Tuesday, February 18, 2014

14, 15, 16

I ran out of ideas. 

Pae and I approached the past Friday like any other day. In the morning, after I put the final brushstrokes on a painting I had been working on, we went out for coffee, people watching, and a spontaneous purchase of this biography:
$10, from a charming little corner store called "The Book Grocer".
One of those I-unquestionably-need-this-in-my-possession moments.
Afterwards we decided to go back home for the afternoon - me to the elliptical (treadmill was unavailable) and Pae to his videogames. Eventually, we headed out again for sushi, and again as a result of whims, returned home with Aussie souvenirs and a beanbag chair.

The day after, nothing much happened except me getting sort of arrested for inadequate credits on my tram card. Pae made a delicious Thai dinner afterwards:
Foreground: Seafood Tom Yum Fried Rice
Background: Fried Morning Glory, Thai-styled Omlet
Sunday was the most random of the three. On a peculiarly rainy and chilly morning, I went for brunch at a busy place called "Auction Rooms" with Pae and 2 of his friends. 
Afterwards, Pae took me to the National Gallery of Victoria where we weaved in and out of a bunch of exhibitions. We saw everything from ancient Asian art to classic European to trippy modern stuff. At one point, we sat down among children and made amulets.
On the way home, we browsed through the Sunday market. And for dinner we collaborated on making Hiyashi Chuuka, a becoming favorite of ours. 


(P.s. I'm headed to Brisbane in a few hours to reunite with Namwan.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chai Time I Bought Some Real Chai

Alright, so here's what I bought at Queen Victoria Market the other day:

A lover of chai, this is actually the first bag of chai tea leaves I've ever had in my possession. Since 2011 (when I went over to Joanna Samuel's for an Indian food tutorial / Harry Potter dress-up party #TMI) I've been making my chai with black tea and your standard kitchen spices - which by the way is in no way inferior or more mendokusai to make. This isn't me upgrading, just me wanting nice things at the market. 

Here's the rundown of the pilot: 

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Beauty of Produce & The Marketplace

          I don't consider myself much of a food photographer or - as they are widely calling it today - food pornographer. I don't get off on pictures of culinary creations, so to say, but more of desire to document the moment, like "this is what so-and-so made me" or "I'm at this place for this occasion", or to capture colors. (I like capturing colors.) I'm just not motivated by a finished product itself for some reason. Conversely, I think I rather like taking pictures of undressed, seemingly mundane things. "Ingredients" I guess. Which is why it makes sense that I had so much fun taking pictures at a market the other day. Who thinks the appearance of a fresh tomato is something special? No one. Therefore, a fresh tomato is a mundane object. 
           And I'm not even sure which I cherished more, the fresh produce at Q.V.M. or the makeshift signboards above them that served to naturally differentiate one stall from the next. The "undressed" factor reminded me of Thai marketplaces, though I delighted in finding foodstuff exotic to Thailand. There were also shops guaranteed to make any coffee or tea connoisseur stop in her tracks (and take out her wallet). And besides all that, I was just in a good mood, being shown around by Pae and N' Toy. Enjoyment was foolproof. 

Fruits & Veggies

"Freshly Mad" From The Sea

Guilty Pleasures

... And The Rest

I'll show you one of the special things I got at the market tomorrow. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Made It To Melb

          I almost can't believe my current habitat: I'm sitting at a quaint little dining table, just the right size for two, on it summer peaches waiting to be ripened, bottles of water, juice, and the remnants of our very late brunch. To the left is a kitchen and pantry room, possibly the most stocked one I've ever seen (thanks to a boyfriend who cooks). In my experience, it's pretty rare to arrive at a place that already has all the ingredients one needs for scratch-pancakes, and then some more. To the right is the living room, my view of Pae's sunny backside, an ongoing Japanese action video game, and the sunniest 6:30 p.m. I've seen in a long time. Just two days ago, I was in a snowing Tokyo - where night falls at 4 p.m. - and now I'm here in Melbourne, in a tank top and shorts, thinking it's still morning and wondering where or what my first outing in Australia will be. Unnecessary grocery shopping? Coffee? Ice Cream? We'll see.

Before it became remnants.
6:30 post meridiem.