I. fortune cookies

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Starting a new project as of today. Each week, I’m going to try to post a picture accompanied with short prose about an event, a passing encounter, or a mood.

Currently the last week of 1L. S and I took a practice exam, and fatigued by the intensive fact pattern, we decided to head over to this Chinese restaurant before returning to the library. It’s the kind of gimmicky establishment adorned with red lanterns at the entrance and ornate gold tablecloth overlaying circular tables spread throughout the spacious (but mostly empty) interior. A tourist trap for the Greenwich Village passerby, or perhaps a pit stop for the drunken crowds swelling in and out of the bars on West 3rd. It’s the kind of place you stumble upon without forethought, because you meandered too far into this area or you forgot to make a reservation at a Yelp-approved venue in the East Village.

It’s the kind of place that gives out golden-orange colored fortune cookies wrapped in plastic that read “Fortune Cookie” with a depiction of the fortune cookie on the front. And when you crack open that fortune cookie, there is a fleeting exhilaration of revealing the unknown contained in that small token of cultural idiosyncrasy — only in America. Then you share the profound wisdom printed onto that thin, white rectangular piece of paper with your friend, and after exchanging the wisdom you’ve gleaned from these valuable documents, you both ponder over the poignancy of its words.

I don’t know if my fortune will ring true. I’m two exams away from finishing this long, challenging year. Perhaps the profound wisdom that this fortune cookie has really taught me is that I can share the fortune with the best companions. After scoffing at our fortune cookies, S and I went back to the library, struggling together over our practice exam and sounding like two crazy girls postulating over criminal law. If I could rewrite that fortune, it’d probably read instead: “You are lucky because you have chosen great companions.”

 

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Now that I’m in the real world, I should probably start cooking

If I haven’t mentioned this on my blog already, one of my goals for this summer is to learn cooking. This includes both the actual taste of food and the presentation of meals. I’m not a great photographer, but I love food photography (and all things #foodporn — see Taste Spotting) and I would love to be able to capture the beautiful display of food. I think that delicious food is 95% taste and 5% presentation.

Some examples of how presentation can make food appear more delicious:

This is a food with makeup (photoshop, lighting effects, you name it).

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This is food without makeup, au naturel.

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Granted, these pictures are of different types of food, so it’s not a fair comparison. But…doesn’t the dessert in the first picture look so much tastier? The close-up of those delectable buttery crumbs and creamy middle filled with juicy strawberry chunks…yeah. Presentation matters.

Besides learning how to take quality pictures of my food and presenting my food in a more visually appealing manner, I want to cook better. I want to go above and beyond the usual elementary recipes and add a dash of foodie flair to my cooking. This is ambitious, but given my obsession with food, it should be a fun hobby.

In particular, I love breakfast food. When I was in school, I rarely had the opportunity to cook breakfast before rushing out the door to run to class (yes, my earliest class was at 10 am…). Now that school’s out, I’m excited to try new breakfast recipes.

The example for today is eggs and toast. I’ve fallen in love with eggs with runny yolk. I know, I know, they’re terrible for you because they’re not fully cooked. But they’re SO good!

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This is a picture of my typical cooked breakfast (two sittings). On the top is poached egg with sliced avocado and toast with pesto spread, drizzled with pepper, seasoning, and olive oil. On the bottom is fried sunny-side up egg (also runny) with sourdough, avocado, and arugula, topped with crumbled blue cheese and rosemary.  I recently learned how to poach eggs and while it’s not too difficult, I still have to master the art. If you love these recipes, I would highly recommend pairing the egg with sourdough, because the hard, crunchy texture of sourdough perfectly offsets the smooth, silky liquid yolk. And if you’re a fan of the avocado, definitely add avocado to this recipe because it adds a nice coolness to the taste.

So there’s my breakfast! I also drink coffee with soymilk, but that’s not cooking. 🙂