Monday, May 24, 2010

Travel Preparations

It's been a pretty hectic few weeks. Between graduations, backpacking, applying for my visa, getting my needed inoculations, and continuing work on the breakdown of a few more recipes, I've been all over the place. I've finally got a few days to recover back in state college, pick up some kitchen equipment of Fran's, and head down to DC for the weekend. When all of that is over, I'll be buckling down and taking care of a lot of reading and photography prep (for instance, I still need to figure out how to hook up my camera display to my computer so that I have a large enough display while shooting to see just what the image looks like in detail. What looks like a good shot on a three inch screen can look like garbage when blown up to a publishable size).

I got the reading list Petra Tschakert required for her EM SC 470W class a few years ago. It was a class that took students to Ghana, and I'll be pulling a few of the titles for my own reading in order to get a better understanding of the general culture in West Africa. (Bonus: I already read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe in high school, got that classic and difinitive work down.)

I'll be updating several times a week from now until departure, and then daily once I get to Ghana. Stay tuned, I'll have some more about food and art in the coming posts.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Home Again

It's my first Monday back in the Philly area, and it's bittersweet. I miss State College a whole lot, but there is a fantastic silver lining: I have access to a sweet stove, ample counter space, and one of the best grocery stores ever when it comes to produce. I was driving back from getting my typhoid, yellow fever, hep a, and polio shots when I decided that this place wasn't a detour at all, and that I really should stop in.

First thing I reach for, of course, is beets. I love the color, the flavor, the wide variety of applications for them. Second thing I go for is some green plantains, which I had to actually ask about because what they had labeled as green plantains was a stack of yellow and brown plantains (not the same flavor or texture, not what I was aiming for). They guy found a box in the back and brought them out. He goes on to ask me if I really eat these things, and if they're anything like bananas. Same question from the cashier, actually.

Plantains are for later, beets were for lunch. I made a pasta with a beet sauce and decided to practice some shooting in the last stages of cooking. Here's the final plate, really tasty, and an awesome color. I took some lighter shots, but they were all too blurry and I wasn't happy with the color. I'll have to work on that.