2009년 10월 21일 수요일

Mini pet pig

I love to have one.
Sooooooooooooooooooo cute!

2009년 10월 16일 금요일

Cooking homemade Yaksik(Brown rice cake) together

Ancestor memorial service is held on the day my ancestor passed away, which is tonight. Whenever big holidays and ancestor memorial-service come around, I cook my special homemade Yaksik. So I prepared it last night with big help from Jack because I had to go Seoul for my personal rehab class. He doesn't know how to cook and normally never tries to do it. But this became a very good opportunity for him to learn how to cook!

First, I gave him very precise instructions on how to prepare the ingrediants. His task was following: soak glutinous rice in water for an exact amount of time, cut chestnuts into 4 pieces and finally, extract seeds from dates and cut them into 3 pieces. Sounds easy? but as you may already know, Jack doesn't know even where the rice and chestnuts are. So I explained where everything is, how to take them out, when the exact process should be done and how to manage all these things. Surely, he made it in the end!

Getting off the subject for a while, Yaksik is a kind of rice cake, but it isn't exactly the same as other rice cakes. A rice cake is normally make of moist rice that grounded, but Yaksik is mainly made of glutinous rice. So it keeps its rice form due to its natural stickiness. That's why the lump of glutinous rice just looks like a rice cake.

Yaksik is a health food composed of chestnuts, dates, pine nuts, and glutinous rice, and some spices like soy sauce, black sugar, sesame oil and cinammon powder. Its cooking process is not so complicated. The most important thing is how long you soak the glutinous rice in water for softening, and at what ratio each spice should be added.

I really felt good at his first attempt to cook though he didn't do everything by himself. And I am sure he felt proud of himself, too, because he kept saying over and over that the Yaksik tasted so good even though he never ate it before for years. It's amazing how asking him to makes him eat what he doesn't like. :) I am very pleased~!!!

Yaksik made by Jack & Jin

Table of Ancestor memorial-service

2009년 10월 6일 화요일

Chuseok(Moon Festival) in a hotel

Chuseok is one of the most important holidays in Korea. It is similar to Thanksgiving Day in America. Similarities between Chuseok and Thanksgiving day are giving thanks for the harvest and spending time with family. However, to married women in Korea, Chuseok is not just an innocenet family gathering. It means lots of housework and cooking.

Maybe more than half of married Korean women start suffering from 'Chuseok stress' even before the day comes. We have to prepare many meals for ancestor-memorial service as well as 3 meals a day for the family during the whole holiday. And after it's all over, we end up with loads of dishes to wash. I don't understand why women have to work? Why not men? It is very unfair. But I don't have the power to change the oldest and most unfair tradition in Korea.

Though, my main task was to wash dishes, I was worried because the number of dishes would be tremendous. Fortunately, this year my parents-in-law decided to go to a hotel in Seoul to rest. Hooray!:)

Here are some pictures of our peaceful holiday at a hotel.

There was a club lounge that served 3 meals a day and many drinks including tea, beer, wine, Champaign, Perrier,etc. In the picture, I am reading a album entitled 'Beautiful small villages in California' and am drinking Orange cream tea.

These are evening snacks, mostly great with wine.

This is an automatic wine machine. Just pull the nozzle to fill your glass wine.

This is outside the hotel.
The Chihuahua named Kong-al in the picture is a pet for my parents-in-law.
The hotel has many hardcover English albums.

We hung around Myung-dong, a trendy area in Seoul.

The swimming pool was free to use for club lounge guests.
We had a full day's rest at the hotel during Chuseok. Although sleeping in there is not as comfortable as sleeping at home, the hotel's already prepared meals gave me real rest, making this Chuseok very comfortable. I suggest husbands should spend a day with their wives at a hotel as a gift after Chuseok?

2009년 10월 4일 일요일

Healthy life

Everyone would say that health is the most important thing in life. Yes, I totally agree especially these days. I hope to be very healthy and strong so that I never catch a cold and so I would say that I am never sick. I even want to have a body like Angelina Jolie :) In my eyes, she is not just a beautiful woman, but healthy! However, all of these are jsut a dream for me these days.

I take a pill almost everyday because of serious indigestion and drink a Chinese medicine for my immunity enforcement. I also get rehap therapy for my backache caused by a car accident that happened 2 years ago. I think I spend too much on that.

My health wasn't bad from my birth. When I was little, I was a very healthy child even selected for a relay race, 6 years in a row during my elementary years. The problem started from when I entered high school. Korean high schools give lots stress to students because of college enterance exam. My stomach began to cause me problems like indigestion, nausea and vomiting from my teen years. But still, I was OK until my 20's. But starting from my 30's, it happened more often and all of my stress showed up as body aches and stomach aches. Last September, I ate only porridge once a day, but I still suffered from a stomach ache.

I believe that all my problems are from stress caused by my too sensitive personality, but since we don't know what lies ahead in the future, we shouldn't be so caught up with trivial things. Then we don't need to be afraid of our ambiguous future.

Now, I try not to give myself a time limit, not always do things perfectly, not be disappointed of little things. Rather, I am trying to be general, insensitive, imperfect and broad-minded. I will try to enjoy each day: when I am confronted by stressful situation, I will try to change my attitude to look on the bright side, and give real freedom to my mind. This may be the best way for me to have a healthy life in the future. There will be unexpected serendipity for me including having a baby if I try these things first.

2009년 9월 30일 수요일

A free day

My husband, Jack, went on a two-day business trip to Japan alone. I had a serious case of indigestion and was afraid of the loneliness at night. At first, I worried about how I would spend my days. But to my surprise, I felt freedom!

I normally have to think about what to eat for dinner everyday and it is not easy especially because Jack doesn't like what I like nor does he like to eat what normal Korean people eat such as bean-curd soup, Kimchi, grilled fish, etc. He likes chicken(he is crazy about fried chicken!), pork cutlet, Korean barbeque, hamburger, steak and things that are crispy. On the other hand, I like Namul(cooked vegetables usually in Bibimpbob), Korean soup, tofu, fish and things that are soft. So I have difficulty deciding what to eat for every evening. On top of that, I am worried his health, especially his high cholesterol level, because his diet mainly consists of meat. These are the kind of things that give me a headache every evening!

But yesterday, I was free! I didn't need to think about what to eat and there was no need to cook for someone. So I went to my mom's house and my mom set the table for me and cooked porridge and various soft vegetable side dishes to help my sick stomach. Normally I wash the dishes but yesterday, she did all the dishes including my lunch-box and took care of me. As I was leaving, my mom packed me more porridge and side dishes for the next day.

I was totally free from my housework, plus I was taken care of by my mom. It was a wonderful feeling! How nice it is! I realize now how important and how thankful I am to have my mom. Only my mom can give me these feelings of security, reliability and warmth. Nobody else.

By the way, Jack is coming back tonight, So I am free until tonight. I will go to my mom's place again to enjoy my last free night! Mom, I love you!

P.S) Certainly, I miss Jack too :) Maybe he will understand my freedom.

2009년 9월 3일 목요일

Start blogging!

Well, finally I made my blog account here. I am not a good storyteller, but everytime when I read Joanne( who is a friend of mine)'s daily blog, I could know and feel her and her life.
It is a great way to keep connected with friends. So I decided to create my own blog but in English.^^ Actually I have a Korean hompage, but it is written by only Korean. So for Keeping in touch with my foreign friends, I had to have global(?) blog in English.( I am not a native!!! It is not just easy comparing to telling by my own language!)

By the way, I thought about my blog's name again and again. But I couldn't think very unique name yet, so I decided very simple title for now. Jin's story about my thinking, life, feeling, likes & dislikes. Is anybody have good idea for my blog's title? =)