Monday, November 17, 2014

100 yeeeeaaaah booooooooooiiiiiiiii !!!

Made it! ....and it's not even December, ha! In your face procrastinating me!

To make it to the BIG 100, it's all about food. Yes, I am a puerca!

97. Stinky fruit called ginkgo. Imagine it's mid autumn. You're walking down a nice lane with some beautiful trees. A cool breeze hits your face and you smile. And then, you smell vomit.  Ugh.

It's a tree that bears something called the ginkgo nut. It's a small yellow-orangeish little thing that when it falls to the ground and rots, it emits the most awful smell. Well, to me it is. I am very sensitive to anything that smells like vomit, like papaya, big ew! When I first smelled it, I had nooooo idea where the smell was coming from; I even looked around for the vomit. I think I then saw a post from another person asking what the smell was, and someone told them it was the ginkgo fruit.

There are a ton of these trees everywhere in Korea, even here in the big city. Apparently they also exist in some U.S. cities, but I've definitely have not seen them in San Diego.

When I went to the Jisan Rock Festival in 2012, I saw some harmonies picking up the fruit from the ground and off the trees. I didn't understand why, but then I found out that inside the fruit there's a little nut that people eat. I'm still not sure how it's prepared, but if it smells the same after it's prepared, I would not try it in a million years. Sorry, gagging is just not something I enjoy. But I am still interested in how it's prepared, so if you have any insight, shoot!

98. Gogoma (sweet potato). I've talked before about sweet potato lattes, yum! But in Korea, gogoma is everywhere! ...and it's delicious!

Gogoma chips.
Gogoma pizza.
nuf said.

99. Cheonwon waffles. In a hurry? On a budget? Need a snack? Want something sweet? All these questions can be answered by this delicious treat that will only cost you 1,000 won (about .90 cents). Usually inside subway stations you can find stands that sell them. They will always be made ahead of time, but they warm them up, so it doesn't take long to get one. Most places will offer two flavors: vanilla and strawberry, both with a layer of some honey-type spread; I always have ttalgi. However, if you're lucky, you may run into a stand that also has ice cream waffles for the same price!! Helloooooooooo sweet darling, come to momma!
talgi waple 와플 (yes, you have to say it like this otherwise the ajummas won't understand you)
And trust me, it fills you up enough to get you through your next meal. They're especially irresistible because the stands also sell manjoo, a little bread filled with custard. Since they make those almost non-stop all the time, the smell of fresh bread will always make you hungry. 


100. Tteokbokki. My all time favorite street snack! Rice cakes bathed in a spicy red sauce. So simple. Two very basic ingredients. Magic! ...sometimes fishcakes are added, but I don't care for those too much.

Tteokpoki is a common street food found almost anywhere and it's eaten on the spot. Most stands will sell a small bowl of it for 1,500won. 

My favorite is this mom n' pop's stand near my house. They sell a huge portion of it for only 3,000 won. Though it's not meant to be a meal, I make it one. How? I bring it home, and I add either shrimp or tuna and top it off with cheese. Serve with a side salad and red wine, yuuuuum!!!
My homemade(ish) tteokbokki with an omelet and side salad

I sometimes also make it a home though not from scratch. I buy the rice cakes and boil them. Drain and then add the sauce; my favorite one is the Ottogi brand sold anywhere. Easy peasy!

Damn, this is why I avoid writing about food, I'm hungry now!

Peace! ...gonna make some dinner.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Skipped Item

Was looking over the list on my phone where I keep it, and I noticed that I totally skipped #85, yikes! So here it is.

85. Poop.
Yes, poop culture, say what? There's such a thing? Yup! 

Exhibition A: The Toilet Museum
Located in Suwon, it is definitely one of the most bizarre museums. It's not creepy or anything, it's actually very colorful and lively looking's just that it's dedicated to toilets and poop. They even have a little swirly poopy mascot ...can't remember the name though. 

The museum itself is in the shape of a toilet. Outside there are a few statues of people 'going' and some old school outhouses. 

In many languages

Exhibition B: The Poop Bread 
....with red bean filling! YUM!

Exhibition C: This article explains much better what I would've liked to have said. Be sure to click on the video link for 'poop wine' to get a niiiiiice visual of people drinking the stuff. 

Lastly, Exhibition D: my own experience working with Korean children. Every time I asked my students to draw or write something, there was always a student, usually a boy, who would use poop in their sentences or in some way part of the drawings. At first, it made me mad and would ask the students to rewrite/draw. But I slowly noticed that they meant no harm, so eventually I just let it. See a picture in this post from when I taught a winter camp.

Also, every once in a while, I would hear ransom d-d-o-n-g's (spelling it out in English) throughout the halls. I didn't understand what they were saying, but for sure I knew what they were spelling. I also had a little second grader who taught me how to draw the word ddong in like a symbol type shape; I sadly don't remember how to draw it.

So yeah, if you get a souvenir from me in the shape of a swirly poop, don't complain, have fun with it. 


Tuesday, November 11, 2014


I looooooove Harto's MDK. Ever since I started watching her videos, I wanted to try doing something similar but I obviously didn't want to do it alone. Thank goodness my friends also knew about it and were the ones to suggest we should do it, yay!!

With the help of OB Gold Lager and makgeolli, we started cooking ...and this was the result, enjoy!

And Happy Peppero Day.