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Garden Update 11/13

15 Nov

After harvesting, I saw many places that plants were used to be. I could do good watering and take some pictures.
All plants seemed healthy and fresh!

My Puppy’s Emergency Food, Garlic Bread

9 Nov

I still remembered vividly that I met my owner at first when I was brought by her uncle. Eight-year-old girl was smiling at me by hugging me. I felt excited to hang out with my kind owner and stay in a comfortable house. She always combed my hair after I was taking a shower, and introduced me to her friends. She brought me to a vet as well when I got a heavy cold. One day, she bought a book named ‘how to feed your puppy’, which is written by Jungwoo Lee. I overheard her mother and her conversation, and found that the author wrote that two-month-old puppy should be fed approximately 1 to 2 1/4 cup. Eventually, she decided to give me 1 cup every meal. However, it was not enough for me! I needed more food! According to my neighborhood poppy named Colly, his owner always gave him 3 cups every meal. He was not even bigger than me and same age like me. I was very upset why my owner and her mother followed silly instructions from a useless book, and started giving me a small amount of food.

Thus, I began planning a risky venture! I found that my owner loved to have garlic bread and her mother usually bought some bread for her every day. One day, my owner’s family was eating outside at night. I thought it was a great chance to me. I jumped a shelf to catch garlic bread packages several times, and finally I attained them. I was hiding my precious garlic bread underneath her bed, and then I pretended nothing happened at that night. Fortunately, my owner passed by not noticing anything, and I could keep my garlic bread. After this happening, whenever my owner gave me a small amount of food, I acted like a happy stupid puppy, and finished assigned meals without any complaints because I had garlic bread.

Garden Update 11/01

2 Nov


Our garden looks attractive as well as extremely lush and green!!! 🙂
I admire the fact that I can see the vegetables growing tall and ripe. In effort to cause the soil to regain moisture, I watered the roots of the plants in hopes of creating a more abundant graden.

Ghost Bodyguard during Winter Solstice, Dongji Patjuk

19 Oct

Patjuk is red bean soup and is cooked during winter solstice (Dongji in Korean) when the length of daylight is at its shortest and nighttime at its longest. Traditionally, Patjuk has been prepared to prevent bad luck and shared with neighbors on the Korean traditional holiday (Dongjinal) on December 22. Korean people usually eat Donji Patjuk with Saealsim, which looks like a small bird’s ball, which is made of sticky flour.

According to Chinese mythological stories handed down, once upon a time, there was a man called Gong Gong. He had a spoiled son who had a cruel temper. After his son died, he became a ghost of epidemic disease and many people died due to the epidemic disease. While Gong Gong tried to figure out how to prevent the disease, he remembered that while his son was alive, his son hated ‘red bean soup’. He made Patjuk and shared with his neighborhood. Because of this myth, Korean people have made Patjuk as well as scattered it in the kitchen, yard, gate, and storage to drive ghosts away. In old Korean tradition, the red color represents a positive energy, which can ward off bad luck, epidemic disease, and evil spirits. The story behind the custom of Patjuk is believed to be a mythical food that drives evil spirits away; however, here it’s a logical ancient’s wisdom. Red beans are good for warming and replenishing the human body. Red Bean contains an abundant amount of vitamin B1 of all grains.

Patjuk is made of simple ingredients which includes a cup of red beans that are soaked overnight in water, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup sweet/glutinous rice power, and 4-5 tablespoons of warm water. First, wash red beans thoroughly in cold water then soak the red beans in water for 2 to 3 hours. Then, drain the beans by keeping the water as well as discarding the left over skin, and add 3 cups of water. While boiling until they begin to soften, add sugar and a pinch of salt, and put the glutinous rice power. Stir altogether and leave red beans until they all become soft. For Saearshim, take the 2 cups of glutinous rice flour and make small round pieces approximately 1.5~2cm in size by using hot water and salt and circling them in one’s palms. Put the rice balls in boiling salt water for 5 to 6 minutes until the small pieces float to the surface. At the end, mix up the red bean soup and rice balls (Saearshim) together and serve it warm. Overall, Patjuk is a traditional dish served during the winter days that not only expels evil spirits, but also warms the souls of the neighbors with a healthy and hearty bowl of red bean soup.

Garden Update Oct.4th

5 Oct

Hello, guys! The garden is great! Everything grows bigger and beds look good too.

Sunlight Spot

29 Sep

The 1st picture: Sep 7th, at 9am

The 2nd picture: Sep 7th, at noon.

I checked where the sun is at 9am and 12pm and what part of the bed is sunny on September 7th and 23th. Our garden is located on the North West side, so the sunlight moves from right to left. I took the first picture at 9am and the second one at 12pm. The sunlight at 12pm is much more brighter and stronger than 9am, and also it directly shines on the center of the garden. In my opinion, we’d better plant vegetables in the shines part as well as transport them next time  rather than shades.

Pictures on Garden Day!

29 Sep

Thrilling Steamed Meat, My Grandmother’s Galbi Jjim

28 Sep

The book Gourmet Club written by Tanizaki, describes in detail the texture and seductive tastes of magical food. He concentrates on Chinese dishes and excludes Japanese foods. Tanizaki engages all his senses when tasting various Chinese dishes; when he comes across a dish he considers immensely exquisite he becomes incredibly thrilled and excited.

My personal magical food involves the admiration of galbi jjim, a Korean dish similar to steamed short ribs in America, which is my grandmother’s recipe. When I was eleven years old, I was very sick due to a heavy cold caught during the fall season. My grandmother worried about me and thought I needed protein as well as food that were both warm and nutritious. While I was taking a nap, some smell made my nostrils flared and caused me to wake up. I tiptoed to the kitchen to observe what my grandmother was cooking. When I first glanced at the galbi jjim, it was a variety of dark-brown colors and looked similar to meat soup.

Usually meat is very hard to chew and can become stuck in one’s teeth; yet, when I tasted this meat for the first time, it was extremely soft and instantaneously dissolved magically in my mouth and the flavors of the meat broth circulated around my nose, mouth and even throat, which thrilled and aroused my whole my body’s senses.

The magic ingredient in my grandmother’s recipe is kiwi. She said if one puts meat and kiwi together, kiwi causes the protein in the meat to soften, which in turn causes the texture of the meat to soften. The steamed short-ribs should be eaten with rice and Kimchi, which is a Korean dish which consists of a variety of vegetables combined with spicy red peppers; a perfectly magical combination. Korea’s staple food of steamed rice is combined with the sweet and sour taste of Kimchi also plays a role enhancing the smooth texture of the meat. Whenever I visit my grandparents, I love to see how my grandmother cooks galbi jjim so that I learn how to imitate her specialized recipes. Just like my grandmother thrilled my senses due to this meal, in the future I hope to be a grandmother who thrills her grandchildren with this magical food.

Slow Food, Fukuoka’s Foodie

16 Sep

In a Korean drama called Pasta, a definition of a best cook is to be able to make delicious food even though ingredients might be in low-quality. The cooks in this drama prepare dishes for lunch and dinner by roasting, melting and steaming with a bunch of artificial flavors (soy lecithin) and preservatives. If Fukuoka Masanobu could see this terrible situation, he would be disappointed at them because he emphasized that human should prepare food with nature intent without intervention. He prefers a simple life by connecting with natural food with souls in the Meiji era.

As the age of industrial society came and population increased rapidly, human beings cultivated vegetables with numerous agricultural chemicals to accomplish mass production, while ignoring traditional dining culture. The modern population has no choice but to follow mass production to meet huge demand of food and it’s impossible for now to stick to the old method of cultivations. Asian countries especially followed western culture and made an effort to catch the concept of Modernology.

We think critically of Fukuoka’s message called “do-nothing farming” in considering his background since he lived in the Meiji era, not the 21st century. Although natural style is good for human beings and the environment, industrialization leads people to follow fast food rather than enhance qualities of the ingredients. That’s why it is difficult to say whether Fukuoka’s foodie style is completely right or whether unhealthy food style is wrong.

Nowadays, people are against unnatural foodie because they are sick and tired of unhealthy food. People search for organic goods and open organic restaurants as well as groceries. Asian cultures view this as a Slow Food trend, as they seek for natural food and ingredients. Living in the world today, people get used to contemporary foodie. However, it would be better if people realize the pure taste of natural ingredients and avoid artificial flavors.

Non-Spicy Dukbokki

7 Sep

Dukbokki is a popular Korean spicy food and is usually sold from local street vendors. My American friends had particular difficulty consuming the Dukbokki I had made last winter. Though I’ve gotten used to its overwhelming taste because spicy foods are common in Korea, the extreme intensity of the hot flavor was a foreign taste to my American friends. So, I personalized the Dukbokki cuisine so my international friends would be eating something more familiar as opposed to foreign.

The original recipe consists of placing sliced rice cakes in cold water, cutting 1/4 of an onion diagonally, each slice being about 1/4 of an inch in thickness. Also, needed are 1 tbsp of chopped spring onions, 1/2 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of minced garlic. Then, boil the water in a deep skillet after the water has been boiled, pour in the seasonings and rice cakes. For seasoning, how I specialized the recipe was, add 1 and 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce (no hot pepper sauce), 3 tbsp of beef broth, and 1 tbsp of salt and 1/2 olive oil. Keep stirring the ingredients until all the sauces are mixed up. Continue to add sliced vegetables and sesame seed oil, sesame seeds, and ground black pepper. Then, combine it with a variety of ingredients, such as lettuce, sesame leaves, Soondae (which is kind of sausage made of steaming pig’s intestines stuffed with cellophane noodles, and barley). When it starts to boil, stir for 5 minutes more and serve hot!