Chengyi L


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Anime la Expo (Part 3)

These posts are so overdue, haha… ha…

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Anime la Expo (Part 2)

Because it seems like these Anime Expo posts are getting longer and longer, here’s a quick glossery of all the weird terms that will be showing up in the following posts: Kill la Kill - an action/humor show about a delinquent high school girl named Ryuuko who wields a half of a giant pair of scissors and is on a quest to find her father’s killer. Joining her is perky sidekick Mako, who is the character I’m cosplaying as; standing in her way is the student counsel president Satsuki and her four loyal subordinates Sanageyama (Athletic Committee Chair), Nonon (Non-Athletic Committee Chair), Gamagoori (Disciplinary Committee Chair), and Inumuta (Information and Strategy Committee Chair). Oh yeah, there’s also talking clothing for some reason. Cosplay - the act of making and dressing up such that you look like a certain character from an anime/manga/comic/tv show/movie. Often done by mascochists because cosplay is suffering. LineCon - Line Convention. A fan nickname for AnimeExpo, so called because AnimeExpo has a lot of really, really bad queues that you have to line up in in order to get into any events.

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Anime la Expo (Part 1)

IT’S ANIME EXPO AGAIN!!! (The following post contains unmarked spoilers from Kill la Kill. I’ve tried to avoid the super important spoilers, but please consider yourself warned.) As a refresher, Anime Expo is a four-day-long anime convention held at the the LA Convention Center every July 4th weekend. As per last year’s post, I won’t be using any real names; I’ll be using the names of the characters everyone’s cosplaying as instead. A friendly guide for those of you who haven’t watched Kill la Kill:

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SURF! Eternal Summer

Hello everyone! It’s summer again, which means I have time to blog once more, oh boy.

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Green Onions Forever

We still have like 5 bunches of uneaten green onions left. Good luck, Roommate N! Please eat all of the green onions for us!

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Homemade Pizza

Pizza is one of those foods that is pretty easy to make yourself but tastes infinitely better than the store-bought versions. Once upon a time, when I was in middle school, I decided to make pizza for a cooking project. Pizza seemed pretty easy to make: you just gotta mix some flour with water, dump some ingredients on top, then stick everything in the oven and forget about it. Middle-school me ended up making a pizza without too much fire or death involved (I set my oven mitts on fire, but that’s irrevelent).

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Silver Spoon

It was quite fun getting our farm boxes every week, but SURF is almost over and people are going home, so Friday will be the last day in a while that we will be getting ourfresh produce delivery. As a memoir, I’m going to dedicate this post to Farm Fresh to You! I’ll spam photos of the farm box we got over the summer, then talk about our experience with the service.

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culture

Liquified Fat and Protein

Cheese fondue is the food of Roommmate S’s homeland, so she’s been bugging everyone about making it for a while before Roommate N caved in and agreed to make it. I was still a bit skeptical about the healthiness of this meal because it’s carbohydrates dipped in liquified fat and protein, but Roommmate S couldn’t be stopped.

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Hotpot

Roommate S had wanted hotpot for the longest time, but we always had been too busy/had a constant food source during the school year to bother to do anything about it. During the summer however we had no board dinners and ample free time–along with the discovery that there’s a bus line that goes straight from Caltech to 99 Ranch, an large asian supermarket, we didn’t have an excuse to put off having hotpot anymore.

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Yakatate!! Japan(ese Milk Bread) Chapter 2

Because I wasn’t too satisfied with the results of last time’s baking, I decide to try making Japanese Milk Bread again. This time, I played it safe and used bread flour instead of a mix between all-purpose flour and bread flour… The difference between all-purpose flour and bread flour is that bread flour contains more wheat protein, which, when added to water, forms gluten. Gluten is a protein that contributes to the chewiness and elaciticity of the bread–kneading the dough helps facilitate gluten formation and also makes the gluten molecules link together, creating a gluten matrix that shapes the bread. The gluten matrix also traps CO2 bubbles formed by the yeast and allows the bread to rise.

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Pluot

We got some pluots in our farm box the other day, which is super exciting because I’ve never had a pluot before. A photo of the food for the week; we got one of the small-sized boxes for this week because we had SPECIAL DINNER PLANS, so there’s not that much food in it. What even is a pluot anyway? Wikipeida tells me that it’s some arbitrary mix of apricot and plums, but that doesn’t tell me anything. I like both apricots and plums, so, at the very least, it shouldn’t be terrible. Anyhow, here are some close-up shots of the pluot. The type of pluot we recieved is named Dapple Dandy or Dinosaur Eggs. Apparently, this type of pluot is called Dinosaur Eggs because it looks mottled and kind of ugly on the outside.

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Hobbies

Today, we will take a small break from photos of food and look at photos of random craft things…

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Not-Really-Curry

Roommate N found some free canned beans lying around, which obviously meant that dinner that night was beans. I don’t remember what sorts of beans they are; all I knew was that they’re not your reguler old black beans or pinto beans or kidney beans. Anyway, Roommate N wanted to make Indian-style curry, and so we did. We didn’t have a recipe for Indian-style curry things, so Friend N just went by the “probably legit” way of cooking. We first stir-fried the beans with some string beans, then added a large number of spices and herbs that’s lying around the kitchens/we bought some long time ago. Some things added include: yogurt, cinnamon, curry powder, cumin, and crushed cashews. I think this dish has the greatest number of ingredients we’ve put into anything we made so far…! Here’s a photo of a stash of some of the things we used: The finished dish:

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Mystery Stew

Warning: contains photos of dead animals. Continue reading at your own risk. Tom Mannion, the Direction of Student Activities (or, as Techers sometimes put it, “paid to give students free food”), hosted an Iron Chef event on Thursday night – four teams of student cooks are given mystery ingredients they must use to cook with, and retired-chef Tom Mannion himself judges the resulting dishes. I was quite excited for this event not because I was going to attend, or to look at the super fancy (and sometimes not so fancy) things the students whip up, but because of the promise of FREE FOOD.

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Yakatate!! Japan(ese Milk Bread)

Tired of eating crappy supermarket bread, Roommate S got into a bread baking mood lately and started making bread like mad. Even Roommate N got roped into this madness. Soon, frosh cooking turned onto frosh baking – from ciabatta to challa, we started abusing the public oven. But something felt missing. Sure, all this European bread was tasty, but I missed the soft and fluffy asian bread of my childhood. The bread came in a rectangular loaf, with a soft brown crust and white insides. It had no name but was sold at every Asian bakery. After some poking around, I found a recipe for something that seemed correct – Japanese milk bread. Japanese Milk Bread I used this recipe for the bread because 1) it’s the only one that didn’t require milk poweder, which I didn’t have on hand and 2) it showed up pretty high on the Google search results. However, as I found out too late, this recipe is pretty terrible at giving step-by-step instructions and left out a lot of detail, which made bread making harder than it should have been… (It was only after baking the bread did I realize that I probably should have looked for the recipe in Chinese or Japanese instead. Digging around on the internet for a while lead me to this blog. In fact, I’m pretty sure the recipe I used was ripped off from here. Next time…!) I’m sure you can all read the recipe yourself, so I’ll spare you the rambling. However, here are some tips and tricks I wish I should’ve known while making the bread. Protip: Knead the dough until it stops being sticky.**If you don’t, your bread will be very crumbly and not very chewy. Note that softness and chewiness has nothing to do with each other! ** Protip: Let the yeast come out of hibernation a little bit by putting it in a soup of lukewarm water and flour before you dump it into the dough. **The recipe I used was kind of bad and didn’t tell me to do this, so my dough didn’t really rise much in the time it said it would. My bread probably would’ve turned out larger and fluffier if I had revived the yeast before mixing it. **

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Macaroni and Real Cheese

Friend L really wanted macaroni and cheese and went ahead and bought the materials before anyone could object. And so once again we were roped into making things that we weren’t planning to – whatever, mac and cheese is delicious.

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Tacos Tacos Tacos

Friend L really likes Mexican food and had been wanting to make tacos for weeks, so we finally caved in and made tacos for dinner today. (Friend L is one of those people with actually no cooking experience at all but somehow ends up cooking food that looks more legit than what we make. I don’t understand it at all. She also runs the blog Surf Surf Revolution.)

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Whatever.

There are times where you know exactly what you want to have for dinner and exactly the right ingredients to make it. There are also times where you don’t really know what you want for dinner but have the ingredients to make some nice tasty dish that you know how to make.

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In Which The Food Blog Turns into an Anime Blog (Part 3)

Day 3 After being at AX for a while, the initial feeling of “Wow, look at all these weird people in costumes OH WAIT I’m one of them” gradually morphed into something like “oh wow look at all these normal people not wearing costumes, they’re so scary”. The thing is that, anime conventions have a strange atmosphere. For some reason or another, there is little sociedal pressure to conform to what society views as “the norm”. You want to have rainbow-colored hair? Sure. You’re a guy but you want to wear a skirt? Why not. And the attitude spreads. As time passes, the initial feeling of insecurity gradually fades away as you realize that people aren’t going to judge you for who you are and what you like; in fact, there’s probably someone nearby who likes the exact same things.

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In Which The Food Blog Turns into an Anime Blog (Part 2)

Last time…Chengyi and co. were stuck in line for 3 hours and the convention hasn’t even started yet! What’s going to happen when Anime Expo finally starts!?Day 1The first day of Anime Expo! The Exibition Hall and Artist Alley open today! As expected, there was a long line. It was a good thing we arrived two hours early, because the long line soon grew into a very, very long line.

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