I'm Jess, a grad student and food photographer obsessed with chocolate. I love things made of sugar, lasers strapped to helicopters, and silly hats.
Come visit on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, for stories about food, bakeries in Seattle, and my most definitely being up to no good.
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Monthly Archives: October 2013
So the other day I took part in my first ever eating contest. And I lost. Horribly. But I don’t think that was a bad thing.
I mean, I kind of saw this coming – while my stomach is a vast and unstoppable pit of hunger, I prefer to eat 5-10+ times a day in small batches rather than consuming large amounts at any one point. That being said, I love BeanFish’s taiyaki and saw the contest as a win-win: if I won, free taiyaki for a year. If I lost, free taiyaki for a day. Either way, free taiyaki.
There were five of us, with five minutes to eat ten taiyaki and finish a bottle of ramune. Nerves were high, stakes were moderate, and bellies were on empty. Well, except for mine – mine’s never sated.
Good morning, readers. The sun is out, the birds are silent, and the Sheriff’s Secret Police are off rounding up the last of the “morning people” so the rest of us can get some coffee.
Welcome to Night Vale.
This week, our cakes are from Night Vale’s finest, vanilla cupcakes from the annual PTA bake sale. After they were dropped off, a portal ripped through the station to the great beyond and, well, eldritch monsters appear to have eaten half of them. At least they were polite enough to leave us some of theirs as an apology.
Oh, Crumble & Flake.
Don’t bring your lactose and gluten-intolerant friends there. If you do, there will be… Words about their opinion of you. Probably even Sentences.
When they first opened about a year ago, which now seems like forever, the lines were atrocious. I never fought them – I’m way too lazy for that – but everyone knew about the place closing no later than nine every morning. There was a food nerd frustration voiced on twitter fairly regularly about the general inability to get a single bite from their butter-laden shelves. I was excited when I managed to get there at 10 am one morning for a pair of cream puffs.
I’ll be at an event and doing my thing, which usually involves sneaking to a corner with a huge plate of food. If it’s a food event and I’m not attending as media, I’m really only there to nom.
And yet, inevitably, I’ll get caught mid-chew by a photographer – who wants a picture of me about to eat. With a smile, of course, maybe even an exaggerated wink. I’m standing there, displaying the body language of “leave me alone with this burger; we’re about to have a moment,” and yet they’ll still want that picture.
This is creepy. This is ridiculously creepy. And many times, in the past, I complied.
Image by Alex, and one of the least sexually suggestive photos I could find.
Why? Because there is a metric ton of pressure to not be the party killer, especially if you’re a young woman. Combine that with the social standard that if a woman speaks out, she’s generally treated as if she’s in the wrong, even by well-meaning friends. It’s harder to say “no” with that knowledge in the back of your head. And even if you say no politely, they’ll probably push, mock, tease you more. Or worse, ask someone else to join in. So, do you smile and comply, or do you rock the boat? Continue reading
Heads up: For the foreseeable future I’m switching to posting three days a week instead of five. Basically grad school is kicking into full gear, and I’d rather post less content than need to stop entirely. Back to your regularly scheduled dessert.
This cinnamon-flecked, pear-stuffed streusel mug cake is probably one of the ugliest creations I have ever made. It’s now also one of my favorites.
The pathway from nothing to mug cake actually started with apples. I blame my class – we’d been asked to break into groups, and one person was crunching away on a Honeycrisp apple, which I correctly guessed by smell. (I’m not sure whether to be thrilled about that level of skill.) Another classmate chimed in that she really wanted to make a pear-apple crisp. By the time she finished talking I was craving that as well, which was made worse by the knowledge that I had both pears and apples at home. Continue reading