This post is for those of you moving to Seoul. Cars are always a big issue here...no pun intended. Big cars do not do well in Korea if you plan to drive off post. The parking spots are small. The picture below is a picture of my minivan parked in an average size Korean parking spot. I am just as close to the line on the other side as I am to the one you can see. Notice how the back end of my car hangs over the line? I get around just fine in Korea with my minivan. But sometimes I just cannot fit into the spots. So, if you are trying to decide if you want to bring your Yukon XL or Suburban to Korea, I hope this little post helps you.
This year Hubby and I were super excited to go to the fish market on New Year's Day for fresh shucked oysters! I wish this could be a yearly tradition, but I'm not sure that is possible since we will be living in CENTRAL TEXAS next New Year's Day.
About 200 fresh shucked oysters, and when I say fresh shucked, that is what I mean. The little old lady is shucking as you are buying. We bought all of these for 30,000 won (just under 30 USD).
While we were there I grabbed this luscious piece of tuna.
New Year's Eve at our house is a day for relaxing, playing games, eating fondue and sippin' wine! If you don't want to get out of your PJ's today, you do not need to...don't want to brush your hair, no worries (but you do have to brush your teeth). This NYE was no exception. Here we are around noon starting with the first course, cheddar cheese fondue! This is my favorite course. I make cheese fondue with beer, garlic, ground mustard, Worcestershire, and sharp cheddar cheese. We use apples, carrots, cauliflower, assorted breads, olives and anything else that appeals to us at the time.
The second course is the 'meat fondue'! This is Boy 1's favorite course and we normally start round two a few hours later. We cook our meats in peanut oil. Normally we have steak, chicken, shrimp and stuffed mushrooms. We use a tempura batter to dip the shrimp and mushrooms in and we stuff the mushrooms with cream cheese and chives.....and boy are they good. In fact I want one now!
In between food rounds we play games, and Boy 1 eats snacks....even though we just stuffed our faces.
Our third and final course is the 'chocolate fondue'! This is the course the kids wait for all day. I make a white chocolate fondue, white chocolate, amaretto & heavy whipping cream. Some of our favorite things to dip in the chocolate are bananas, strawberries, pound cake, marshmallows and cherries! (Yes, we do have an extra girl in this photo - we are considering adopting her! ;-)
This was the VERY FIRST year we let all our children stay up till midnight! As soon as our clock struck midnight, we toasted with sparkling cider! Boy 3 took one sip, looked at me like I had 3 heads and in a super mad voice said "MOM! You gave me wine!" Then he marched right to the kitchen and poured it down the drain.
Remember the post about the Yogurt Ladies? Well, these are the yogurts we like to buy from her. Twenty little yogurts for 2,000 won. Oh baby. (You can also buy these at any grocery store here in Korea.) We LOVE them!!
The first time my friend Teri invited us to her house back in our Ft. Knox, Kentucky days she made this potato soup for us. I knew from the first bite that Teri and I would be friends forever. Teri and I have been through a lot together, and I look forward to being her neighbor again in the near future.
Teri did not give me exact measurements on this, and normally I don't measure when making this soup either, but I did try to pay attention so I could give you approximate measurements.....
5 pound bag of potatoes, peeled and dice
small bag of baby carrots, chopped fine
small onion, dice
3 celery stalks chopped fine
3 quarts chicken broth (I use chicken base - you can find it by the chicken bullion cubes)
1 cup heavy cream
2 TBL flour
Combine chicken broth & veggies (but not potatoes) till soft - maybe 15 minutes or so.
Add potatoes, boil till soft, maybe 15-20 more minutes
Turn heat down
Add heavy cream
In small bowl melt butter, then combine butter & flour together to form a paste, add about 1/2 cup of broth from soup to paste, mix well (till all lumps are gone), then add to butter/flour combo to soup. Let simmer for a couple of minutes
Top with cheddar cheese, chives, bacon bits, sour cream.....
We only had one night in Bangkok (great, now I can't get that song out of my head) ~ Hubby and I wanted to go to the world famous Chatuchak Market, or the JJ Market as it is known to locals. Once we settled into our hotel, it was time to leave again, however the kids refused, the didn't want to leave the lap of luxury for the hustle and bustle of the worlds largest market. Instead they opted to stay back in the hotel, order room service, watch TV and have sock races down the hall of our suite. But really, who can blame them after 2 weeks of go, go, go? So Hubby and I left Boy 1 in charge and headed to the market. Now I have been to a ton of markets, but seriously, this one takes the cake. It sits on 35 acres and has more than 15,000 stalls. You would need all weekend to make it through the entire place. They have everything you can imagine here, and then MORE, LOTS MORE!
Meet Ganesha, he will sit in our garden for many, many years to come.....
The next morning we had to get up bright and early for our flight back to Seoul. Since we were leaving so early our hotel packed breakfast to go for each of us! I love this place!
Hubby, being the fantastic husband he is booked us in what some say is the nicest hotel in Bangkok, Lebua! He booked two adjoining rooms, because that is how we roll (and because we have 6 people in our family). However when we got to the hotel they were very apologetic and told us they did not have 2 adjoining rooms, but they saw how much we needed the adjoining rooms because of our small children. Again they apologized and offered us an upgrade to a two bedroom corner suite. WOW-WOW-WOW! That all I can say! Check this out....
On our last night in Phuket we headed down to Patong. We hadn't come to Patong before because we had heard it was 'seedy' and not a place for families. Well, I agree, parts of Patong are not for the very young, but if you are traveling to Phuket, I would say you should not miss Patong, you can even take your kids during the day as there is a McDonalds and other 'western style' food places that kids would enjoy. My kids are all really good with eating all tyes of food, but after about 5 days they would have loved a McD's hamburger. I wish we had not waited till our last night in Phuket to visit Patong.
In the picture below check out how big those lobsters are!! Holy cow, I have never seen lobsters that big, I swear they were the size of an overweight cat and the shrimp were the size of a normal lobster.
A take-away bar, right there on the street. I love it.
Hubby and I went to the Simon Cabaret. You can read about it here. Seriously, read it. These beautiful ladies are not as they would seem.
On our last full day in Phuket, Boy 1 and I went to the Phuket Thai Cookery School, again. If you were reading back in April of 2009, it is teh same school we went to before. The last time I had wanted to go to a Friday or Saturday class because they take you to the local market where you buy the ingredients for what you are going to make in class that day. The market was amazing & I am glad we had someone to show us around. Here are some of the fun things we encountered....
I've tried looking this one up, but have had no luck. Our guide told us this is palm sugar before it is processed ~
They showed us how coconut cream and coconut milk are made....
Proud Army wife and mother to 4 wonderful children. I love to cook, travel, work out and scrapbook life’s adventures when I find the time. We just got orders & are heading back to the states in March 2010. I'm bummed that our time has been cut short, but proud of Hubby for the reason why.
Friends, Family and Fun reading: