The Conch Girl Project

Recipe for Annie’s Kitchen: Rose Roll with Green Apple and Bacon with an Fried Egg Base, Sparkling Wine with Frozen Berries

Street published on Mar 28, 2023


  1. A mini kitchen within a not-so-small studio apartment. Everything here is colorful. You recognized a lot of knickknacks from IKEA. In IKEA, colorful items are often for kids, often plastic, and often cheaper.

  2. The storage space extends to the dining area. There is a side-by-side fridge and freezer. You had never seen this form of refrigerator before. It is shorter than the usual ones. It is more like a table, or a working spot, with the cutting board and materials and the pictures above it. 

  3. Strawberry-flavor food everywhere.

  4. A storage rack dedicated to the collected plastic bags.

  5. No drying rack. 

  6. A bag of snacks written “Save for Annie.” Must be a gift from someone who Annie cares, and who cares back. 

  7. A very meticulous storage system, including the dish detergent bottle which is in disguised of a ketchup bottle. It is cheap, practical, and colorful.


  1. Annie was very friendly. She said she would retreat into her closet so that you would have the space alone. At first you felt bad for it, but when you got there, you realized the closet is actually as big as a kitchen where she could fit in a desk. Whereas the kitchen is as small as a normal closet. 

  2. The space is full of creative energy. Annie’s works and materials can be seen in every corner. There is also a big window through which you can look directly into the opposite building. You stood there and watched for a while. There is a pilates studio there. It must be good for people watching. It’s funny that you just made a work by taking photos of people’s windows. You were trying to collect the views of “home” so that you can claim some sense of warmth. And now here you are, standing behind one, and looking to other windows again, though not up.

  3. You thought to yourself: the food you make here must be colorful and creative, too. It deserves something like that. But you fell into panic soon after you set this goal: there is not a lot of fresh produce in the fridge, but the variety of pantry entries is big enough to make you dizzy. You also want to make some strawberry-related things, given that she likes this flavor so very much.

  4. Strawberry flavor snacks are all packed in pink. When you were a kid you had a phase that you hated the color pink, as it was the symbol of femininity to you that comes with the stereotype of being delicate and demanding care. You hated that you were assumed to like the color pink just because you are a girl, among so many other assumptions they made on you. But when you grew up you made peace with it. Now you feel a kind of tenderness to girls who like pink. You think it is also precious to be able to love what is given. 

  5. Eventually you decided to make some flower rolls with bacon and apple, and a drink with frozen berries and the sparkling wine you found in another smaller fridge beside the sink. You had never made these before, nor are you a person who drink or make drinks. This also panicked you. You texted the photo of the wine to your friends: do you know how to open this? The “POP” of the cork startled you. You then texted your friends again: do you know how to preserve this? You tried to put the cork back in but it didn’t seem possible. Then one of them texted you back: nah you finish it. Now you really panicked: have you just wasted a whole bottle, if Annie didn’t want to drink this that night? So you poured yourself a glass, too. You hadn’t been eating for hours, and you got a bit champagne drunk at the end of this kitchen visit. 

  6. In this panicked state of mind you messed up a lot of photos, including the one that documents the beautiful flower rolls you made. 

Annie’s response to  the ingredients

  1. I like the descriptive words “for kids”, “plastic”, and “cheaper”.  I think I dream about homes that are white, clean, and sterile, but I can’t sustain that kind of house.  I collect and hold onto too many things, and I want to be able to look at all of them all of the time.

  2. The person who lived here before me was a baker.  She had four fridges, and left them in the apartment when she moved.  I couldn’t keep that many, so now I have two.

  3. Everyday that I am a young adult, I find more and more that I am exactly like both of my parents.

  4. This is a work in progress lol.

  5. My dad stole all of these tea bags from a hotel that restocked them everyday.  I remember my mom liked it and wanted to buy them, but when she looked the brand up, they were so expensive.  So my dad stole more and saved them for me and my mom so we could drink the tea without having to buy it.

  6. My mom always puts soap in ketchup bottles and I grew to like it.  It feels cute and efficient to me.

Annie’s response to the steps

  1. When Sidian first entered my house, I felt embarrassed because I forgot that we had met before at the gallery opening.  I knew that we followed each other on Instagram, but for some reason, I did not connect the two people until she was standing right in front of me.  I hoped that she would not notice.  She was carrying so much stuff that I wanted to help her, but I also felt like I shouldn’t intervene because of the intent of the project.  I also felt bad for having to hide in the closet, because I knew the intent of the project was for me to leave the space and build trust, but I felt like I had to stay relatively close just in case anything bad happened.  By the end, I feel that I would trust Sidian to stay in my house.

  2. Someone told me that I am very good at inhabiting a space.  I never felt that way because I am very indecisive, and a space never feels finished or polished enough for me.  It is interesting to hear how other people see my house.  Maybe me being indecisive and leaving things in temporary places is a way of inhabiting a space.  I don’t like living in front of the pilates place.  It feels like I am compelled to look at what is happening across the way, but at the same time, it feels too invasive to even glance.  I do like looking down at the street in the morning and seeing people on their commutes or runs.

  3. This was a super busy week for me and I forgot that Sidian was coming.  I had no time to get groceries, so when she arrived, it occurred to me that maybe I should have stocked up on stuff.  On a daily basis, I mostly eat soup and noodles, so my meals consist of whatever I have around, fresh or preserved, thrown into a boiling pot.

  4. When I was little, I also hated the color pink. I hated the expectations of femininity and I wanted to adopt a boyish persona.  I grew the color pink eventually.  I think I still struggle with my ideas around gender, and although I feel comfortable in femininity, I often find that I crave wanting to move through the world as a man.  Sometimes I wish I could be feminine and like pink in the way that men are able to be feminine and like pink.  I also  never realized I liked strawberries so much until I saw Sidian’s photo.  It also made me remember that I have a hoarding type of personality.  I hold onto things as long as possible, even if they are no longer useful.

  5. I was so surprised by the food.  I knew I had nothing in my fridge, so I was very curious what Sidian would make.  Honestly, these days I feel like I am so busy that I am so happy when there is one meal I don’t have to think about preparing ahead of time, so any food that she made, I was looking forward to it.  It felt like magic when I was finally allowed to see the meal she prepared.  I tried my best to savor it, but ended up devouring it.  I remember hearing the champagne pop.  The champagne was a gift from someone from when I first moved into the apartment, but I never drank it as a celebration of moving it, so I continually saved it for a worthy occasion.  I felt relieved that someone had finally opened it, because deep down, I know that my personality would never find an occasion “worthy” of the wine.  This dinner felt like it was the perfect special time for it.

  6. I love the photos.  I had no idea that they were going to be taken on film.  They capture the calm warmth I feel when I am cooking at home alone.  It made me happy to see someone else experiencing those feelings in my kitchen.