Vampire Gael and Frida Jaehee. Halloween still goes on. 10-31-2012
Are we allowed to have Halloween? Mortally, it felt so wrong to even think about dressing up when there were millions people and thousands houses right here in NY area stranded, destroyed and even lost loved ones. But we decided to dress and go out for Gael and for neighbors. It sort of lifted our spirit. This Halloween felt extra special. How lucky are we?!! It was chillier than any other year in longest time weather wise and definitely this time everything is in more low key in our Clinton Hill neighborhood being respectful to those in difficult times. But there were still many brown stones open for trick or treats, live music and spectaculars!
Importantly, it’s not about spilling drinking or going out. Kids will always remember this special day and they were reminded of those who in needs and unfortunate situations and learnt to appreciate what we got and how lucky we were for everything around us.
Here I like to share a few pics of Halloween at Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.
Frida Khalo, Two Fridas.
We wish All the kids out there in shelters and needs for the Best Ever Halloween in Year 2013. We will come back!
Nik and Jess, Happily Knotted and much more to come. 09/08/2012, Roxbury Barn, NY
Dear Jess and Nik,
That was maybe the most fun wedding that I have been! I mean we were all talking about ” Stiff Neck” post such head bangings to all your super awesome RoCk StArs’ Super JAmminG!!! That was a truly beautiful unconventionally traditional wedding and Thank you for all the good times and friendship.
We are truly happy for both of you!
Today and Much more to come!!!
Sam Sung Museum of Art, Leeum Museum, Hannam Dong, Seoul
Our Seoul trip has come to an end and we are doing a few last things on our list. It has been so wonderful to see Mom and Dad, Grandma, Aunts and Uncles and Yoon and Hun and whoever came across including countless friendly Seoul citizens ( Here they like to call them Natizen). This trip, we ate and tasted enough to survive through coming Autumn feeling almost guilty for those who do have not enough to eat… But then knowing not having such access to food that is so deeply cultural in so unique ambiance like in Seoul back in New York, every opportunity felt like it could be the last one that we better maximize all the fun of what really having food means in Korean way. (Sorry but any K-town in NY does not do the justice at all!!)
All the 2nd and third generation Koreans who live out overseas, Please you must visit Korea and should know where you came from and know and get educated how your home is moving forward and evolving, and what past we love and are attached to preserve. It has been such an eye opening experience for me. My first language is Korean, but Don’t be afraid if you are not fluent in your own language. You will still feel all at your heart and our home will still welcome you no matter what.
I have been noticing Seoul’s quite impressive changes over about 3 years through my short timed business trips. Seoul has definitely opened eyes to good designs and especially for the sense of being in good and quality space, which has made a huge Architectural Re birth all over the city from little cafes to amazing residential homes to hall in the wall small business or impressive standing alone shops and restaurants and galleries… The list goes on and I am especially impressed by Seoul’s effort to create Urban Green Areas for communities by small brooks and major rivers creating bicycle and running lanes that are completely separated from the ones for the cars.
I honestly felt like I could not keep up blogging about so many great things we were doing in Seoul with family but this one would be sort my finale to our first Seoul trip with Emi and Gael together, So here we go, I am putting together a few more moments to share!
You are all familiar with Korean Sam Sung’s technology . Phones, TVs… The list goes on. Leeum is Sam Sung founded Art museum that has impressive permanent collection of International fine art and Korean porcelains that are dated from 12-14C. And the museum space is to die for. Cutting edge modern architecture that is well surrounded by natural element such as rocks and trees.
Comme Des Garcons Flag ship, Hannam dong, Seoul
Doo Ta, Dong De Mun
Dapsimni Antique Market. The Best Antique market in Seoul!! Smaller scale but it’s enough and it’s a real deal.
I got a small set. SO excited! Korean traditional bronze wear.
Traditional wooden flat spools for yarns and threads.
Wooden stamps to make motives on rice cakes and traditional cookies. So pretty.
Wedding costumes. For her on the left and him on the right.
With Yoon and Hun, Just about to have Jeuk Suk Ttuck boki at Hongdae. Jeuck Suk means right away. You cook up your ttuk boki on the table! Ahh nostalgia! This came out when I was on Junior years. And So great ! We LOvE dOTs!
Gael already digging into picked Raddish. Oh boy, He Can really EAT. Best imobu, Hun!
All ready to go!
Woooo, can’t wait! excuse my shiny forehead…!
Busy Hongdae street, Saturday Afternoon.
A land Outlet in Hongdae. Cool space.
aA Design Museum , Hong Dae. Impressive collection of International mid century furniture and industrial interior design is here. And of course, an Amazing Coffee Shop.
Night stroll along Chung gye chun, One of the most visible Urban planning through out the city Seoul is doing. You will see these parks that are made along the small rivers everywhere. This Chung gye chun maybe more special one as this river was once turned into build-able land and back again as a aprk. Impressive.
Now Grilled Eel Dinner with Mom, Yoon and Hun, Heyri. Ahhh, it hurts me that you can’t taste it!
This is thickened Soy ( different from teriyaki) version and thinly sliced Jin seng chips on top. OMG.
What a beauty! Sea salt Eel. On the side, simply sliced potatoes, Ginko, fried eel bone chips.
Myung Ga Ram, Paju. The last big meal with whole family.
Suk mo, ( little aunt), Gang hun, my cousin little brother.
11 family members today! Yoon on the camera. Little cousin sis, Yujin and my little uncle, Jerim.
My Grandma, the 84 year old Beauty, God bless her and protect her. I just wish her to be healthy to have longer and happy life.
Another Grand meal and family. . Ahh it’s coming to an end…
Gang hun and Gael. Can you believe Gang Hun is Gael’s uncle?!! They are only 2 1/2 years apart!
About to kim chi all together!
Sanmotungi Cafe, Buam dong. Seoul is such a lush city. So many little mountains and lots of trees everywhere.
Emi, only with You would be this much fun!!!
So Much More to Come for Many Many Years!
VivA FaMily!!! VivA KOreA!!!
Chow down with Hun, Yoon, Gael and Emi. Cheap and Cheerful Night eating at Gwang Jang Market!
I am sure you all like Korean BBQ. And Me too! But there is so much more beyond BBQ in Korean food and the most fun part is that you can enjoy all sort of eateries in different price, ambiance and based on seasonal specialties. It’s already mouth watering brain storming where to go for tonight or for tomorrow’s lunch. At the night market? All vegetarian Ssam place? North Korean cold noodle soup, Nang Myun? or Freshest Sashimi at the fish market! The possibilities are truly endless and you will need months and months to taste all these wonderfully cultural food that Korea can offer.
My dear cousin Yoon and her husband Hun are maybe the 2 best eatery guide you can ask for ! We have been eating the most delicious food around Seoul and having the best time catching up! Soju became our new favorite drink and now that Emi had tasted real deal of Korean food in Seoul, I better Up my Korean cooking skill back in New York…!
Now, are you ready for some Korean food? Then let’s start!!!
First, we are checking the water out at the market. There are so many banquets of all market and street food vendors. Market food usually means Noodles, Korean blood sausage, Jun ( pan fried anything that’s dipped in the egg wash), Ttuck boki ( rice cake cooked in chili paste), Oden soup ( fish cake soup), Sashimi and much more! This runs good half mile long on a long isle between the shops.
Thanks for the big smile! These little fingerling Korean maki ( Gim Bap) are so good that it has a nick name ” Drug Maki”. So addictive. Carrots, crunch sweet and sour Pickled Radish root, Spinach and touch of wasabi paste. Delicious!
It’s a crab season in Korea and Crabs are everywhere! These are Soy Crab. Soaked in a tub of soy sauce. These are cleaned and raw.
Chili paste version. Spicy and sweet.
Down and low in local way. Eating is one thing but most of all, the talking and being together in such atmosphere is the key here. Keeping the company over just good simple food.
So much memories with my Ttuck boki. It’s Korean way of comfort food.
Perfection of Dumplings!
Serious set of All kinds.
Post Soju and lots of food face. We hit already 2 banquets!
Korean Style Sashimi. Cooked and uncooked are mixed. Cooked Octopus, Shell fish and raw salmon and flounder.
Next we are at the BEST Mung bean pancake house.
Yummmm! Yoon and Hun say this is IT!
Cheap and Deep! Crispy around the edges with hearty and satisfying fillings. Delicious! Gael just loves loves loves!
Pickled sweet Onions in Soy and Kimch on the side!
It’s very first time my dad and Gael are meeting in person. We had the best 3 days doing little things as a family visiting local markets, garden and a Korean folk flea market. It makes me feel so happy to see my dad and Gael walking hand in hand. We are going for dinner!!
One area in the west side of Seoul is called ” Mapo” and here we are with dad hitting the most typical Mapo style BBQ place! I really liked overall vibe in this particular area. There were many little places in sort of 70’s style in such Korean way.
Coals are in!
First, a waitress comes and spread some slightly cooked kimchi on the rim of grill. I am curious as it is my first time to see this.
Ah ha! the Egg wash goes over the Kimchi! It makes steamed egg from the heat! Grill’s busy with chopsticks!
Eggs are all gone and Dad takes charge in Grilling! We ordered 2 kinds of meat. Pork with simple sea salt and Sirloin slices marinated in typical Gal bi dressing ( soy based). They melt in your mouth. Tender and Delicious!
Dad pouring Soju for Emi. You receive it with 2 hands especially when you are younger than the person pouring. It’s our way to pay Respect. A beautiful tradition.
Serious grilling here.
Gael learned how to sharpen Scissors from dad. The first tip from grandpa!
The second tip from Granpa. Now you pour with 2 hands to dad. Another beautiful tradition. I love this moment.
3 generations together. Love you dad!
Now we are back with Yoon and Hun in Norayngjin Fish market. We are going to buy our own ingredients and have one of restaurants on the second floor at the market cook for us! It’s a typical way to have your fish and seafood at the market. Isn’t it a brilliant idea?!!!
Calling it all! Avalon, Conch, Cockle, Clam and …and …and!
Bass. They are big and totally fresh. I mean they are in the water swimming up to the point you purchase it!
Popular wild caught flounder! Great for Sashimi!
You pick one and pay for it . They Sashimi for you right there on a plate to go.
They look like from Mars.
This is Hun and Yoon’s only spot to go to have their freshest seafood purchased cooked. It’s a small and clean place with lovely owner lady. She’s holding our Korean ” Flower” crabs, mixed Shell fish and a whole Bass! You pay the restaurant to prepare the seafood you bought however you wish. Steam, soup, fry, Sashimi… It’s a still excellent deal as the fish itself is way cheaper here at the market than any shops in the city. And also you are eating them at the best quality. I mean how fresher can it be?
Steamed Flower Crab. They are plump, juicy and Sweet! The best!! And of course Soju to accompany.
Mixed steamed Shell Fish.
The owner will make this sort of fried rice with crab meat and crab juice and sesame oil. Yum!!
After dinner cigarettes. Hun and Emi. After dinner, we are on the 2nd round of fun at Korean karaoke and late night snack at Hong Dae!!
For another fun dinner, here me and Yoon patiently waiting for our table at “ Bong San Jip” It’s my second time with Yoon and all of us!
Yay! It’s about to Start!
Thinly sliced beef brisket is maybe one of my favorite thing now! This old school ” Bong San Jip” restaurant only serves 1 menu. Not many sides like other places. Just Beef brisket to grill. But the secret is in this Killer Soy dipping sauce with lots of fresh chopped scallions and sweet green chili peppers. And one pot miso soup again with beef brisket in! You just to have to be here!
The miso is here!
Cabbage, Tofu, brisket, chili and miso.
Honestly I must say “Fooding till Drop” may the main highlight of this trip. Family get together is absolutely the most precious thing but experiencing all these amazing food in Korea has been One cultural shock even to myself as a Korean.
Like Emi Says, ” Korean Kicks Butt!”
LOvE FoOD, LOvE EaT, LOvE SeOuL!!!
Happy Aunt and Gael at Heyri, Aunt’s Studio. It’s almost surreal for me to see Aunt and Gael together!
After another hearty breakfast at Mom’s, We are headed to Aunt’s and Uncle’s in Heyri for the first time for Emi and Gael! Aunt and Uncle have not met Gael yet, So we are very excite!
The door opens up, Uncle and Aunt come out in bare feet much welcoming. I see aunt’s eyes get teary with happiness and emotion to see Emi and Gael. Ahhh it’s so good to be here. I get all teary too. Uncle’s the same way. I have never seen him so happy and having a good time. Emi and Uncle hit it off right away on mutual interests. Love for Wine and good food.
It’s always good to see Tang and Brandy.
Emi and Uncle. The first time meet. Deep in conversation on Italian Wine and Mushrooms. Ha-Ha! Uncle had studied to be a Sommelier as a hobby recently.
All of us enjoying Aunt’s Fermented Ume, Apricot and fresh Peppermint drink. Sweet and refreshing with nice squeeze of Lemon. So Delicious!!! Ume is much used in our family daily in cooking meals in place of honey and vinegar as after it goes through fermentation, it gets sweet and sour. Think sort of maple syrup like consistency. It’s delicious and it does body good for you. Talking about rich in vitamin C and good for digestion.
Beautiful and modern Heyri. Click Here for More Pics. Now we are about to explore!
The Best Coffee in Heyri Aunt says: Coffee Coffee. Heyri’s biggest charm is living a Modern and Artistic life in organic and sort of nostalgic way. There are lots of old school details that are re born in most current setting.
In front of the coffee shop, there’s a true nostalgic ‘ TTong PPang’ machine baking Sweet Red bean cake. The real common name is ” gold fish cake” as the old time cake mold was in gold fish shape but here today’s new version is in ” poop” shape. Now you know what ” TTong” means. PPang means ‘ Bread’. You eat it while it’s hot. Delis!!!
Gael having fun!
Inside of the Coffee shop. The Coffee Bar. Loving the stools made out of part of barrel I believe? Just following coffee shops in Seoul can be one good way to see Seoul today especially for innovative interior designs.
Now we are exploring Artists’ space in the building where the Cafe is. Light fixtures.
Creative Open Space.
Now here we are where Aunt regularly works on her Ceramics. Gael’s abut to experience Ceramic making!
Gael getting ready!
After 20 minutes, Gael had made his Noodle bowl and a Tea cup!
Gael putting his Artist’s signature on. Clay is just too wet for Gael to put his name on. So we are making a tag that can be attached to the bottom and to be baked in a right timing.
Thank you So much Master Choi and Thank you Aunt! We will be back again!!
Now moving on to a Traditional market next door. It says “From the farmers”.
Mini legume samples and sacks contain them for sale.
Back home at Aunt’s Studio for power rest. Then we are off for dinner! Some of Aunt’s small work.
Emi on a nap… Zzzzzzz
OK now it’s time for Dinner! This is one of my favorite place to dine! The place is called “Old Country Table”. They serves up typical Korean table that comes with many little side tasting dishes. You get to choose the main dish such as grilled Beef, pork or Pollack. Today we are going for spicy grilled Pollack.
A few different kinds of kim chi, Mountain veggies that are picked, dried, socked and steamed with great seasonings, simple ssam with lettuce and crunch green chili, soy sauce soaked blue crabs, individually prepared amazing miso soups…. It goes on!
Made to order rice is just prepared and served right at the table on rice cart.
YUUUummmmmm! Ginko, chestnuts, red beans and rice. Delicious! So nutty!
Spicy and Sweet Chilli paste Grilled Pollack! Yum Yum Yum
Uncle, Thank You!!! for the great time and all the generous treats! ( two little legs behind Uncle are Gael’s. He fell on a sleep…)
Aunt and Me. We look alike.
Aunt in Korean is “Imo”. Which really means “A different Mother” in Korean. My aunt is a younger sister of my Mom and She is my another mother. Uncle in this case is called ” Imobu”, which means ” A different father”. I also had lived with Aunt, Uncle and my cousin which actually really is a sister, Yoon hee when I was studying in NY for like a year. So it is very special feeling and love that I have for all of them.
Imo and Imobu, Thank you so much for all your warm hearts and love. We had a wonderful wonderful time! I can’t speak enough how happy I am that we all got to finally meet and had time together.
For many more years, Cheers to us!
Typical Summer Dinner on the first night in Korea, Gael and Halmoney (: Grandma)
Actually the flight to Seoul from NY wasn’t too bad. 14 hours on Asiana Economy was much better than what we all expected. Foot rests and private monitors with quite impressive amount and selection of films and hearty meals ( We are talking about Bibimbop served in ceramic bowl and Hot Soup here!).
It’s humid and rainy in Korea right now and Paju where my Mom lives isn’t an exception but sitting out in the garden listening to water running from the mountain and all those birds and insects that cries out their own Summer nights of Korea brings me right back to where I come from.
I am Home.
Happy with a big dinner table in front. Humble and yummy. Waiting for dad. Pyung Sang is a typical low sitting wooden deck in Korea that is much adorned in Hot Summer time in effort to bring typical floor sitting culture to fresh and breezy outdoor. You take shoes off and sit on the Pyung Sang for anything you wish. Taking nap to eat meals, drink teas, all those water melons you can chow down, cleaning veggies, neighbor’s visit and late night stories…. Ah Nostalgia!
A morning at Mother’s house is full of excitement! Ducks are chatting up and You will need to do some Breakfast Harvest in Mom’s amazing veggie garden!
For our Salad. Mom and Gael walked to the small river by the house for picking these delicate and sweet edible flowers.
Front garden Back garden. We are in the back of the house now. Emi picking tomatoes!
Chemical free All Organic Breakfast from Mom’s. So beautiful!
Gael and Mom picking cucumbers.
Mom’s Awesome Fiery Chilis!!
Mom bragged about her sweet and juicy water melons. Her 5th growing now.
100 % Mom grown and supplied. It’s impressive and delicious!
After breakfast walking, We meet up neighbor’s 7 pups! Gael’s dying!
We are starting our first day nice and slowly by visiting ” Bogwangsa” , a 1000 years old beautiful temple in mom’s area.
The Main Temple. I absolutely love perfectly washed out exteriors. So beautiful.
It’s really lush here.
Water from the mountain.
Jang-Dock. Terracotta pots contain Temple made Soy sauce, Miso paste and all. Always love the scene.
Me at Home with Emi and Gael. Meeting Families and Nourishing My Heart and Soul by eating Amazing Food, My culture and again realizing Undeniable my Root in this land.
I am Happy and I am in Love.
Emi and Me, Turning my 40th together. Love you Emi!
My 40th chapter begins here again with full of surprises and hard work. More adventures and lots of LOvE.
Thank You All So much for coming and being with Me! Extra love and all the lovely gifts!
I was One Happy Birthday Girl!
LOvE you All!
Eating Circles, Dots and Squares of Warm, Cool, Crunch and All. Eating all Senses at Home on Friday Night!
Emi’s bit trying eating on healthier side. Smaller portion. Leaner protein. Only the complex carb. More Raw and more Fiber. Less Alcohol for sure. And it helps in this heat. We both are already feeling much better. Emi’s looking hotter!
Then there’s Emi’s long time huge interest in cooking in Art form. Massimo Bottura, an amazing Artist in cooking in Modena, Italy is Emi’s two hands down go to Artist and I must say Massimo Bottura will change your idea about what food is.
Our current motto of “Eating Less and Better” feels like the perfect time to mimic such cooking and we thought we would have some fun doing it preparing our meals differently! Plating is a big word in this case. It’s definitely a creative process and we are loving it!
There are a lot more to come, but we share our first baby step approach! We are going Japanese tonight.
A table ever changing by Emiliano. Emi likes to explore with surface and our dinner table is one of them. Emi has done this painting about 3 months ago. And I love it!
I call it ” Broken Egg yoke”
This is dish I prepared. Steamed spinach balls with young yellow Japanese miso, lemon, drop of sesame oil ( tiny drop), drop of Yuzu and touch of cane sugar. DELICIOUS!!
A closer look. Gael absolutely loved it! Soft spinach and creamy miso with kick of acidity gets rounded by touch of cane sugar.
Simply home cut Salmon and Tuna Sashimi. F.R.E.S.H
Grilled organic Bunashimeji ( beech mushrooms) with touch of olive oil, Maldon salt and Fresh black pepper. They are ore tender than oyster mushrooms and also naturally bit sweet.
Gael puts down the plates along the line of Emi’s painting.
Plating Tobiko ( Flying fish roe). We got 3 kinds. Tobiko Red, Tobiko Yuzu and Tobiko regular. These little beads of Nature add ton of flavor and sharp colors to your eyes and table. Our new circle plates are from CB2.
Love the vibrancy of Tobiko. Yellow one is Yuzu one.
They are like Rubies! I can’t get over with such colors!
This little tiny small baby fresh Wasabi root was whooping $20.00! (Gael’s personal appetizer dish, we got his permission to use! my my)
Eel on the Broiler! It smells so good!
Fresh Shiso leaves. I love love love them! It is super fragrant in fruity and flowery like. Shiso is in Mint family and it has good bite as well, I love to pair it with grilled meat or sashimi, in the salad…. It’s so lovely!
Sake is good to go too!
We are doing each own built ” Open Sashimi/sushi” sort of. Here’s my first one! Its sooo GOOD!!
Broiled eel, 2 types of Tobiko, fresh wasabi roots, long grain slow cooked brown rice on a Shiso leaf.
And there’s always good company!
More to come! More to eat!
ViVa Good Food!
Watch our Inspiration, Massimo Bottura.
Music brings people together. Emi holding little cutie Marlowe, Gael and Milo. They are all facing Nik, our front man of tonight’s jam session! At Jess and Nik’s home.
Saturday night with good old friends and new friends at Jess’s lovely loft in Clinton hill. Prosecco, white wine or whatever you wish. Nik and Jess got it all covered with beautiful arrange of cheese and crispy fried whole little fish, Marithes were just perfect starters. Lovely old friend Else totally surprised us when we walked in!! It has been So long Else! Else was visiting NYC from Israel for her business. It was so so good to see you and catch up a little. Then introduction to a new lovely family Francesco and Carin with a beautiful kid, Milo! Milo just enrolled into P.S 11 the same school where Gael goes to and the fact that Milo had well traveled around the world including living in Italy for the last few years is just exciting for Gael and us! So many things in common! The age, Italian speaking, the same school and traveling makes being together much more fun. There is this instant connection. They both are into soccer and basketball. And the last but not least, Music!
Nik leading Milo.
Emi and Marlowe in the matching outfit!
Emi singing and goofing around. Ahh it’s so much fun! Gael on a drum.
Love you kids!
Marlowe gotta try it!
Just like Emi, Gael’s excellent at coming up with instant lyrics that would never ever stop! We are dying laughing and so as Milo. Milo keep it up, You will be amazing. Gael and Marlowe, love you two!
Hats off to Nik and Jess. Thanks again for the lovely night together.
Sitting out in the garden: Dani, Robert, Tamara, Gael from the left. The sun feels warm and lazy on your back and well chilled crisp prosecco is refreshing and perfect with our on going Saturday Brunch!
Ahhh Spring has Sprung! Early morning 10 mile long run at Prospect Park through beautiful breeze and fully blossomed cherry trees gave me just right boost and perfect mood to prepare a brunch for Tamara and Robert who were visiting from London. Beppe and Dani would join us too! While I am running, I am thinking of gorgeous meaty oyster mushrooms, garden salad with dandelion leaves, roasted tomatoes… and what else….Oh yes, little flowers will be lovely too. I’ll also grab some freshly made turkey links at the Saturday Farmer’s market at Prospect park. Some good fresh eggs and well ripen avocados.. Yum…!! Running faster now !
Running to Prospect park. Our neighbor, Clinton Hill’s Spring switch has been officially turned ON! So lovely around here…
Get going Sages and Oyster Mushrooms ( grey ones are usually bigger and meatier than yellow ones) on hot olive oil. Just some sea salt.
Roasting tomatoes with onion and garlic. These babies are ready. Yum!
Mixed greens with dandelions.
Yay, Tamara and Robert are here!
Dani Fu showing off lingering tan from Miami trip.
Sausages are Eggs are being done on an BBQ in the garden.
Digging in. Sunny side ups or Scrambled. However you wish! We are all easy here. Some lean turkey links to go with. And drizzle of truffle oil over our salad with crusty whole wheat bread…. Beppe slicing some… Pour you some, Pour me some. Keep passing them around… and repeat!
After a big brunch, its not enough for Gael. Beppe runs in to make world’s fastest home made pizza. So lucky Gael!
Good friends. Good food. Good garden.
Good Spring Folks!