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Cooking it up!

This week, our writers loosely draw inspiration from their household kitchen appliances. These are truly proof that beautiful work can come from anything :)

Can't hurt to dream

By: Luce Cada

We all have those dreams, right? 

Like how that girl down the street wants to dance on the biggest stage in the world 

Or how that boy in your class secretly wants to bake pastries in that five-star bakery 

Or even how that friend of yours would love to be a Youtube star

What’s your dream? 

Do you hide it behind that expectation that we should do something useful,

Hide it behind the reality that we’re going to need money to make it,

The reality that we’ll need to survive?

I think we all do, don’t we?

That girl, who dreams of dancing on Broadway or even bigger, had to dance on carpet 

Because they told her she wouldn’t make it far enough 

That boy, who dreams of whisking together the best thing ever baked, got his dreams whisked away 

Because they told him boys do business or sports 

That friend, who dreams of being that influencer on social media, landed their eyes on books 

Because they told them to use their logic, not their creativity 

They always said don’t do that 

But we said we can do that. 

It can’t hurt to dream too far, right? 

It can’t hurt to be a dancer 

It can’t hurt to be a baker 

It can’t hurt to be a star. 

If we try, we can make it 

They don’t tell you that you can’t do it 

Dream big, love 

Bigger than the sun 

It can’t hurt to dream to be who you want to be. 


By: jasmine Li

    “Have you finished your homework?”


    “Have you started?”


    “Is ‘no’ the only word you know how to say?”

    “... No.”

    She sighs in response, “At least move away from the microwave, standing that close to it isn’t good for you.”

    “I highly doubt that’s true.”

    She looks at me pointedly and starts to make her way out of the kitchen, “Go do your homework.”


    “You hold your needles completely wrong, and you wonder why your stitches don’t come out even.”

    “Hey, I’m trying. My hands are smaller than yours anyway.”

    In my hands were a pair of metal needles, connected by a plastic cord with a cusp in right in the center, and casted onto those needles that kept knocking into my arms was a thick red yarn, looped and coiled along its entire length. A side effect of the amount of times I kept tearing out my knitting swatches. They never turned out right.

    “You have to hold them like this,” my grandmother said as she took the work gently from my hands, guiding the working yarn through a few stitches slowly, before pushing it back towards me. 

    “My hands cramp up if I’m doing it like that.”

    “Because you’re doing it wrong.”

    I groaned, letting my head fall to the back of the sofa.


    “What’s the point of wrapping them in bamboo leaves?”

    “It adds to the flavor of the dish.”

    My grandmother and I were sitting on small, plastic stools, holding chopsticks in the middle of the cramped kitchen, large bowls filled to the brim with ingredients sitting around us. We were making zongzi (粽子), a traditional Chinese dish made with sticky rice, a filling, and wrapped in a bamboo leaf. My family typically uses either pork or dates for the filling. As the rice is a neutral ingredient, the flavor of the filling seeps into the rice while being cooked, leaving the entirety of the zongzi tasting sweet or salty. They’re traditionally eaten on Duan Wu Jie, or the Dragon Boat Festival, but my family also enjoys them as an occasional breakfast or snack at other parts of the year as well. I was never fantastic at making them.

    “You’re adding too much rice.”

    “You said I added too little rice last time.”

    “And now you’re adding too much.”

    “I am never going to get the hang of this.”

    “Not with that attitude you’re not.”


    “What are you knitting?”

    She took out the pen before replying, “Wouldn’t you like to know.”

    I stood next to her small workstation on the sofa, clutching my pink teddy bear in my arms, “Please?”

    “You’ll see.”


    A couple weeks later, I returned home, ready to collapse on the bottom bunk of the bunk bed my sister and I shared. There was that same pink teddy bear, smile still plastered on its face. She was tucked carefully into my blanket covered in seahorses, proudly wearing a knitted, red and white striped sweater.


    My parents, sister, grandmother, and I were standing in the middle of the bustling airport, loudspeakers booming in the background, people rushing to arrive at their gate on time. Around us were a sea of suitcases, filled almost to bursting with our most precious items that we didn’t want to wait for the shipping company to handle. I had, once again, my stuffed bear clutched in my arms, and my sister was chugging the water from her water bottle in preparation for customs. 

    “You’ll visit?”

She smiled at me, eyes shining, a wrinkled smile appearing on her face. She pulled me into a hug.

    “I’m too old. I’m counting on you to visit me.”

    I let out a choked laugh, “Of course.”

    “And don’t forget to make more deformed scarves and zongzi for your parents.”

    “Yeah, I think I will. I’ll be better than you next time I visit.”

    “Don’t count on that.”

    We all turned to greet our respective, separate homes.

An ode to my Tiger Rice cooker

By: Austina Xu

Keep-Warm function for up to two hours

Never do you cease

To amaze me with your power

Spatula and washable steam vent

Try to surpass this beauty

Only the wise know they can’t 

Floral curtain

Non- stick for certain

How is it that you do everything you can?

The answer lies on the bottom

Made in Japan 

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