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Rice, and everything else

I want to tell a story about journeys. Journeys that are circular, that fold back on themselves. For Gawai this year I had a conversation with my dad about rice, and about celebrations, and on Instagram I told a story from a Gawai. It also made me think about my name – the journey my name has gone on, and how I have moulded myself to others, to audiences I meet on my migration and how I fit into what feels comfortable for others.
To be complicated means having to explain myself a lot, which is both ok and annoying. I sit with both those feelings. The story of rice is complicated too, its about farming and eating, it's about gods, it's sacred but also it's everyday. 
This piece is a journey too; it is a snap shot of different things that to me, make up a whole. This is my history. My name is Anna Sulan Masing.

[I haven't edited my dad's words, because these are from back and forth chats, and I like imperfection that modern technology of rushed emails and whatsapp]
RICE
Recent posts

How do we decolonise? A series of questions

I have been thinking a lot recently about how we decolonise our thinking, especially around food and drink and to be honest I have no answers but I do have a series of questions. I have a some specific streams of thinking.
I am also concerned with the indigenous identity, and how it is one that sits within many other spaces. “Commonly held beliefs of the white culture attack commonly held bliefs of the Mexican culture, and both attack commonly held beliefs of the indigenous culture. […] she learns to be an Indian in Mexican culture, to be Mexican from an Angle point of view.” Gloria Anzaldua, Towards a new consciousness. Because to me this is the essential strip back we need to get to, to understand what colonialism means, and how we untangle that. But how do we engage with that language in the UK where indigenous narratives is not a known language, because ‘native’ does not mean difference? How do we connect globally with the understanding of indigeneity?
There is the question of what do…

Other published work from March 2020

Although this period in time has meant a huge dip in my work I am still writing for others, therefore I am going to link to the things that have been published since the end of March.

I see this space as a place that reflects the world I am currently living in. It may continue to develop afterwards, and shift into something different, but right now I want TAF to be about my writing during this time. This writing varies because we are not just one thing - we are not simply this virus. Some of these pieces were commissioned before the crisis, but because they were published during this time they feel very much a part of my current world.
DRINKS
Supper magazine
Why hotel bars are betting on whisky – TBC
Mr Porter: The Evolution Of Whisky: How An Old Spirit Became Cool Again
FOOD
Sandwich Magazine Meet the indie farmer shaking up California’s food scene

Pit Magazine
Chef Mary San Pablo & Filipino barbecue (in print only, pdf to come) 
FOOD & TRAVEL: in the time of COVID Kavey commissioned me …

The world for some spice

This is a bit of a rant, it was going to be a twitter thread but I realised I had more to say that a few posts so thought I would take the liberty of this space - after all, that is what it is here for.

But, the editing - typos, spelling, phrasing etc - will all be a bit off, as I write this in rant and in rush.

Two things happened yesterday that are connected, and another thing this morning that is adjacent to the same thinking. 

Firstly - 
I listened to Take A Bao podcast (which I am going to write about more Kavey Eats blog for next week), and I was reminded how it is pitched for a global audience, it is talking about global food trends, but what makes is so great is that it completely takes out a western-centric narrative. 

This isn't a food podcast that explores politics, it is a gentle, interesting look at various interesting foods and drinks. It just takes the assumption that Asian foods are interesting to all, and that to talk about it we don't have to exoticise, or dumb do…

I Love Chatsworth Road - writing for the local newsletter

At the moment I am doing some pro bono work for the local publication I Love Chatsworth Road.
In normal times it is a magazine and an instagram account run as a passion project by photographer Jorn Tomter. Now, it is a weekly newsletter about stories from the local area, although stretching a little further into Hackney than usual.

It is a local area that is built up of small independent shops and businesses that are changing weekly - if not daily! And, a lot of people are offering services, crowd funding and doing incredible work during this time.

So this newsletter offers the local community a source of info and a way for businesses to get the information out about what they have pivoted too. This is a newsletter that is positive, and I'm enjoying writing for it! Not all food, but -

Here are some of the things I have written about, for the newsletter.
Hackney School of Food
The story of Hackney School of Food is one of community, changing spaces, the need to adapt and of working …

Sarongs: food, home & mothers

My mother cooks curry in a sarong and shower cap. My mother has both my daughters. My mother is strong, caring, violent and beautiful. My mother makes the best ice cream.


Last week I wore a different sarong every day, well except for Friday as that was shopping day so I put on ‘proper’ clothes to go into public. I love my sarongs, every time I go home to Sarawak (the Malaysian state I am from) I buy a new sarong, most of the time I use the excuse of buying one for a friend, but often I also get a new one for me.
Sarongs mean home, in so many ways. They are what I wear in the evenings in Sarawak, after my shower, before dinner; I put on a sarong and have a beer with dad or a pre-dinner snack, sitting on the veranda. In London they are what I potter about the house in. And are for me, inexplicitly linked with cooking.
During my PhD I worked with four women, all performers, PhD was particular practice-based and involved performances. One of the sessions we looked at idea of mothers. I wanted…

Ellie's drinks shelf

Hi Ellie!

I am by no means a bartender, although I spent most of my 20s behind a bar, I had no quest to be the creative. My only talent was that I could work fast and if I didn’t know a cocktail recipe a colleague would yell the ingredients and what it was supposed to taste, like I would be able to figure out pretty quickly the balance of everything.

I think the drinks world can feel a little intimidating. It can feel in accessible because of the technicality of making the product or mixing a drink – like cooking, there are recipes to these things, unlike food, most of the ingredients are not readily available at your supermarket and whip-up-able on a Saturday afternoon. The drinks world can feel like a private party with secret words and handshakes.
But, most people I know in the drink’s worlds are hugely creative, pretty nerdy, and really just want you to enjoy, revel in, take pleasure in, what they make. Just like food, drinks are personal.
Therefore, I like to approach booze like in…