Category Archives: Food

Rediscovering home, sweet home

SnowflakeFinally!  Winter break has arrived!  For a couple of months, we can cozy up at home, away from the university.  No more lectures, no more exams, no more papers.

My husband and I flew out of Seoul Incheon Airport at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.  We arrived at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) at 10:20 a.m. the same day.  I think my body’s still on Korea time.

When we’re on campus, we live in a small apartment, about 500 square feet.  It makes our house feel huge when we come home.  We’ll relish our time off, but we also know that the time will pass quickly.

While we’re at home, we really appreciate cooking in a full kitchen — and taking only a few steps to do the laundry.  Even the simplest of chores seem to require extra work.  But we’re not complaining.  It’s all part of our big adventure.

It’s nice to be home.  We have more room for our “stuff.”  My sweetheart and I can even be in different rooms for long periods of time, if we wish.  It’s great!

As things start getting back to normal, hubby is talking about making some of his marvelous chili!  I’ve been craving his chili for a couple of months.   The cost of beef is really high in Korea, and we don’t buy it.  I never thought I’d say this, but after seeing Korea’s beef prices, I’m thankful for the prices here in the States.  A hearty bowl of chili would make our first days back even better.  Hubby’s working on his menu, and chili’s on his list.  Yes!

Once we get up the energy to do some serious grocery shopping, I’ll cook some of our old favorite dishes, plus add some new ones.  Homemade chicken soup is good this time of year, as is spaghetti and meat balls.  At home, we typically eat fish about three times a week.  While the mister cooks up some red snapper, salmon and who-knows-what-else, I’ll be looking for ingredients for a fish chowder.  I think it will be a few days before we eat any meal that includes rice.

For me grocery shopping is work, but it will be so much better this time around.  Everything will be in English!  I’ll be able to check the nutritional data and compare brands without relying on a third party.  I’ll be able to buy oatmeal.  I learned the hard way that hot cereal is not a part of the Korean diet.  When we return to Korea, I’ll be packing steel-cut oats.

Just writing about eating, cooking, and grocery shopping is making me tired — and a bit hungry.  That reminds me:  I need to add exercise to my routine.  But first, my friends, a nap.

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Lunch with an American connection


A couple of days ago, when hubby and I arrived at the dining hall for lunch, we discovered that the cuisine included pork neck bones with mustard greens.  Hubby had no idea what this dish was, nor did he understand why he had bones on his plate and little meat. I knew right away what we were eating because I was raised on it.  My grandmother was from the American South, and this meal is very much in the Southern tradition.

My husband is Swedish American.  My meat-and-potato-lover ate his lunch.  Quietly, however, he couldn’t imagine who’d want to eat a plate of bones.  Having potatoes with the meal would have made it more filling.  Instead, our meal included rice.

A Korean professor at our table told us that the dish is normally served with potatoes.  Maybe a nutritionist decided we would eat a healthier version of this meal.  In any case, my sweetheart tried something new that day.  Maybe I’ll look for neck bones and potatoes the next time we go to the market.  😉