Monday, August 09, 2010

an interview with anne from beyond ramen

i met anne through the (sadly neglected since we moved) cooking blog - domestic sensualists - that i share with bee. anne's blog is mostly gorgeous food that she makes in order to prove that not all students survive on ramen noodles, hence the name, beyond ramen. i've gotten to know anne even better through the blog camp 365 flickr group, where she has been slogging away on a photo a day with the rest of us. along the way, via twitter, if i recall correctly, i learned that not only is she quite literally a rocket scientist (or at least a physicist in training), but she also went to the U of C! having gone there myself (shh, don't mention the war, i think i got away with it once...), i had to ask her about going to the school with more nobel prize winners than any other on the planet. oh, and if you weren't hungry before this started, you will be when it's over...

Olallieberry cobbler

1. what do you miss most about hyde park?

The atmosphere. Not the weather--I can do without hot and humid summers, thanks--but the bookish, tweedy, "let's go on a date and spend it studying at the Reg," impossible-to-find-a-seat-in-every-coffee-shop atmosphere. I suppose I'm conflating UofC with Hyde Park, but I felt so at home there--not just on campus, but in the neighborhood as a whole. And that leads into the second question...

2. did you go to the U of C on purpose or was it your second choice? ;-)

UofC was absolutely my first choice. Cheesy, but true: when I visited (twice), I felt like I belonged there, and I still feel that way.

Picnic table

3. what is the best part of being a girl rocket scientist?

Well, there's this saying about what it's like being a girl in physics: "the odds are good, but the goods are odd." Ha! Somewhat more seriously, probably the look that some people get when they learn that I'm a physicist. There's the basic surprise that male & female physicists both get, but it seems like there's something extra to it when the physicist in question is a girl. I feel like I'm being all subversive, and that's fun.

Filling the pie

4. what's your super power?

I can fly! Okay, not really. But I do have a pretty great sense of direction, which sometimes feels as useful as a superpower.

Risotto pot

5. which kitchen appliance/utensil would you not want to live without?

Oh, this is a tough one. I suppose my chef's knife? I use it more than any other hand tool in the kitchen. Runner up is my big Le Creuset Dutch oven--I can do just about anything in that pot.


6. white or red wine?

I like both, but probably red (as long as it's not Zinfandel). I find a lot of whites too sweet for my taste, so I tend to be pickier about them.

Clementine-kumquat marmalade

7. your best piece of photography advice?

I don't really feel like I'm in a position to be *giving* photography advice, so I've struggled with this question. I suppose it would be: take advantage of the fact that with digital cameras, we have the luxury of taking tons of pictures without having to pay for developing them. We can play around with framing, exposure, composition, depth of field, etc. and learn about what works and what doesn't, and we don't have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars developing roll after roll of film. That's not to say that I don't think there's a place for film, but for someone (especially someone on a budget) who's learning, trying to find his or her style, etc. I think digital photography is a great development--no pun intended. So, in short: take lots of pictures. LOTS. The more you shoot, the more you'll figure out what works for you.

8. what is your ultimate dream camera?

One of the Canon 1D Mark whatevers. At the moment, I don't care all that much which one (though the III or IV would be very nice indeed), because any one of them would be an enormous step up from the camera I'm using now. When I get a proper job, one of the things I'll be saving up for is a 5D. The 1D (or whatever the equivalent is when I get to the point of being able to afford one) will have to wait until I win the lottery or get tenure or something.

Broken chocolate

9. three ingredients/foods you always have in the house?

I don't always-always-always have all three of these things in my house, but they're probably the items I keep most consistently. Parmigiano Reggiano. Rice. Chocolate. I suppose jam, too, but that's more because I make so much of it than because I eat so much of it.

Watermelon agua fresca

10. what do you do to unwind?

I suppose I bake, take pictures, look through other people's pictures for inspiration. I might have a better answer for this one after the whole defense thing is done. :)

* * *

i had such an urge to keep jumping in with responses of my own to all of these answers! i do have to share one thing two things - i felt exactly the same way after visiting the U of C - like it felt like home and i just knew i had to go there (i was choosing between U of C and USC at the time - can you say opposites?). and what i miss most about hyde park is walking along 57th street on a crisp, sunny fall day, kicking the leaves and heading for the seminary co-op bookstore. bliss.

thank you so much anne for taking the time to do this even tho' you're in the throes of that thesis!

go. check out anne's flickr photostream and blog, but please tiptoe, she's working on her thesis.


Elizabeth said...

I am hungry. Does this interview include a large, extravaganze, super yummy lunch?

amy said...

this is such as beautiful LOOKING interview. now i must go back and read it.

Lisa-Marie said...

Beautiful, beautiful photos. I am utterly in awe!

How much less interesting would life be without parmesan and chocolate?

I wish you luck with the thesis!

mrs mediocrity said...

Yes, that totally made me hungry. And wish for a glass of wine, maybe with a little chocolate.

Numinosity said...

Stunning photos of equally scrumptious looking food. My sister was a food blogger for awhile and even took a class on food photography. She said you wouldn't believe some of the tricks the magazine photographers use that render the food absolutely inedible.
I'm sure these photos are 100% real though.
xoxo Kim

SH -ic said...

my goodness I love pies .. ok tea is ready .. my hands are open

Anne said...

Aww, thank you Julie, and thank you fellow commenters! Hugs to you all.

Julie, I used to live at 57th and Blackstone, so that walk along 57th was one I took every day--sometimes a few times a day, though once in a while I'd detour so that I could go by Robie House. Somehow it was even glorious in the depths of winter.

One of these days I *will* get the last month's worth (!!) of 365 photos posted. Believe it or not, I've actually been keeping up with it--hanging on by an ever fraying thread, but still going. Hipstamatic has been my savior.

Char said...

what gorgeous food photography!! yum

Linda said...

I'm from Texas--is U of C the University of California?

julochka said...

U of C is the University of Chicago!

kristina - no penny for them said...

oh, it was so good to read a little about you, anne, - i've been in awe of your photos for a long time!