Here are resources related to my interests not made by me.
I love their zines and suggest the ones on salt, beans, and kombucha in particular if you want to learn more about fermentation while supporting small-scale producers (it looks like they're available by mail, but they won't ship until after the pandemic is over). You can also find them on instagram using their handle, "Pickle Witch".
A friendly, approachable team of two--Dan-yul and Katie--making Korean food tutorial videos with small snippets about their lives and travels sprinkled through-out. I first saw them on youtube, but they also have an instagram presence and their own website. I haven't made their fermented kimchi recipe yet (that's the link), but I'm looking forward to someday. I've made their fresh kimchi recipe before, and thoroughly enjoyed it. As an aside, I ordered a t-shirt from them a couple years ago, and Katie sent me a face mask, too :)
I love Maangchi! She's a New York City-based youtube chef. She also has her own website with *a ton* of Korean fermented recipes (that's the link). I love her jokes, presentation style, and personality. In one of her videos, she burps one of her particularly pungent ferments in Central Park, while drinking a beer concealed in a paper bag. An icon, to be sure.
Boris never discloses where *exactly* he is, but he is somewhere in the general vicinity of Eastern Europe. He shares Slavic culture and recipes on his youtube channel. I learn a lot from him and enjoy his relatable language. The link I've included is for his Kvass tutorial video--a type of fermented beverage made with rye bread and raisins. He says in the video description that it tastes like "apple cider mixed with light beer".
Deborah Mele lives in Umbria, Italy half the year and the US the other half. Her website reads like a blog with recipes. I've been following her for maybe a decade now--her website has RSS if you have a RSS feed. I like reading her stories about the history of a recipe as well as usually everything she finds important about the ingredients. I really like her amaretti cookie recipe. They're a cookie made primarily out of almonds. I underbake them to give them a chewy texture. They're one of the first gifts I gave my partner, so they occupy a special place in my heart.
On a non-baking note, I also learned how to cook a lot of things from Deborah. I make burst tomato pasta in the summer from farmer's market tomatoes--you don't need to add the anchovy paste or cheese if you are vegetarian or vegan, it's pretty good without it in my opinion and it's a relatively cheap recipe.
Vaishali is a Washington DC-based vegan chef and baker (among many other things!). When I became a vegan a long time ago (I am no longer), I used a lot of her recipes. She describes her path to becoming a vegan through her relationship with her pets, and it deeply resonated with me at that time. I was pretty young and inexperienced when I made her caramelized onion tart with olives, so it didn't turn out well. But now that I have had some success with recipes involving yeast finally (Bavarian pretzels), I want to give it another try! It looks absolutely delicious the way she makes it. I also really liked her carrot halwa recipe. Beware: it makes a *huge* amount, so either scale it down by at least half, or be prepared to bring delicious vegan carrot pudding to your friends and family.
Bonus!: Vaishali made a vegan baking substitutes page if that is a helpful resource for you.
Sally pops up almost every time I search the web to do comparison research for trying a new recipe. I've lost track of how many of her recipes I have tried. Her website also reads like a blog with recipes. I especially like her pistachio drop cookies. I don't put the frosting on them because I prefer nut cookies to remain only slightly sweet, but I liked the frosting the one time I made it. We don't have a food processor, spice grinder, or blender, so I usually use a mortar and pestle to grind the pistachios.
I recently tried Sally's Simply Sandwich Bread recipe and it came out really well! It was my first successful bread loaf ever. It has a wonderful, buttery taste and a great crumb! I really like Sally's in-depth walkthrough and directions in this recipe. I cubed my butter pretty small before adding it and later had to keep re-flouring the surface I was kneading on in my particular case.
Free/Open Source Programs
Ah, I love this program so very, very much and I can't stress that enough. If you have a basic understanding of Western music notation and you like to write music, this is a simple enough program to use. I personally never learned bass clef, but it doesn't matter! You can use an on-screen piano keyboard to write if that's easier for you, or you can notate right onto the page using keyboard instructions or your mouse. There is an extensive forum with highly-responsive other users to help you out. Every issue I've had so far has been "fixed" by visiting their website to see that other people have already asked and received the solution. You can download the program from their website (make sure it's the right one), or through your terminal or software library if you run Linux.
I no longer suggest this program, and am actively looking for a replacement that suits my particular needs. After Audacity was acquired recently, it began collecting sketchy data on users. I've uninstalled it from my computer, as has my partner. Mental Outlaw on y*utube discusses this issue in these two videos (one and two) if you'd like to look into it yourself. I will remove Audacity from this portion of the site in a couple of weeks after I find a replacement and make a post about it.
A fun, simple program similar to Kid Pix from the early 2000's or Ms Paint, but specializing in pixel art. You can make gifs, spritesheets, or animations. It works well with my drawing tablet and is easy enough to use with a mouse. There are two input channels, left and right click, that you can assign separately to whatever tools in the kit you'd like to use. This one you can use in browser at their site, or you can download the program through the site or the terminal/software library if you have Linux.
I started playing around with this game development engine recently. So far, I've only used it to build very simple 2D "games", and it seems to work well for that application. They also provide 3D game building. It was very easy to import my spritesheets and other assets I made from Pixelorama. I don't have any experience with this type of program previously, but there are a lot of tutorials for it online and it's been relatively beginner-friendly in that way. Godot can be downloaded from their site or from the terminal/software library if you run Linux.
To borrow directly from them, "Blender is a free and open source 3D creation suite". You can design models in 3D and animate them, and you can make 2D animations. Worthikids on YouTube makes all sorts of different genres of animation in Blender. I started using Blender recently to animate little 2D things that I like. I have found it very complicated so far since I don't have a lot of experience with more complex graphical programs or game development engines. But by following tutorials on YouTube and looking at Blender's tutorials on their website, I've hobbled together a couple projects I am proud of and a reasonable working surface knowledge of how it operates. I want to become more proficient, especially with the hot keys because it seems to speed the process up considerably. I would definitely recommend it if you have any experience with this type of program and like making animations, or if you don't have the experience you can handle minor misunderstandings about how things work setting you back a couple of hours. I downloaded my copy from my Linux Mint Software Manager, but that version is out of date. If you want the current iteration, you will have to download it off of their website.
A delighful flora and fauna identifier--almost like a real-life Pokedex? You can "scan" things with the app through your phone camera, and it will (usually) tell you exactly what the organism is. Great for learning about your local wildlife, what weeds are growing in the community garden, what tree fungus is in the local park, who the benign bugs in your apartment are, if you're getting stared down by a raccoon or is it an opposum...? The list goes on. There are challenges that you can participate in for badges, also, if you feel accomplished by getting shinies for work. If you opt to submit your observations to iNaturalist, you can also help researchers track the ranges of organisms. Citizen science! You do need to make an account on iNaturalist in order to post your findings, and you need mobile data or wi-fi in order to use the app.
If you are a person that experiences menstruation and you need an app that is research-based, easy to use, and is doing its best to be inclusive of your identity, Clue is a great option. The app also helps researchers develop better models about menstruation and related experiences (important to mention: through collecting your data). I have been using the free version for roughly 4 years now and it has been very accurate in its predictions for when I will start bleeding as well as what types of symptoms I should expect when. They feature articles and resources available about menstruation and related experiences that are LGBTQIA-inclusive. Additional services, such as pregnancy tracking, are available for a subscription fee (I haven't used any of these personally).
I love watching how Bo and Kyle rehabilitate and revitalize old, abandoned, and/or damaged wood into fresh, new furniture and other useful objects. They have an instagram where they post before/during/after photos of the pieces they are working on that they sell on their website. I'm inspired by their beautiful craftsmanship and eco-conscious business plan!
Watch out for more to come?