  • Arika is only similar to Rika in that they're both older women, personality is quite different. Arika's friend is pretty similar to Nomiya's female coworker haha. 
  • Hanami serves the same function as Hagu 
My only grip...and it's not even really a grip, with this series is that Tetsu and Arika's ship is foreshadowed to sink before it was formed. Tetsu is literally enchanted by Hanami before Arika's character is even introduced "orz I can't really be mad about how the ship sunk because their breakup dialog / scenes were so touching: Tetsu's desperate attempts at resisting / holding on was so heart wrenching, but also because his feelings towards Hanami was so pure. Overall so beautiful @_@ To use a weird analogy, the last couple of chapters is like when a big rock is thrown into a calm pond, lots of ripples spread, and then the water surface comes to a rest again. 

But as beautiful as it was, it's still so tragic seeing Tetsu realize, resist, act, hesitate, and finally find peace as he finishes drawing Arika's face. It was a very slow death, the author put in so many hopeful events in-between that I was almost or rather willing to be fooled into an ending that I want. Perhaps a theme is the impact of the difference between what's thought of and what's said. Not sure if that makes sense. 

I totally sobbed myself to sleep the night I finished this. Honestly I wouldn't know what to do in the same situation, in either Tetsu or Arika's shoes. It's easy to see as a reader of it happening in a manga since you can see both character's thoughts, but with that omnipotent power removed, how do you decide? Maybe it's not as hard as I imagine...since my decisions to break up with past boyfriends have always been solid once the turbulent process of deciding has completed. Did the previous sentence even make sense?


Was listening to the "Where do we begin" podcast before starting on the manga. The first episode was on continuing after infidelity, really interesting to hear from real life couples instead of reading about fictional ones haha. I'm not sure if I'll react in a "right way" if I'm ever in a similar situation. I can imagine the thoughts that will be in my head, but can't imagine the emotions that I'll feel at all.


Amazing post on Vonnegut and a different perspective on mental health 

13 May 2018


More food logs:

I was so excited when I finally found 豆瓣酱 in Bath but honestly didn't use it that much. That obviously needs rectifying, hence this dish.


Brunch items are a good way to use up various leftover dairy: milk for the batter and creme fraiche for the filling


Every year in spring I see the obligatory food blog posts on rhubarb, so this year I'm joining in. Starting with literally the easiest thing: strawberry and rhubarb compote (on yogurt half whole-wheat pancakes). I really like the sour / tart flavour of rhubarb, gonna think of more ways to eat it.



 lentils + red onion + preserved lemon + black olives + olive oil / honey / lemon juice and zest + mint

A salad of my own invention, but inspired but many results from google search of "couscous preserved lemon salad". Couscous is the instant noodle of pasta, convenient enough for me to assemble this salad together in the morning, which is a big statement for someone that always meal preps XD Since I've got preserved lemons and black olive, and more importantly this blog, will try making tangine in a normal pot because this week feels like back to winter temperatures.

12 May 2018


It takes me about 3 to 5 days to recover from going to class for a week... some major readjustment is needed once I start working "orz

Quotations from an article on the Breakup Museum that I forgot to post:
The act of mourning [is about] what never happened rather than what did. Which is part of any breakup: grieving the enduring relationship that never came to pass, the hypothetical relationship that could have worked, the glimmering potential inside whatever actually happened.

Objects make private histories public, but they also grant the past a certain integrity. Whenever memory conjures the past, it ends up papering over it: replacing the lost partner with memories and reconstructions, myths and justifications. But an object can’t be distorted in these ways.

I grew up with the sense that a broken relationship always amounted to more than its breakage—because it might have an aftermath, and also because everything that happened before it ended wasn’t invalidated by the fact of it ending; because those memories, the particular joys and particular frictions and particular incarnations of self it had permitted, hadn’t disappeared, though the world didn’t always make room for them. To speak of an ex too much was seen as the sign of some kind of pathology, and the gospel of serial monogamy could have you believe that every relationship was an imperfect trial run, useful only as preparation for the relationship that finally stuck. In this model, a family full of divorces was a family full of failures. But I grew up seeing them as something else, grew up seeing every self as an accumulation of its loves, like a Russian nesting doll that held all of those relationships inside.

I was more comfortable mourning what the relationship had been than I’d been inhabiting the relationship itself. [...] That sadness felt like a purified bond, as if I was more connected to that man in missing him than I’d ever been while we were together. But it was more than that, too: The sadness itself became a kind of anchor, something I needed more than I’d ever needed him.

02 May 2018


Attempt #2 at SK's buttermilk pancake recipe (previous), this time victoria spongecake-esque with creme fraiche and strawberry jam:

It's a bribe to myself to work hard, but 我眼大肚皮小 (too greedy) and felt way too full and hence unproductive after trying to eat it all in one go.

01 May 2018

fall like snowfall / just to melt on your pillow

Although I usually prefer heavy, bass heavy music when I'm studying, but more bubbly (okay this ain't the right word...uplifting? cheerful?) songs are needed when I'm extremely unmotivated.

Just ugh...things will be better once chapter 1 of dissertation and integrated design are done? Or is that just more time to worry about job search ah ha