Kimchi This and Kimchi That

3 08 2008

So here in South Korea, you can eat just about everything with kimchi. Or, rather, kimchi is served with and in just about everything. I had kimchi dumplings for lunch today. Take your basic steamed dumpling and put kimchi in it and, voila! Kimchi dumplings. You get kimchi pancakes, kimchi in your noodle soup, kimchi eggs, kimchi casserole, roasted kimchi, boiled kimchi, cold kimchi, hot kimchi…you name it, it’s got kimchi. Although, I must confess that I have not had any kimchi cake or ice cream or candy…although I’m wondering now how a high quality 70% bittersweet chocolate would balance the spiciness of high quality kimchi in a chocolate truffle….hmmm, maybe something to try at home?


I Haven’t Met a Korean Food I Didn’t Like

1 08 2008

Wow. We’ve been eating so well here in Seoul. Traditional Korean cuisine is fast becoming my favorite of all time. The breadth and depth of the dishes is astonishing. Plus, I don’t think Koreans let any edible flora go to waste.

Tonight’s dinner was at a traditional Korean restaurant where everything, at least all the flora, served at the restaurant is produced ORGANICALLY within an hour’s drive of Seoul on a farm owned by the restauranteers. The menu included exotic delicasies such as cockscomb, bellflower, chickweed, violet, whitlow grass, shepherd’s purse, mulberry tree shoot, lily root, dandelion, common sow thistle, azalea, and hyssop.

I took notes and pictures, which I’ll post when I have better high speed access. For now, let me assure you that it was a fabulous meal, not in just the cuisine, but the presentation as well. We sat on the floor at low pine tables. All the food was served on custom hand made pottery which was stunningly beautiful. The walls were papered with traditional Korean paper which includes real flowers. The setting was rustic. We traversed a rutted dirt road, passing by lush vegetable plants loaded with eggplant, zucchini, onion, squash, etc.

Ahhhh…I was in epiciurean heaven…I think I’ll go to bed now and dream of kimchi.

Hello from Seoul!

30 07 2008

The endless feast goes on and on and on…this time in Seoul, South Korea. We arrived late Friday, July 25 and for 2 days felt totally jet-lagged. But did that stop us from eating? NO WAY!

Our hosts as Seshin Methodist Church have been nothing but generous and gracious. They began feeding us the minute we arrived from the airport. You can see the photos of the Welcome UVUC signs made from gummy bears purchased from none-other-than Costco. We felt right at home.

Our first dinner on Saturday night was at a sushi/korean/italian buffet bar…all you can eat sushi…say what??? Feast it was, and feast we did. The uni was great as was the octopus, squid and sea snails.

Our second dinner was at a traditional Korean restaurant where, as you can see in the photos, we sat on mats at low tables and were served a myriad of traditional dishes. You’ve got your acorn jelly, your seaweed, your re-hydrated shrimp, radishes, mushrooms, jelly fish, octopus, squid, tofu, barbecued pork and beef, and not to mention the kimchis- cabbage kimchi, white kimchi, whole radish kimchi, diced radish kimchi, cucumber kimchi…you can kimchi just about any vegetable as it turns out.

Dr. Kim was our gracious host. He made sure we went back to our apartment with bellies full enough to sleep off the jet lag.

Love, Love, LOVED King Lear

16 07 2008

I just saw a spectacular performance of King Lear at the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ. Does it get better than Daniel Davis’ masterful interpretation of the foolish, mad, tragic king? WOW! It’s as if he transforms and transports himself literally and physically into character. Although I’m no expert, I have seen more than my share of Shakespearean acting that I’ve thought was good or at least good enough to give myself over to the moment and enjoy the presentation. But this performance was mind blowingly great. Daniel Davis’s Lear makes Denzel Washington’s Caesar look like high school…he really was THAT good!

It takes guts to put yourself out there on stage like that…my kind of actor!

In the Air Again…Er, On the Tarmac Again

1 07 2008

Well, being home was only short-lived. I flew to Dallas yesterday morning but was delayed and delayed and delayed. We pushed away from the gate at 6:45am on time, but that was the only thing that went smoothly. After taxiing toward the runway, we waited and waited only to find out that an on-board generator wasn’t working properly. We taxiied back to a gate and waited on the plane for maintenance to bring out a wiring diagram to see if they could isolate the problem…comforting, eh?

Then the pilot tells us that air traffic control in Newark experienced a radar outage. So, even with the generator restored, we had to wait an hour for a slot to take off. So much for being on time for that business meeting!

Just to make us feel great, as we’re still sitting on the same plane at a gate, the pilot tells us that the 8 am flight just took off. Now THAT’S torture! What was he thinking?

All in all I arrived in Dallas 3.5 hours behind schedule. Need I spell out that yesterday was a very long day?

But I’m happy to say I’m back in New Jersey once again. The return flight tonight left Dallas Fort Worth 10 minutes EARLY…will wonders NEVER cease??

Another Week, Another City

21 06 2008

Seems like I’ve been on the road a lot in the past 6 weeks. Last week, it was Dallas. This week it was Baltimore. It feels good to be home again…facing all these homeowner chores. I still have over 5 cubic yards of mulch waiting to be hauled around my driveway. One of my air conditioning units doesn’t seem to be cooling things down as much as it should, but then I need to change the air filter AFTER I have a few minutes to go buy a new filter. Then there are my projects and my baking…a never ending to-do list. Plus, with the weather being so nice, I want to get out on the golf course and see Shakespeare in the Park and take more photographs and get started on a new book I just bought…so many things, so little time.

OMG I Can’t Believe It

13 06 2008

Tim Russert

Just when you start to relax, something happens to remind you of the fragility of life. I just arrived home from a business trip in Dallas to news that Tim Russert suffered but did not survive a severe heart attack. He was a mere 58 years old.  

Of course, I didn’t know Tim Russert apart from his TV persona. I’m not sure I even “liked” that persona…he seemed something of a bulldog on Meet the Press. But as someone who is a fan of lively debate, I certainly appreciate and admire his guts. And, certainly, Tim Russert seemed to be one of the few journalists who remained unafraid to ask the “tough” questions. As someone who wonders whatever happened to investigative political reporting in the past 8 years, I truly admire that. I think his absense will leave a gaping void.