On Smoothies and Grad Students / by Anran Li

Recently, I became a graduate student. This seems to mean many things. It means I now own a smoothie machine. Also, I am technically (probably only so) an adult. Expectations are raised and no longer met. Conversations demand purpose and order. I'm old and can't pull anymore triple-all-nighters.

But definitely exciting times. Especially the smoothie machine part. I purchased a smoothie maker made by Black and Decker, a company that is perhaps more well-known for its power tools. Imagine buying a Toyota-branded bagel - the bagel is reliable, affordable, and plain yet one cannot help but feel the pastry is somehow coated in automotive paint. After some great kale smoothies and subsequent discoveries of lactose intolerance, I began pushing the limits of what a smoothie can be. Today, I had an extra hour and did the unthinkable. I put fresh tuna and chives in the blender and made some fantastic sushi. This way, the tuna becomes a soft puree that melts in your mouth, and the chives, cut by hand, give it a fresh texture and taste. There are only nine pieces because this was my first time making sushi and I immediately ate the ones that didn't come out so well. They are arranged by height from lower-left to upper-right to give order to the inconsistencies in the cutting.

My life has certainly changed. This realization isn't sudden. It isn't an awakening as a result of the heavenly taste of the nine pieces of my immaculate work. Rather, it is more of a passive "Oh. I'm now finding the patience to spend two hours cooking. Therefore I must be getting older."

JK. I'm going to sign up for a meal plan. Cooking can wait.

Front: ネギ・トロ (Onions and Tuna)
Back: Bitter melon soup