Food from Novels

Last week I started reading the Lord of the Rings series for the very first time.  I know, I know, I’m waaaay behind on all this.  Almost everyone I know read them when they were younger or at least took a peek at them when the movies came out.  I read the first one (I think) when I was in the seventh grade, and that was only because it was one of the books on the Battle of the Books required reading list.

I just finished The Fellowship of the Ring, and I really enjoyed it.  What I loved most of all was the emphasis on food and meals in the books.  I’m a total foodie (although I shouldn’t be, given my current budget/available resources), and I love reading about all the elfin breads and mushroom baked what-nots and delicious sounding drinks/cordials.  When I was younger, I was a fan of the Redwall books, and I loved the opening sections for the same reasons — there was always some feast and about fifteen pages describing it.

As a result, I’m currently really interested in food blogs dedicated to recipes from novels.  My interest was first peaked when I saw this recipe for Harry Potter Golden Snitch Truffles — while not exactly a “food” featured in the book, it got me all excited at the thought of having a Harry Potter dinner party (in case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a super nerd).  Some other favorite blogs/sites of mine are The Redwall Kitchen (although pictures would be a bonus, I still want to eat everything on there) and The Middle-Earth Foodie.

If you’ve made any novel-inspired foods or know of any great blogs in this same trend, I’d love for you to share!  Please leave a comment and let me know :)

Oh Miley!

Seemingly overnight I’ve developed a sort of mini-obsession with Miley Cyrus. It started with a style pic showing up every once in a while on my tumblr dash, and I would think “Hmm, that’s pretty cool.” And now she’s chopped all her hair off and dyed it blonde and looks just like my best friend from college and is rockin’ all sorts of bad-ass plaids and ripped jeans and leather and other cool shit. So basically Miley Cyrus might be one of my new spirit animals.

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Formerly a purveyor of heavily auto-tuned songs like “Party in the U.S.A.,” Miley Cyrus was the butt of many a pop-culture related joke in my youth. However, I just watched some of the backyard sessions videos on youtube, and I have to say… I kind of liked them. Her voice is definitely more suited to the country-crooner style that’s been prevalent throughout southeastern US music history.

It’s always interested to see how people who were famous when they were younger grow and evolve as artists. I’m cautiously intrigued to see what’s going to happen with her upcoming album…

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Weekend Snaps 03161713

Just another average weekend.  As you can tell from the crisp pictures, I still don’t really know how to use my iphone camera…

wk01Puzzling at a cafe.  As I’ve said before, Korea has cafes for everything.  We went to a board game/puzzle cafe on Saturday.

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Crazy-delicious Japanese food mini-feast.  We decided to go crazy and order the two most expensive things on the menu, woo!  Of course, the most expensive thing was only 11,900 won (about $11), so perhaps we didn’t go too crazy…

wk03Nothing beats Rick Astley in the Noraebox.  Noraebangs are Korean singing rooms, which are usually rented by the hour.  My friend and I usually go to the Noraeboxes — mini singing rooms situated in arcades, where you can sing four songs for a dollar, ha ha.

Meditations on You #166

Recently, I’ve become acutely aware of the lack of creativity in my life.  Specifically, the fact that I haven’t really created anything or started any artistic projects in the last few months or so.  I’ve completed a few of the found poems I’m working on for a compilation I hope to (one day) put together, but other than that and the occasional photography day-trip with a friend, I haven’t done squat.  So, last weekend, I decided to do a piece just for fun.  Art for art’s (and sanity’s) sake.

med01The piece I made is titled Meditations on You #166.  It’s composed of three found poems put together into a short booklet.  The booklet was constructed from folding a single sheet of watercolor paper.

med02The paper was painted with various shades of blue and grey, and then the poems were affixed to it using acrylic gel medium.

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The background of the poems were scribbled on with black and red ink pens, while the text composing the poems was left bare (standard found poetry technique).

I haven’t decided whether I want this piece to stand alone, or if I’d like to incorporate it in some sort of larger project.  I’m thinking it might be fun to do a series.  The number 166 is arbitrary, but I feel like it takes the pressure off creating any sort of hierarchy with the pieces should there be more.

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Hong Kong Snaps

 

 

I travelled to Hong Kong over Lunar New Year… along with everyone else in the world, it seemed like.  Here’s the crowd waiting to see the fireworks over the harbor:
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Needless to say, it was a bit more crowded than Japan, haha.  It was like this on the metro all weekend, too.  Loud, busy, and a little overwhelming.  I liked it at first, but by day three (when I caught a cold), it was a bit much.
hk08The city at night was quite lovely.  Lots of neon and intriguing little side streets.  It made wandering around quite fun, although my friend and I had to keep quite a quick pace in order not to be run over by the crowds.
hk13My favorite part of the trip was our visit to the Chi Lin Nunnery/Gardens.  It was interesting to see the juxtaposition of a tradition Chinese garden and the modern skyscrapers dominating the sky behind it.  Old meets new (although I think the gardens themselves were established in the early 1900s, but they’re laid out in a traditional Chinese style).

hk40I’d say the biggest disappointment about Hong Kong was the seemingly endless amount of  brand new shopping malls.  It felt as if you could walk from one side of the city to the other without every setting foot outside — you could just walk from shopping mall to metro station to shopping mall.  My friend explained to me Hong Kong’s special tax status — apparently there’s not an import tax on many luxury goods? — so it made sense.  Of course, I tried my best to get out of those areas and see some more “truly Hong Kong” things, like the markets and the aforementioned gardens.  However, if I go again, I’d like to spend more time outside the city proper, visiting some of the islands.  But this time around I only had about three days.

You can see more Hong Kong photos on the HEART.CHUNKS photo blog :)

Fukuoka Snaps

Early last month I had the opportunity to go to Fukuoka, Japan for a few days. Right now I’m living very close to the Korean city Busan, which is right on the south-eastern tip of Korea. They have ferries between Korea and lots of cities in Japan. The hydrofoil ferry to Fukuoka only takes about 3 hours.
fuk02Fukuoka is a lovely city and quite easy to get around.  The metro was significantly less confusing than Tokyo (naturally, given its size).  Also, my friend Adam speaks Japanese, so going places and accomplishing basic tasks like ordering food was a breeze, ha ha.

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We were there during Setsubun, so there were a lot of activities going on at the temples.  In the picture above, the temple priests (priests?) were throwing good luck beans for the new year.  From what I understood, on the following day children would throw the beans at men dressed up in demon masks as a way of warding off evil spirits.

fuk27On Sunday we took a train south to Dazaifu to visit Tenmangu Shrine, along with a plethora of parents and students who were there to pray for help with their examinations.

The whole area was quite lovely and peaceful and was drastically different than most places I’ve been to in Korea (or Tokyo, for that matter).  Trees, quiet (relatively speaking), and peace.  I really enjoyed my weekend there and hope to make it back again someday.

More pictures on the HEART.CHUNKS photo blog.