Sharing the love

Hey all,

It’s good to love, and part of loving, at least in a healthy relationship, is sharing the love. We need to promote a positive interdependence among each other, and part of that is making sure that we all gain or at least retain a healthy amount of agency. Essentially, what we need to do is not only make sure that we’re having good eats, but that others can too. Having good eats doesn’t just need to bring together those at a table on an occasion. Being the sole source for good eats in a group can be exhausting, it’s surely preferable to know that there are others who you can rely on in this regard. Part of that is getting friends who enjoy cooking to get cooking, and empowering those who haven’t yet given it a shot.

Getting friends more involved in their own kitchen can start in yours. Truly, it’s the best case scenario I think for those reading this blog. If you’re here, than you’re interested in casual good eats. We’re not trying to work in restaurants, we’re just trying to make meals at home taste nice. And maybe we become so happy after having followed a few recipes that we feel like we can have a fancy dinner party. But I think that part of what makes  a dish at home taste especially good, is having made it yourself. If I’m not in ecstasy with my cooking, I’m at least analyzing it more closely than I would if I had ordered the food – which I think is because any critiques I can come up with are things I can make sure are considered next time a dish is made. Either of those experiences should be helpful in getting people who don’t cook often more comfortable in the kitchen. So take pride in your cooking! Then share it!

Here are some photos of risotto I made and a get-together I got to then make it forIMG_20170803_150415.jpg

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Not Serious Eats

Hey y’all

So I’m sure I’m not your sole source for all culinary information – it simply wouldn’t be practical. The information here is admittedly limited, anecdotal, and sparse (this will be my tenth post!). I don’t have a test kitchen or a sufficient supply of time and resources, so your reasons for coming here likely aren’t similar to your reasons for following those blogs which have said things. I imagine blogs like Serious Eats, America’s Test Kitchen, Minimalist Baker, etc. fitting that description.

I don’t try to be like those blogs, I can’t be those blogs. But that’s a sentiment that I embrace – I can’t do what they do, and instead interact with their work in the way any of you readers would interact with mine. I read and consider it, then I document my experience. I think it’s through a more casual lens, one that I provide, that readers can become more comfortable in the kitchen. One of the positives of reading content from a blog like mine is that I’ll bring the useful information from an article to you faster than said article. That’s because I’ll tell you right away about the noticeable differences between the advised practice and how something is done normally.

I don’t intent to imply that food authors fluff their pieces, but there are times where the amount of information a given sentence provides may not warrant it as sufficiently useful to an everyday home cook, even if we put together all the insufficient sentences. To go through an article though with an informational-cost-benefit-analysis lens though may also not get normal cooks the information they need. A good middle, I think, is to have a home cook go through the method listed about by the professional, and say for themselves, with those like them in mind, what seems most useful.

Peanutized

Hypnotized by peanutized – I could’ve mistaken myself to have been in a trance with how easy it was to replicate my likeliness onto Snoopy’s image. The most difficult decision, and really the one that most drastically affected the process was whether I would peanutize or snoopytize myself. I chose the later.

Being in a trance, I moved through the process fluidly. It reminded me of the part in The Bell Jar by Sylvia Path where she sees the figs that are possible futures fall and die because she doesn’t want to choose one and lose the rest. It was such an easy contrast that by the end my mind jumped right to it. The lack of options made the decisions easy. If we can plot what I was going for as a single point on a plane, than there was never a moment where there were two points of equal distance from that reference point, where two options were just as good.

Some of the more interesting decisions I made were ones concerning the ears and collar (the lack of one). I like the ears because I’ve gotten a lot of burn marks on my hands from not being careful, and while I’m sure the ears were moreso intended to look like leopard ears I don’t think that burn marks are a look that are ruled out. I also decided to go without the collar because I encourage exploration and sometimes think that because the foods people grow up are composed in a particular set style or with particular set of ingredients that there may be a bit of culinary collar that makes food exploration more difficult and how that’s not what this blog is about!

Being Overwhelmed and Respecting Creative Commons

Hey all,

Like the photo? (It’s the featured image, and due to the theme, you’ll need to click on tht title of this post to access it.) I hope you appreciate how it’s being used in such a way to comment on something we all go through and is being publicly published on here, and how I only lift small quantities of work from the Creative Commons, with an expectation that there will be no significant effect on the market or potential markets of this work.

Now that that’s been said, let’s talk about the photo. It’s overwhelming right? There are so many things in the baskets and on the shelves here, it’s hard to find any trace of familiarity, especially when it may be a mystery what anything there even is! This picture doesn’t seem like anything the average American sees when shopping for food, but the sentiment is familiar enough. Having a plant-based diet means that that face can often also be found on those looking at my pantry.

It can be overwhelming to see so many alien things after all. But that can be overcome, and it’s that goal which this blog pursues! I don’t think there’s much reason for eating meat when there are so many other options that don’t feed an industry so harmful. I think that making a blog that shows how generally accessible the diet is and how easy some of my staples are to make is good for the movement which moves us away from that industry. Another, though marginal, benefit is that it’ll also make us more comfortable in front of exotic food displays.

Link to photo

That’s a ten

Hey all,

Sometimes the words to describe a dish are so difficult to find. I’ve been there – at a table, by myself or with friends, and the words just don’t come. Those times are over – I’ve accepted that I can’t always express nuance and that instead a catch-all phrase is enough to convey the beauty that us people experience every day on this incredible three-dimensional space we take to be reality. It’s a two-step program with open enrollment, just click here.

*flavorfully clicks tongue* That’s a ten.

Just make the sound and say the words and you’ve got it. In the same way that a gun sounds the same in every language, so too can a trip to Flavor Town.

Doing this not only conveys the feeling of having had good eats, but does so after having invited a skepticism conveyed from having clicked your tongue flavorfully. Doing this portrays skepticism because it shows how the flavor value is at that moment being tested. It’s also an act that invites others to join in as well, so long as they’re in the know, everyone at the table can easily convey their arrival to Flavor Town. No longer is there a need for a guide for these gastronomical experiences – let this video be your North Star.

Promotion

Hey all,

Have you been wondering how to share this content with your friends? Sure you have, and I’ve got advice to do it!

Getting your friend involved and cooking with you can be as easy as sharing one of my posts on Facebook! I find that one of the easiest ways to get people interested in a topic is to display how interested you are! The best way to do this would be to share your favorite post and talk about how it benefited you – I wouldn’t be afraid of including pictures too!

I think Facebook will be the ideal platform for sharing since people already often post pictures of food they’ve cooked there, but not only that, people also post updates on the progress of their personal journeys there as well. Be it their progress at the gym, what they’re doing after college, or their vacation – Facebook is a very lifestyle centered platform. To contrast, another platform that is also lifestyle centered is Instagram, but Instagram isn’t designed to promote longer and more in-depth posts, nor discussion. It’s easier to get people at the right moment if you post something online than if seeing them in person. As Danah Boyd explains in her essay “Participating in the Always-On Lifestyle”,  having content online makes it available in a way that people can approach it when they’re in the right mood for it, allowing you to bypass any difficulties in finding the right moment to bring up something up as a topic. Sharing online makes it easier for friends to decide to become followers too, so share!

Basil Pesto

I have a few friends who work in at Garden State Plaza, in a store next to Sur La Table. While waiting for them to finish their shift, or later with them, I take a lap inside to check out the sales section. Most recently, they had a mortar and pestle there. When I was learning about spices, a few people recommended grinding up them up fresh. While that would be nice, I don’t think I have the nose or taste to detect the nuance between fresh and premade spices yet. What made me pull the trigger though was the prospect of making pesto and aioli.

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I love basil. I can’t put much on pizza anymore, so I’ve been filling the cheese void with this bad boy. It’s been growing really well, so just seeing the mortar and pestle on the shelf was enough to push over the edge.

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I add 3 cloves of garlic, two tablespoons of pine nuts, and some extra virgin olive oil. I mostly eyeball it nowadays, but I initially based what I was doing on Minimalist Baker’s recipe. In total, the dish only takes as long as it takes the spaghetti cook: you do that, you drain, you put back on the pan without any heat, and then you massage the pesto in with a fork or tongs.

It’s such a quick and easy dish that it’ll be difficult for anyone, even a college student, to say they don’t have enough time to cook a nice meal. Coming up will be a post on how I use the mortar and pestle in general. I’ll be talking about how different guacamole tastes with it and my experience making aioli. Look out for it!

Screencast while on Aeon

Screencast link

Hey all, so here’s a screencast I did for this website I frequent called Aeon! In it, I talk about how I interpret and interact with the design of the website, most notably the layout, and what I think of it. I’ve never screencasted before, so I was looking forward to the new experience when I saw it since there’s been precedent to the sorts of content incorporated in my last posts. I saw how Jing worked in class so I wasn’t afraid, screencasting looked much more approachable from the start than say audio or visual editing. I did face some problems though with recording the audio though.

 

When I took intermediate French, my assignments included recording myself speak. When I first started, I wondered why my professor would grade those sections so harshly, but when listening back to them, I found I was just recording static. I forgot about that until I uploaded my first try with Jing (my speakers are bad on my laptop and I was more concerned with how the video would upload than how it sounded off the bat). I remembered how I solved the problem last time so there weren’t any problems after that.

 

I usually associate screencasts with tutorials on how to use programs, and while I don’t see myself doing any of those in the future, while going through this tutorial I found other reasons one may want to screencast. One example used in the tutorial was showing someone how to look for directions. Personally, I find sending a video to a friend on how to do something as basic as find directions on the internet to be borderline rude, in that I think it would imply that he’s so hopeless that rather than text directions, he needs his hand held. Though, it made me think of more general ways of cooperation, such as showing someone the ways a virus may be messing with my computer, or a strategy for a game. Text description for things like that may not be enough at times and so, I’m happy to have screencasting be another tool at my disposal.

Screencast link again

Official Audio of Julius’s Kitchen

Got some content on content for you, friendo.

Included in this post, as per the title, is some audio for you to lure your friends to this zesty place of food stuffs. This was made using audacity, and the songs “Sour Soul” by BADBADNOTGOOD and Ghostface Killa, and “In the Kitchen” by Asher Roth and Chuck Inglish. I’ve used Audacity before. Some past projects include a few mixes for a dance company I was on, and a promo for a show my friend and I ran on WMSC, Montclair State University’s radio station.

In my experience, I never had to do much more than make cuts and change levels. Maybe I’d may be an effect here and there to help cover anything explicit, but those two tools are really all I think there is to making the sorts of mixes that most need to make. I think a more interesting part in audio editing would be getting your canvas together, by that I mean, how your tracks can best fit together. Sometimes that would mean cutting the second half of the first verse of a song for the second half of the second verse because it lead seamlessly to the bridge which makes for the most satisfying transition to the next song. This kind of choreography wasn’t necessary for this project though. I happened to be listening to the BBNG album with Ghostface that “Sour Soul” is part of on my way back to New Brunswick today, and thought the three hits at the start would be a good intro. Transitioning it the Asher Roth song worked well enough with a simple fade. I wanted to see if a more dynamic section of lower and lower fades at whatever duration and magnitudes would’ve sounded better for transitioning from the first track, but I already made it so much quieter since the unedited track is so loud that it was difficult to make it any more quieter without quieting it entirely. I might’ve been able to find a way around this, but I feel happy with how it sounded.

I knew I wanted to use at least the chorus of the Asher Roth song. He swears at one point, and since sometimes reverses can be  jarring, I wanted to play around with effects and the first one I chose was speed. I ended up liking how it sounded so I applied it to the second half of the chorus and just reversed the swears.

For my voice, I went under my duvet and recorded to record, which I think was a good decision since I didn’t notice any background noise.

Here’s another link to the audio

Enjoy!

Making my header

If you’ve been following me since the beginning, I’m sure you’ve noticed the new aesthetic qualities this website has been endowed with. It’s a homemade job, the only outsourcing work being the photo editor (Pixlr), and two of the three images used (credited in the about section of the page). This being a food blog that’s open to loose links when it comes to following said theme, I didn’t find it difficult to decide what exactly the photos used, in particular the background, should be of. The job had it’s difficult moments though. Cropping my background image so to work with the dimensions of my header was easy, but then I had to begin cutting my other images. That proved to be the most difficult part. I worked with Photoshop in high school, so I knew I had to use the lasso and/or magic wand, but how to use them had totally escaped me. It only took a few minutes of fumbling about for me to decide to either look at videos that either addressed my specific concerns, or skipping through more general ones. Once the basics of those two tools were covered, everything started flowing much easier. I first did the photo of myself, then the photo of the baguettes, which I then edited further via the options in the ‘Adjustment’ bar.

Now that I have a grasp on some basics of photo editing, I can now see myself posting many more memes. Most recently, memes have departed from their traditional ‘top text, bottom text’ format, and so with this knowledge, I can now follow suit – going off of whatever topical format is currently being embraced by the community. Posting topical memes could also help provide temporal links to post dates. Meme formats being able to be topical implies that formats phase in and out of usage, and so, by posting memes, one may be able to get further insight into what was going on in the wider context (in particular, the cultural one) that the post was made in than, say, a date.