Wednesday, July 14, 2010

on a walk

We've made this walk many a times and for once I remembered to bring the camera and get a few shots. We enjoy this part the most but there is much more to this epic walk we take. It's 2 1/2 miles and along the way its not necessarily nice as its up a looong hill and next to a major roadway in town were construction trucks fly past spewing dust and debris in to the air.

Our favorite stretch is captured below. Its a stretch of calm, green, nature, and wild life in between what seems like craziness.

Ben kept trucking ahead as I stopped to take a few pictures.

There are always white herons feeding in the fields and stream that surround this path.

The every present apartment buildings peering above the greenery.

Peace-WHAT?!?! I'm fairly sure it's supposes to say PEACE-FULL not PEACE-PUL either way still not quite right. Whenever you see signs like this (atop a large building for all to see) you wonderful how/why someone didn't have get it checked for spelling. Just a thought.

In typical fashion there is lettuce growing right up next to the sidewalk. They use every last square inch no matter where it is. This land is most likely quite expensive as its close to a water source and very fertile.

Fuzzy pink flowers on a tree we passed. Just thought they were so pretty and unique.

The fuzzy pink flower tree and the mountains in the distance. Such a beautiful view, one I'll miss someday I'm sure.

Ben spotted this little buddy on the foot bridge we cross just as we start our favorite stretch.

Spotted this man carting a massive load of you-name-it-he's-got-it just down the street from our apartment.

Indian in Korea

This is yet another blog about food because that seems to be my life as of late; cooking, eating, blogging, recipe researching on, grocery shopping, cooking, eating... it never ends and I love it!

I've waited patiently to have this meal. The ingredients are from near and far and well worth it. While I was home I did a little shopping at Mediterranean Island Foods store, what a wonderful place. They have everything, a small, well priced produce section, deli with meats, cheeses, and other delicatessens, and oh the fresh baked goods in particular the fresh bread of all shapes and sizes are to die for! This particular trip I spent some quality time in the spice aisles with my mom. They have these wonderful spice mixes for almost any Indian/Pakistani dish. One of my favorites is butter chicken (murgh makhani in Urdu). Its a delightful tomato, cream, and butter based melt in your mouth chicken dish served over rice with side basket of smoky buttery delicious Naan. I have dreams about meals like that and its not often I have the opportunity to indulge. I ended up buying several boxes of spice mixes in hopes of being able to change things up when I headed back to Korea.

Korea does have some version of curry, however, I dearly beg to differ. It hardly resembles curry in the mouth-watering versions that I grew up with and it sure doesn't come close to tasting like them either. They have general vegetable, chicken, and beef flavors and they all have practically the same sauce which is extremely viscous, a hideous shade of brown, and utterly lacking the vibrant flavors Indian cooking is known for.

The menu for this evening: Butter chicken, rice, naan.

I've already gotten a few questions as to where we found Naan in Korea. This was 100% my dearest huzby. The last time we went to Emart (E-maht-ah! as they say here) we wondered down the "baking" aisle and he handed me this box with a silly grin on his face. My first thought was how could this be wrecked by Koreanization, but even so we decided to give it a try and am I ever glad we did.

Naan box mix!

Couldn't read the instructions whatsoever so I followed the pics and a bit of common sense.

Here is the Butter chicken spice mix for all of about a dollar. I only used 1/2 the box to make enough for dinner for two and several left over lunches for ME.

English and Urdu directions (which I didn't exactly follow because whats the fun in that).

Naan dough... what a mess, I with out thinking piled the rolled out pieces of dough onto each other and sure enough they pretty much melted back together into a pile of dough so I had to roll them out again. Lesson learned.

I fried the naan in a pan with butter than sprinkled with the packet of seasoning which actually just made it that much better.

The final product... a plate full of hot buttery salty mouth-watering naan! Ben's favorite part by far.

The entire meal... should have invited friends.

My dinner in a bowl.

Ben enjoying proudly enjoying his Naan and butter chicken.

It was a fabulous meal. It was so rich neither of us could eat much. Our systems have adjusted to the little to no dairy products we enjoy here (**SARCASM alert**) ie: processed plastic cheese, fake ice cream, corn margarine, and funky milk. The butter chicken had loads of milk, cream, and fake butter in it. The calorie count for this dish I can hardly fathom but since its a once in a year kind of thing we fully indulged with complete carefree abandon, and it was totally worth it.

And the best part... there are plenty of leftovers for a few days worth of lunches for me. This is one of those meals that is even better the next day. The chicken gets all the more tender as it bathes in the sauce overnight.

We slept well last night too, we ate and promptly settled down to watch TV and passed out before we knew it. It was such a delightful meal and it filled us so full it put us straight into food comas.... and on that note...

good evening, morning, day, night where ever it may be for you...zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, July 5, 2010

Flies Flies and more Flies!!!!

Over the past two weeks we've encountered a new annoyance in our apartment... flies. Itty bitty little black flies and there are just dozen of them everywhere. They are the super irritating kind that fly up your nose and buzz in your ears while you are sleeping, eating, and breathing. They are incessant and we have killed upwards of a hundred by now. We've even had days were we kept count of how many each of us has killed but than we realize how disgusting that is and stop. Its quite frustrating to cook and have these buggers flying around. They dive bomb into drinks too. Last night was the first time we killed them while reproducing. We can't figure out where they continue to come from or a good method of getting rid of them. We've lowered the number of them but they still seem to be reappearing every few hours. I've made several versions of fly traps with different temptations below but none has worked so far.

The whole thing is just annoying. We've learned its not just our apartment either. Its the entire building. Casey teaches on the 2nd floor and vouches they have a fly problem too but those are larger flies but just as much annoying. Most of you know I'm a bit of a clean freak any ways and having flies usually means you need to clean something somewhere, not here. There is not fruit out, no dirty dishes, etc. our AC is even on so the windows are closed and yet they still seem to out number us. It just makes me feel dirty to live with flies like we do but I guess it could be worse. I can live with flies more than I can live with spiders.

I did a little google research and found that most people in Korea that have these kinds of flies problems is because there are holes of gaps in the windows which ours do have but not when fully closed as they are. And also because they tend to leave food out. I did read an interesting comment someone wrote about even coming in through your AC unit I think that is one possible theory. The others are our bathroom. There is a vent that goes out to the roof I assume being on the top floor and they could be getting in that way or even the drain. Whatever way it is it just disgusts me and I wish we could find a solution. My next idea is to purchase some bug spray and start spraying the areas I think they are coming in. I'm in a battle here and it's not easily going to be won apparently. These little buggers have made that abundantly apparent.

I'm finished venting now... :) its just one of those things you'll never forget and will be funny in a year from now but at the moment I am not enjoying this. Particularly because I'm home most of the time and these bugs are working on our nerves quite effectively.

We had a nice weekend. I live for the weekends when I get to be around people and be social. This weekend I'd been looking forward too as Tristan and Arienne were hosting a 4th of July/Canada Day party in what we kept hearing was an amazing apartment. They DO have an amazing apartment especially for Korea. It was very open and modern compared to a typical Korean apartment. They also had a large covered porch AND a never ending outside porch the length of the place. It was quite impressive and refreshing to being in different setting. We also met a few friends of friends from another city that is quite often confused with ours. They were from Jincheon as opposed to Jecheon and there is one more I'm forgetting. Needless to say they sound almost identical and are often easily confused.

Sunday we went for a run at the park with Ian and Casey. I've succumbed to peer pressure and started running with everyone else. I used to enjoy a run here and there in high school but nothing timed and no idea how far I ran. The best we can tell 6.5 laps around this park is a mile. Its a cute little park but is always packed out with kids and adults alike getting out play and exercise. The only part that gets at you after a while is the annoying little kids that follow you on their bike, skate board, or roller blades. Its terribly distracting when you're trying to get in the zone to run a 5K. I haven't made it the whole way yet but I've gotten closer every time. Yesterday was terribly hot and muggy so it just wasn't going to happen. Maybe next week.