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September 2020

Blue Skies....


I'm celebrating the little things.  We are seeing the airport for the first time in 10 days!!!!!  We are thankful.  Loving my bouquet of flowers ENK gave me on our anniversary!  Thankful for the weekend.  Thankful for Sabbath.  

Family heirloom photo....


This photograph is from a family friend who gave it to my in laws in the 70's.  Why?  who are these ladies dressed in these fancy traditional dresses?  When I first saw this, I asked my father in law about this picture.  He didn't know it well but this is what he said. 
"One day, we met someone from our hometown of Pyongyang, North Korea.  He recognized our family name and said he was a distant relative to his family.  When father told him that he left everything in the north and evacuated with his pregnant wife without a sing family member, he said that he was able to salvage some photographs.  He brought this picture to him and said that he thinks the lady in the wedding dress in the middle was his family member.  Father stated that this was a scene from a wedding, with their wedding party.  The lady in a plain dress at the end is a maid standing next to the wedding party.  The traditional head piece and all the ornaments signify wealth.  As well as all the food that is set up in the front also signify great wealth.  In all the photos of traditional Korean weddings, I have never seen anything like this one.  Father stated that this is very Northern Korean style, not ordinarily seen in the South.  Regardless of the whole story, I treasure this Kim family photograph of 19.... oh, i need to pull the frame out and check it out. 

Celebrating my sister in law's birthday!

Eric has five sisters.  Michelle is number #3~  We celebrated her 60th birthday at my restaurant with her daughter Rachel! 
IMG_6377 I think these two look alike! IMG_6382

I'm not looking good in my apron, but I got her this beautiful cake from Chucks!  She loved it!  
Here's Rachel, Uncle James, Michelle and Hye Kyung Unnie!  Celebrating covid style of not going anywhere!  

Korean "Pat Jook"....


I recently purchased a bag of red beans.  Why?  ENK wanted me to make "Jjim pang" .  But after seeing the red beans, I didn't feel like looking for yeast and spending time to make this for the two of us.  So for two days, I contemplated this and decided to make pat jook.  But before I make anything, I like to "research" various recipes.  This took two days.   I have a 101 year old grandmother who lives on pat jook every single day.  So my mom who is her caregiver makes pat jook for the week. There are some basic recipes in Korean and in English.    I found a super easy Instant Pot/Vita Mix recipe that makes it super easy but somehow, it didn't seem right.  I wanted to find a traditional way of making this jook.  I researched here and there and watched Maangchi 's recipe. You can cook the red beans in Instant pot but try making it in a regular pot so you can compare it yourself.  I like this Korean Recipe version that you can watch. 

"Pat " Red Beans or Adjuki Beans. "Jook"  Porridge 

Buy a bag of Pat from your local Korean/Asian Market. Rinse the beans couple of times. Traditional videos always say to watch out for little pebbles but I have never seen one.  In the olden days, I'm sure they had mixture of stuff in the beans.  No need to soak, but PAR BOIL for about 10-15 min and rinse.  IF you don't boil and rinse, it can have a bitter taste.   BD82CBE0-5D2C-4B71-9D9A-5B7975123168 (raw beans) 5B5FB743-4973-4AFC-9B31-59EFC812101A When you par boil, it will look like this.  
Meanwhile, make 2 cups of MOCHIKO powder in a small bowl, add a dash of salt and slowly add a cup of of hot water.  NOT COLD, but HOT.   Make a mound of dough and wrap it in plastic for about 30 mins.  You can add more powder and water combo to get it to doughy consistency.  Don't worry too much about the measurement.  Train your eyes to visualize what a dough should be...  
IMG_6163  While the pat is boiling....You can now roll this into long sausage and cut it into smaller pieces.  Make little balls like this: IMG_6164
IMG_6163  About 2-3 cups of beans, about 10-12 cups of water for about 1 hour.  Drain the beans but keep the water. Let it cool.  My first pot of pat jook, it was too watery.  I didn't soak enough beans.  I made another batch and made it with more beans.   
IMG_6163  It should be really soft, like you can squeeze the beans out with your finger tip.  In a colander, over a larger bowl, mash the beans so that the bean pulp will fall between the colander.  Add the liquid into the beans and mash it.  You can wear gloves and use your hands. Some people like it completely smooth like a smoothie consistency.  (discard the skins after you squeeze out the inners) I like a little chunks so I save about a cup and pulverize it in vita mix to give it a little chunk.   You can add it later when making the jook. 
Adding the soaked rice is optional:  With the liquid from the pat,  add the soaked rice and cook.  If you like it, add it.  If you don't, don't worry about it. To me, the rice makes it substantial.   I didn't like the look of "bop" in the porridge so I quickly used food processor to chop the soaked rice... Maangchi does not put rice in her jook.. She added more rice balls. Cook on medium heat until it boils, making sure it does not burn.  Stir stir stir.... Burnt pat is no bueno.  When it boils, add the balls in. Now simmer until the balls float.  As long as the balls are cooked, it's done.  

 Season it with salt/little bit of sugar according to taste.  I learned that you can thicken it by adding mochiko powder/water and thicken it if it's too watery.  Also, if kids eat up all the balls and you want to add more, make more.  You can just use water to boil the balls/cook it and then add them to the jook later on.  There is no exact recipe if you never make this on your own to see what it should be.  Making traditional pat jook takes practice .... train yourself to trust your "eyes" in cooking!  You can do it! 

Bag of pat is around $6.  Mochiko box $2.  You can make a huge pot of this and share without spending a lot of money. Maybe that's why Korean gma's love this so much!  The best way to learn is trial and error.  Adjuki beans are so good for you!   Make this for your parents, grandparents, church members, other moms...  

Spider web? Where?


I got a call late at night.  Allison said there was a spider inside the desk.  This desk, grandpa just delivered to her from his garage.  I guess the desk was stored in the garage for over 20 years? It's my vintage desk from 1978.  I remember picking this desk up when I was in third grade from a neighborhood yard sale.  So when she decided to bring it upstairs to her room, she took the drawers out to give it a good wipe down.... when she spotted several spiders!  In horror, she face timed me.  I told her to get some toilet paper and kill it!  WHATTTTTTT.... no she said.  She cried.  She reluctantly asked her sister who was studying.... but like a champ that she is, Lindsey came into tackle on this spider catching endeavor.  Look at Lindsey with gloves on with multiple bags and toilet paper deciding what to kill first!  I'm just yelling at the girls "just do it!!!!!"  Long story short, Lindsey got it all.  Allison was forever grateful for having such a brave sister.  I think I heard her saying she'll take care of her forever.