FOOD

yana's ube bibingka & no forks given

782A7023
782A7187
782A6998
782A7014



After traveling all around the US hosting kamayans in 50 states over 52 weeks (!!), my kasama Yana Gilbeuna is writing a book! Not only do I think No Forks Given is the best title ever (that literal and pun perfection tho), I think this book is critically important today with the influx of Filipino food in mainstream media. 

Can we talk about that for a second? In the past year or so, friends have been tagging me all over the interwebz whenever something remotely Filipino food related (but especially ube related) is posted.

I love this. After a childhood of having to explain being Filipino, it means a lot to see more of my culture in the media. I love that there are more Filipino restaurants. I love that people are learning that "Asian food" is not a homogenous thing, but actually complex and different everywhere. I love that I can talk about eating fried fish with rice and eggs for breakfast without getting weird looks. I also love that people finally know what ube is.

782A7043
Untitled
782A6986
782A7075


But I don't love that people keep calling Filipino food "the next big thing" (see here and here). I don't love that these posts quote "established" white chefs confirming this notion (like here and here), as if Filipino food might not be relevant without their blessing. I don't love that the conversation is often about Filipino food being a cool new thing in America when Filipinos are the second largest Asian-American population here.

With this influx of attention to Filipino food, it's critical we center the conversation around Filipino voices. We don't need to read more stories about how someone "discovered" how amazing our food is (cause dude, we know). We need to read more stories from Filipinos themselves on how complex, personal, and often political our food is, as we hold so much of our identity in what we eat and share.

782A7140


We can and will continue asking for more representation in the media, but we can also fund projects by independent artists to help get their voices out into the world. Backing Yana's book on Kickstarter is a great way to do that-- to fund the change you want to see, as my Twitter hero Jee says.

On a more personal level, I'm really pumped about this book because the team behind it is mostly Filipino and Yana asked yours truly to take the photos (!!!) So if you have the means to donate, or even some time to share, by backing this project, you're backing independent artists, you're backing women of color, you're backing POC telling their own story and taking back their own narratives.

Back No Forks Given here! And without further ado.. 

yana's ube bibingka

1 package glutinous rice flour
1 package regular rice flour
a carton of coconut cream
1 cup water
1 jar of ube jam
ube flavoring
a jar of macapuno
1/4 cup muscovado
banana leaves
butter to taste
 

Whisk the two rice flours together, then slowly incorporate the coconut cream. Add about a cup of water to loosen up the mixture if it's too thick. Mix in your ube jam and add extra ube flavor to taste. Take Instagram pics of the cool marbling effect. Mix in your macapuno and muscovado. 

Line a backing dish with banana leaves, pour in the bibingka batter (don't worry about filling to the tip-top because this doesn't really rise), and bake at 395°F for 20-30 minutes, preferably while watching Riverdale and gawking at Jughead. Once the top has baked, rub some butter over the top then return to the oven. Bake for another 10-15 or until a toothpick comes out clean. Sprinkle with moscavado. Share with all your friends, the true Filipino way.

782A7174

a day of bookshops in london

Untitled


Hello from the UK!

I had two quick days in London before heading north, and as I only had one real day of daylight, I mapped out a little tour of bookshops. As always, this is by no means comprehensive nor a claim to be "the best" of anything. They're literally shops I saw photos for on the interwebz and thought they'd be cute IRL (spoiler: they are!)

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
IMG_2611
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled


I started the day later because I woke up having no plan then mapped this out after consulting friends' resources (thanks, Carlie! thanks Alana! thanks Jane!) The pace is slow and wandery with lots of stops for snacks:

Start with a coffee and second breakfast at Knockbox Coffee (I'm assuming you'll have slept in and eaten first breakfast already). On the same road you'll find Persephone Books, which publishes "twentieth century women writers." The shop is tiny, cute, and doubles as the publishers' offices. I was excited to see a shop centered around women (lots of women writers, suffrage posters, etc), but upon asking if they had any recommended reading by women of color, the staff person replied, "no, not really. We've tried but there just aren't really that many so everyone else always snatches them up." Alrighty then, white feminism.

(At this point I stopped at Fabrique to pick up a cardamom bun for later).

From here you can head to Quinto. You might want to pop over to Dishoom first and see if they have a line. If they don't, get your ass in there. If they do, browse through Quinto while you wait. This shop has two floors of secondhand books. If you love the old book smell, this place will be your jam. Regardless of whether you go to Dishoom before or after, make sure you know their chai is bottomless (a sad realization I only came to much later in my meal).

By this point you'll need to digest, so the long walk to Daunt could be nice, but I won't judge you if you take the tube. Daunt is beautiful and mostly travel books (though a nice selection of other things like fiction, cookbooks, etc). From here you can walk and dawdle along Marylebone or if you're me, haul ass to Heywood Hill to catch it before the sky turns too dark (this is what happens when you go to London in January). Heywood Hill is another tiny, cute, mixed-office space bookshop which offers home library design services. I didn't know this was a thing and now I'm ready to change careers.

At this point, I'd planned to go to John Sandoe but ran out of time/steam, so I took the tube home, ate my cardamom bun, and called it. Seeing how there are so many bookshops in London, I'm excited to repeat* with new shops during my next visit. Any and all recommendations welcome!

*preferably sans white feminism

everything we ate in singapore

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled


We were only in Singapore for ~36ish hours but we went from Hawker Center to Hawker Center (and one real restaurant) and ate our favorite meals of the whole trip. It might have been because we'd order four dishes per meal three times a day, but Singapore was a our food dreamland come true. Such a diverse range of meals all in one place at accessible prices. 

In random order and with big thanks to Pauline who's helped me remember what everything is: beehoon, fish ball noodle soup, sugar cane juice, chwee keuh, nasi lemak, chili crab, wanton mee with char siew, laksa, chicken rice, satay, cereal prawns, and the only dumplings we could find. 

adrian & the wild roses | columbia river gorge

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled


Before I left for the summer, I stopped and admired every flower. I watched the seasons change but within the seasons, saw each flower bloom and fade in my tiny Portland neighborhood. First the camellias, then the cherry blossoms, then the lilac, tulips, dogwood, peonies, and at long last, the roses. 

I wasn't brave enough to forage them, because they were so precious, but I'd collect newly fallen petals and dried them out in hopes of making rosewater. My dear friend Adrian saw this and told me about a place in the gorge where there is bush after bush of wild roses, plentiful and heavenly to forage. It's a secret place she kept close, and when she invited me to come I knew I was in for something special. 

Adrian knew how to get there by sight-- there weren't specific directions, just that she knew what looked familiar and what didn't, and before I knew it, we walked into a clearing of wild roses. It was quiet, except for the bees, and when I looked down there were wild strawberries at our feet. We took our time, following the wild roses until they brought us to a hillside of wildflowers and then I really lost it.

I asked her if she had a system for picking petals, and she said she only took what called to her-- though she was always careful not to strip an entire area. She'd pluck a few in one spot, walk around to the other side, then make her way to the next bush, much like a bee. I juggled foraging and also taking photos with two cameras, and when I looked up, Adrian was halfway across the clearing, small as a tiny dot.

We could have stayed for hours, but we both had real life to come back to. I let the petals dry for a day then put them in a jar to steep in honey, and now I have the most fragrant rose honey. The other day I was thinking about how lonely I was when I first moved to Portland and lost my job. I didn't know when it would feel like home, or if I'd find people who'd feel like home, too. Two years later I find myself with friends and adventures I couldn't have dreamed up better myself.

Happy, happiest birthday Adrian! I'm so lucky to call you my friend <3

wild rose honey

1. allow the rose petals to just begin wilting, preferably laid out on a drying rack
2. pack the wild roses into a jar. seriously, pack them in
3. fill the jar with honey
4. flip the jar upside down every 12 hours for the next 3-4 days
5. drizzle onto your morning toast, your afternoon tea scones, or dip a pinky in

as many wild rose petals as you can manage
mild, local honey

stedsans at østergro | copenhagen

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled


I'm writing this from Copenhagen today, but these photos are from a dinner at Stedsans on the ØsterGro rooftop farm almost a year ago. When we were in town, Ariela did a stage for the evening and I got to tag along with other guests and press (I got to meet another photographer, Shinsaku Kato, whose work is so beautiful!). 

I still think about this dinner even a year later-- that everything is so fresh and local and intentional. It was everything you'd dream about a long dinner in the summertime.

Biggest thanks to Mette and Flemming for having us!