food & drink, musings

korean shaved ice


A hot day, a Korean mama, some ice and red beans is a perfect recipe for …

shaved ice!

I always forget that February is still winter and go out wearing sandals because the sun is outside. Years of living in Southern California does that to people…


The past weekend, my sister and I went to Balboa Park in San Diego to take photos of flowers, butterflies, and other creepy crawlies. The weather was warm (a bit too hot, actually. Is it strange that I long for the overcast days of England?!) and the breeze from the nearby ocean made the strong sunshine bearable.

I took these photos in one of the smaller gardens at Balboa Park, the Monarch Butterfly Gardens. The butterflies fluttered around quite a bit, but it was still mating season and they stood still long enough for me to take a couple shots and for them to attract the opposite sex.

food & drink

balboa park, san diego

food & drink

mama’s cooking

One of the best things about summer and winter breaks. Alas, having now graduated, hopefully forever, I will no longer have those! Right now, I am (f)unemployed and pretty much enjoying it as much as possible. As a goal-oriented individual obsessed with planners, schedules, and to-do lists, I try to keep the day full. As evidenced from the photos below, I obviously like to keep my stomach full as well.

During the school year, it is quite hard for me to find my balance between the body, mind, and spirit. Quite often, the mind is favored to the detriment of the body and spirit. What does this mean in practical terms? I gain an unsightly amount of weight from eating improperly, sleeping badly, and not exercising. I also get a bit sad and lonely; my spirit shrinks and disappears into the abyss of books and papers.

Now, however, I feel that my trinitarian balance is regaining equilibrium. You have to take my word that my spirit is burning a bit brighter, but I have photographic proof that my body is quite content. Witness ‘Exhibit A’: the product of hours of labor, home-made dumplings! We made our own dough and filling for these dumplings, and they were excellent both steamed and fried.

Although making dumplings is hard work, if you have a few friends or family members and a bit of time, it’s enjoyable (chatting with friends/family) and productive (results in a bunch of dumplings that can be eaten immediately and frozen for next time).

Exhibit B, my mother made a Korean bean-noodle dish (콩국수). It’s cold, savory and above all, it’s 고소해. There is no good English translation for this last phrase, as it may be singularly a Korean’s flavor palette. As an attempt, it usually describes a taste to a dish that includes sesame seeds or sesame oil. It’s a certain type of flavor that reminds me of Korea, the soft sweetness of my grandmother, and the rare breezes during a hot Korean summer. In any case, this is a must-try dish!

My last example, shown below, is sushi! Although the fish isn’t home-made (Wild Tuna), the sushi rice sure is! We had this twice the past week along with some wonderful udon-soup.

Anyone else making use of their free time in like manner? I’m a bit of a hedonist when it comes to food and I must admit that what is shown on this blog is but a fraction of what actually ends up in my mouth.

For those who want to try making Korean dishes but sadly lack a Korean grandmother/mother/aunt to learn from, I highly recommend the food blogger Maangchi. She has how-to videos and recipes for all sorts of Korean dishes!