Friday, July 29, 2011

Recipe - Beet Ice cream

Beat Ice Cream Recipe
~ 5 medium sized beets (from July's CSA box, South Central Farmers)
~ 1 2/3 cups heavy cream 
~ 1 cup milk 
~ 1/2 cup plus 
~ 2 Tbsp sugar
~ pinch of salt 
~ 4 egg yolks
1. Wash these little maroon friends, cleaning off any dirt that might still remain on the roots. Once washed, remove their skins with a vegetable peeler.
2. Cut these guys into maroon cubes. Aim for around 1 inch in size.
3. Employing a juicer, obliterate the collection of cubes  until the amount of liquid beet equals one cup. Set aside the beet pulp for use later.
3.  Alternatively, if a juicer is not readily available this process can be completed with a blender. Adding only enough water for the blades to start moving, strain the blended mixture to separate the pulp.
4. In a medium sized pot, simmer the juice on a low heat until the amount of liquid has been reduced by half.
5. In another pot, lightly heat cream and milk in a large pan. When the milk is warm, add the beet pulp. Wait 30 minutes and occasionally stir.
6. Whisk the egg yokes into a large mixing bowl. In small portions at a time, ladle the pink milky pulp in with the whisked eggs and mix each time. This process carefully brings the eggs closer to the cream before they are mixed together in the pot. At this time, pour the entire yolk mixture into the cream pot and whisk once more.
7. Remove the cream from heat and strain the contents of the pot. Remove any pulp matter leaving only the liquid.
8. At this time, mix in the original beet juice and add sugar. Leave the liquid cool in the refrigerator.
 9. Once the mixture has cooled, add to a ice cream maker and wait per the manufacture's instructions.
Beet Pulp.
Beet pulp in cream.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Graduate School - CSA Week 2

I picked up my weekly CSA box from the South Central Farmers' CSA program. They deliver to the USC campus every Wednesday. This week's box was packed with a monstrous load of vegetables. I was excited to find one medium sized watermelon and the following items:

~ Okra (The subject of this week's: "Guess this vegetable!")
~ Detroit Red Beets
~ Garden Spinage
~ Collard Greens
~ Kale
~ Cherry Tomatoes
~ Zucchini
~ Marketmore Cucumbers
~ Opal Basil
~ Golden Patty Pan Squash

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Graduate School - Classic Tapioca Pudding

Classic Tapioca Pudding Recipe
    * 1/3 Cup of Tapioca Pearls
    * 3/4 cup of Water
    * 2 1/4 cups of Whole Milk
    * 1/4 tsp. Salt
    * 2 Eggs, separated
    * 1/4 cup of Agave
    * 1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Overnight preparations: Soak pearls in a glass jar to leave overnight. Once they've been re-hydrated, drain as much water as possible from the jar. Remove them from the jar and place them in a saucepan.

Short-term preparations: Pre-soak pearls for 30 minutes in a roomy saucepan. 

1. Add the hydrated tapioca into a medium saucepan.
2. Separate the egg into two separate bowls: eggs yolks in one and egg white in another.
3. Lightly beat the egg yolk with the milk and salt. Mix the salty, milky yellow mixture in with the tapioca.
4. Bring the mixture to slight boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir often.
5. In the second egg bowl, beat the egg whites with agave syrup. 
6. After the mixture has simmered for the full fifteen minutes, slowly mix the egg whites into the simmering tapioca. Stir for 5 minutes or until the pearls turn completely translucent. Then cool.
Soaking Pearls.

Graduate School - Summer in Great America

Great American stairs.
I had my first summer trip. I made my way though Great America, exploring the Great American interior for the first time. Exploring museums, artist galleries, city architecture, and the like.
Great American grass.
Great America at night.
Sign Reads: Snowmobiles Prohibited. 
Looking out onto a Great American highway.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Graduate School - Chocolate Teff Waffle Recipe

Waffle, waffles, waffled: Perhaps one of the funniest sounding words in the English language. I love waffles. Teff flour, from what I hear, is a gluten-free substitute to lighter grains. Teff flour makes a sturdy, crisp waffle all on its own. The smallest grain in the world, it measures 1/32 of an inch in diameter. It has the consistency of quicksand when mixed with water. This is a grain that originated in Ethiopia between 4000 BC and 1000 BC. Most likely not the best grain for making waffles; Teff has more protein than wheat and has a hardier taste. 

Chocolate Teff Waffles Recipe
    * Teff powder, 2 cups
    * Brewed coffee, 1/2 cup
    * Cocoa powder, 1/2 cup
    * Egg, 1 (Substitute with one banana and apple sauce)
    * Yogurt, 1/2 cup (Substitute 3/4 teaspoon baking soda and1/2 teaspoon sea salt)
    * Agave , 1/2 cup (Substitute with maple syrup)
    * Butter

Rough Directions:
1. Beat the egg in a bowl. Add coffee, agave, and yogurt. 
2. Add the Teff powder and mix until an even constancy. 
3. Power up that waffle maker and grease with a little butter.
4. Spread the dough into the iron so it's level on all sides and close.
5. Wait 10 minutes or until fully cooked.
6. Top with agave and/or yogurt.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Graduate School - Spicy Kale Chips Recipe

Spicy Kale Chips Recipe
An alternative title to this recipe should be How To Demolish Your Kale Heavy CSA Box In On Sitting.

    * Kale, 1 bush (from July's CSA box, South Central Farms)
    * Olive Oil, 1/4 cup
    * Salt, 1 tea spoon
    * Cayenne pepper power, 1 table spoon
    * Sesame seeds, 1 table spoon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Rinse kale leaves. Remove leaves from their stocks and inner stems. Divide leaves into bite sized pieces.
3. Add olive oil to a large bowl. Mix in salt, cayenne pepper, and sesame seeds.
4. Place the pile of kale pieces into the oily mixture and kneed it until the leaves are evenly dressed.
 5. Place the lightly oiled leaves onto a baking sheeting with as little over lap as possible.
 6. Bake for 15 minutes or until crispy.

Graduate School - CSA Week 1

I've subscribed to weekly boxes from the South Central Farmers' CSA program. The acronym stands for Community Supported Agriculture; it's a program that offers subscriptions to seasonal vegetables grown from local farms. Each program is different. Generally, participants receive their vegetables at a pre-arranged drop off point or through delivery.  The Los Angeles South Central Farmers program delivers to the USC campus and offers a discount to college students.
This week was my second week in the program; This is what I got:

~ Blue Kale
~ Collard Greens
~ Cherry Tomatoes
~ Beefsteak Tomatoes
~ Purple Cherokee Heirloom Tomatoes
~ Zucchini
~ Marketmore Cucumbers
~ Opal Basil
~ Golden Patty Pan Squash
~ Parsley
~ Spaghetti Squash
~ Grapefruit

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Graduate School - Summer Freelance

Classes ended in May, completing  my first year at USC as a graduate student.  It's mid July; my first summer in Los Angeles since 2007. I've been working with fellow USC animators for a feature project called Bite Size.  

The documentary focuses on childhood obesity in the United States. Comprised mostly of live action interviews, short animated segments are peppered in throughout the film. These animated shorts are being produced through the summer and into early fall.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Graduate School - Mar De Fondo

I participated in a the collaborative project Mar de Fondo. See clip above. It was a one week workshop (February 28 - March 4) based on the cyclical motion of the ocean currents. The project was a collaborative film project between Spain, Colombia, and the USA. Our US director was Juan Camilo Gonzalez of .The soundtrack was designed by Xabier Erkizia.

Image In Motion Laboratory is a space created by Arteleku, a contemporary arts centre in San Sebastian - Spain for developing and producing experimental animation. Their activities run under the premise of relating the audio-visual language to other artistic disciplines. By doing so, they have being able to develop animation pieces that expand the ideas of narrative structures into other expressive realms. One of this year's activities has being named "Mar de Fondo," a one week workshop (February 28 - March 4). The starting point is based on the cyclical motion of the ocean currents and a previously designed soundtrack by Xabier Erkizia.
The group in San Sebastian will create a series of animated cycles that will then be uploaded to an FTP site at the end of the local day. At that exact time, local morning in Bogotá, a new group of artists will spontaneously intervene and develop further the images created in Spain. Then, those new cycles will be uploaded again to the FTP for a new group in Los Angeles to continue the process of this animated "Exquisite Corpse." When the group in Spain comes back the next day, their images have being interpreted and the process starts over again until a grand cycle has being constructed at the end of the week.
In San Sebastian, the group is led by Oscar nominated artist Vuk Jevremovic and Animac International Animation Festival director and independent artist Isabel Herguera. │
In Bogotá, independent artists and professors Carlos Santa and Cecilia Traslaviña head the team. │ │
In L.A. I will be responsible for the team composed by other John C. Hench animation students and faculty. │

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Graduate School - Chatter Exhibition in London

Chatter, an animation installation project by Birgitta Hosea, will be playing in London this July. The project includes work from myself and fellow USC graduate student from the MFA class of 2013.
The latest version of the CHATTER project will be shown at Bar Sequence for one night only on:
6 – 11 PM THURSDAY 14th JULY
@ Bar Sequence, 43 Essex Road, London, N1 2SF

This evolving installation of animated talking heads investigates meaningless blather and the babble of crowds, reminiscent of conversations on Facebook or Twitter. Created by media artist, Birgitta Hosea, it includes crowd-sourced contributions from international artists and animators*.

Birgitta was a scholar in residence at USC for the fall semester of 2010. She worked with our animation teacher Tom Sito to create an orchestra of inidividual short clips - one from each student. These short conversational elements were designed, recorded, and lip synced by individual students. The clips were exhibited in tandem at the USC Cinema Arts Gallery.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Big in Japan - Hollywood Bowl

I was given two tickets to the Hollywood Bowl for the Big In Japan concert. The show was advertised as a cultural festival with small events peppered outside the Bowl. These included sake tasting, kimono displays, paper art, and karate demonstrations. The lineup of musicians included the Yellow Magic Orchestra, Yoko Ono, Cibo Matto, Buffalo Daughter, and Towa Tei.
An enormous troupe of taiko drummers from the Taiko Center of Los Angeles opened the event. Fujima Kansuma Kai, a California native and performer of classical Japanese dance, made up the second performance of the night. Followed by experimental, electric pop musicians Cibo Matto, Buffalo Daughter, and DJ Towa Tei.
At intermission, Amy and I went to the snack bar to purchase some treats. We perused the selection and settled on the cheapest bottle of Sake(8$). I was excited to try something new, having never tasted sake before. Of course, I regretted the purchase as, big surprise, it was terrible. We returned the bottle in exchange for sparkling water.
The Yellow Magic Orchestra
I was looking forward to Yoko Ono. I don't care much for her music, but she's one of my favorite performance artists. For that reason, I wasn't disappointed when she only performed two songs. The first being an Orgasm Song, the unofficial title. She roared and grunted as the Yellow Magic Orchestra played backup. Her final song, and the last song of the night was a group performance of, "Hello, Goodbye". Cibo Matte, Buffalo Daughter, Towa Tei, the enormous Taiko group, and the kimono performers came onto the sage to sing.
All the performers playing Hello, Goodbye.
Although the cultural events attached to the Big In Japan concert were advertised as Japanese, they're more representative of American culture and elements of an increasingly globalized society. Kimono's, sake, origami, and karate are evidence of a cross-culturalisation that has considerable effects on the American identity.

Small vignettes of Japanese culture have been repeatedly regurgitation in the United States to the point where their influences have developed strong roots in American daily life. Colloquial English has adopted Japanese phrases such as 'Sayonara' and 'Yosh!", popularize by Hollywood one-liners and Youtube. Additionally, most American have used chopsticks over western dining tools. These examples, by no means, represent an authentically Japanese identity. Rather, they've transformed themselves into symbols of a quickly evolving, authentically American culture.