Saturday, March 5, 2011

Korean Foods

The weather was wonderful today. Crisp but sunny. Hardly any clouds floating about. When I have time making pancakes is quickly becoming a favorite hobby of mine. Each time I improve the quality of my flapjacks. I'm still working out the perfect recipe though. Most recipes are generally the same with small variations. I want the easiest and most delicious. Anyway the stack of five pancakes I made went down like a limp body into a grave. Not sure if I felt good or sick after eating those...

After that I took a drive up north of my house and explored a road that looked like it might lead somewhere or to something interesting. These valley roads that wind around and around feel very similar but all of them are different obviously. At one point I couldn't tell where the main road went so I ended up by some houses. Now for the life of me I can't understand why I thought it might be the right way to go but I proceeded up this extremely narrow drive with a drop off to the right. No railing to keep me safe. On the left a little shed. As soon as I passed this point I realized my mistake and knew I would have to backup along this dicey six yards of road. My biggest fear was letting a wheel go off the edge. Plus the shed was so close to the car as well that I had to make sure I didn't clip it with my mirror. Normally backing up isn't such a big deal but with the possibility of sliding down a wall into the river below isn't hart warming either. After several careful minutes of navigation I made it out alive. All the time I was hoping nobody would come out or drive up and bother me. I luckily made a clean get away back to the main road.

After another 10 or 15 minutes of driving I came to the end of the line, that is if you don't have a vehicle that is suitable for unpaved forestry roads. I probably should have bought a vehicle with four wheel drive and a higher suspension merely for the sake of traversing these roads. Then again without a cell phone it probably isn't a great idea even with the right car. Despite the dead end of sorts I came across a small trail to a little park at the top of a mountain. The path was snowy and I didn't feel like reliving last weekend so I took a picture of the sign to remind me to come back when its warmer and the snow has melted. I'm highly skeptical of such parks though. Sometimes they are worthless places to visit. There might be a good view at the top because there were several nice little glimpses of the mountains to the west from the road. I will hope for the best when I return.

I got back home around one o'clock and sat down to think what was next for the day. I had some options in the city but I just wasn't feeling it this weekend. I really wanted to make pizza bread or play in the kitchen. I wasn't about to spend two or three dollars on a small container of cheese from the mini grocery so I made the trek to my go to store for cheese. This place is farther than I wanted to go but 800 grams of cheese for 8 dollars is great. Plus, the taste of this bulk cheese is better than the smaller quantities I have found. One of my bigger problems is that I usually haven't eaten much before I actually go to the store. My mouth waters as I pass by coolers and shelves of food. With this being said I have a strong level of self control and stick to my necessities as best as possible. Lately this is large amounts of fresh vegetables and tofu. One awesome thing about Kochi is that there is a plethora of local vegetables and they are usually very cheap. It's great because that money is going directly back into the local communities. Unfortunately I don't think farming makes much money for anyone. I don't know how anyone has been able to sustain their life on agriculture here.

Instead of making pizza bread I went a completely different route. After eating a Korean inspired dish for school lunch this past week I looked up some simple Korean recipes. I acquired all the ingredients needed today and figured I would change my cooking up. I made bibimbap which is a rice bowl topped with various vegetables. I used spinach, mushrooms, beansprouts, and raw carrot. Normally meat would go on top as well but I substituted tofu. I made a marinade for the tofu that contained soy sauce, onions, green onion, brown sugar, sesame oil, and red pepper. I let this sit for an hour while I cooked the vegetables and rice. I then used the little grill function on my stove to heat the tofu up and give it a little crisp on the outside. So lets see how this all turned out.

Blaine's Bibimbap

The red sauce is made from Gochuchang Paste. The paste itself is made with red pepper so it is a bit spicy. The paste is mixed with sugar, sesame, and sesame oil. This creates a very tasty sauce. I also opted for a fried egg. After everything is assembled you destroy it and mix the entire bowl together with the rice below. You get some wonderful tastes of red pepper and sesame throughout. I could have stood to make some more of the sauce to mix in because I used too much rice. Regardless this was a great accomplishment in the kitchen department. Not too difficult to make either. This will go down on the regular menu for me.

Tomorrow should be pretty slow so a picture from the outing today will probably pop up.

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