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Last Harvest Photos

29 Nov

Here are the pictures from our last day in garden. The photos of the post-harvest are especially revealing as to how much we planted and harvested this semester.

Garden Update 11/12

14 Nov

I’m always amazed by how well our garden is doing when I visit. This time with the new hose nozzle I was able to get a good watering in and take some pictures. The garden is clearly in need of some mass harvesting and even the transplants seem ready. The micro-greens I helped plant last time have sprouted, but I don’t think it’s been enough time to harvest them yet, despite the “micro” name.

The Forbidden Fondue

10 Nov

Something we don’t think of often are limits placed food, specifically age limits. We all know about 21 for alcohol, but more importantly what about fondue? Cheese fondue, meat fondue, seafood fondue and chocolate fondue have their place in the delectable niche in the make-your-own-meal-table-side cuisine. We even just had a chocolate fondue party in Webb Tower hosted by building government. Who could dare to try and take away this pleasure from alleged “underage” humanity?

I was sitting in the car when a golden pot caught my eye. My dad seemed indifferent, eyes focused on the road, but what could it be? Sticks poked out from the shiny rim and flame burned beneath it. “Geja’s Cafe” was written on the sign on which it was adorned on. Puzzling to my young and curious mind. “Dad, what’s that pot?” I excitedly inquired. But the pot was gone. My dad turned the corner and had no clue as to how to decipher my nine year old cryptic descriptions of a floating golden pot. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that they explained the wondrous “fondue”… and I wanted it.

Well Geja’s Cafe in Chicago could. Their arbitrary minimum age was set at ten years old. Thanks to insurance policies meant to police children, I was prevented from experiencing fondue at a young age. Fondue does have it’s merits as a weapon of destruction: hot oil, open flame, and sharp skewers. Recipe for disaster indeed.  I was devastated and a mere few months later elated when the first hot skewer of meat hit my tongue. Ahhh forbidden pleasure.

Garden Update 10/29/10

31 Oct

I went to the garden this past Friday, but the hose nozzle was broken. After emailing Professor McKnight she was able to find a replacement nozzle and all is well.  The plants are doing well as usual. We should be ready for another harvest soon.

Oct. 22 Garden Update

24 Oct

Many of the vegetables look ready for harvest (my group’s mustard greens look especially ready), but it doesn’t look like the transplants have progressed much.

Sorry, I wasn’t able to get the pictures off my phone until today.

Mythic Food Education

19 Oct

I work at the California Science Center street doing graphic design and have recently been working on a traveling education show called “SuperKids Academy”. The goal of the show is to educate kindergarten through 5th grade students on healthy lifestyles. My task has been to update the SuperKids Academy to adhere to Californian health education policies. All sorts of puzzling changes had to be made in the show-related literature such as references to “junk food” becoming “salty, sugary, fatty food”. This odd alternative to such a colloquial term for unhealthy food raised my eye brows. Even just from a graphic design standpoint, “salty, sugary, fatty food” is an awkward phrase to work with. In some ways the term is more specific and could be construed as a more accurate teaching tool then the ambiguous “junk food”. However, the weight that the latter phrase holds in the way it conjures images of chips, candy, etc is extremely poignant.

The show features a mythos of two superhero kids as they battle various “BLAHs” or monster which try to encourage unhealthy behavior. The encounter with the “Salty, Sugary, Fatty Food BLAH” is especially dramatic in the battle that ensues. However, I believe that this new version of the myth drastically changes the feel of the story. Yes, one could argue that the differences arise from simple changes, but wording is everything in any story. Each Momotaro version had it’s own peculiarities that made them unique while remaining distinctly Momotaro. The new SuperKids Academy is still super, but decidedly different from the original.

China In My Japan?

28 Sep

Exoticism forms the main notion of magic in Tanizaki’s The Gourmet Club as Count G embarks on a quest to find new cuisine completely unfamiliar for him. Much of the magic that other foods used to have for the Count have long since worn off as their exotic tastes became less foreign to him. This sense of magic that Count G indulges in can be described as fickle at best and Count G seems less concerned about the food (although he does offer salivating descriptions of his foodie endeavors) and more about any newness that can be offered to him. The Count’s hunger for fresh experiences therefore instantly enamor him with  foreign visuals, smells, and tastes.

During the summer between my junior and senior year of high school I participated in a short two week homestay in Japan, first for a week in Osaka and then the last week in Yokohama. It was in this last week that my group ventured to Yokohama’s Chinatown, one of the biggest Chinatowns in the world. Japan was already a magical place for me in terms of Tanizaki’s exoticism and being thrown into an inner exoticism was a complete sensory overload. The streets were laden(read: sparsely compared to the US) with trash – unthinkable in urban Japan – and seedy basement video rental/grocery stores were all over the place. We loved it. This new sub-layer of Japan provided an entirely different magic than what Osaka offered the week prior. Yes, Yokohama Chinatown is undoubtedly Japanese, but it sure was convincing enough to wide-eyed tourists for a few hours.