Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Korean Mother Sauces

I found a blog written by an American living in S. Korea called Zenkimchi. It is a food blog, but there is also information about the ins and outs of living in Korea without being able to speak fluent Korean. The latest post is about the three basic "bases" in Korean cooking, toenjang (soybean paste), koch' ujang (red pepper paste), and kangjang (soysauce). On a previous post he shows how to make kelp stock or dashi (also called sun dried anchovy stock- so that's why Mom always had packages of dried fish!) which is one of the two stocks used in Korean cooking (the other being White Beef Stock). He uses photos so it's easy to follow how to do it. He links to another blog called Ya Rayi Our Rai that has a more indepth article about the three Mother Sauces and the two basic stocks used in Korean cooking. If I ever am able to really get into cooking, I'd like to become good at cooking Korean food.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Paella Soup

When I showed Jax how the clams protect themselves by closing their shells tightly when I tapped on them, Jax spoke to the clams. "Don't worry. We won't hurt you. We're Christians." I explained to him that we were going put the clams in the soup and eat them. I was afraid that he would be bothered by this. We had a talk about how God made animals for us to eat. He enjoyed the clams as much as the rest of us.

My favorite part of the soup was the andoille sausage. I enjoyed the flavor of the broth, and I think it wouldn't have tasted as good without everything in it, but I would have been happy with just the sausage. I used 1/2 pound of sea scallops (because Puddleglum likes big scallops), 1/2 pound of bay scallops, one pound of clams, one pound of shrimp, four chicken tenderloins, and a full 12oz package of andoille sausage. I considered buying the saffron, but I figured my boys did not have palates sophisticated enough to justify the $12 for the teeny bit of saffron. I put in paprika and curry powder to give it some color, so really we didn't have paella soup. It was a seafood curry soup, but it was very good. In all the ingredients cost me $35, but it would have cost more for this much seafood at a restaurant. I don't think I will make this a lot because it isn't very budget conscious, but it was delicious for a special meal. For future reference, the red 5qt stock pot isn't big enough. Use the 8qt copper pot. Also, as unculinary as this sounds, I substituted peach flavored white grape juice for the white wine. Like I said, it was delicious...so back off.
JT and paella soupJJ and paella soup

Paella Soup

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Spring Break

I showed a schedule to Auntie Puddleglum, who was here for the weekend, and she called the schedule our Spring Break Survival Plan. If we don't do planned activities like this, the boys make us crazy. The idea isn't necessarily to stick to the schedule to the minute (although sometimes that is a good idea). I didn't finish out the week. We'll play by ear. Every day will have a theme. I used the schedule as my shopping list when I went to the grocery store Sunday with Auntie Puddleglum. When I got home yesterday (Monday) from the office, the boys were excited about having had "Space Day" with Puddleglum. I don't know that "Nature Day" was as exciting, but I think they had a good time.

For lunch today the salad was a huge success. I bought that Butter Lettuce that comes with the roots still attached to show the boys. We had a salad bar with beets, black olives, baby gerkins, sliced egg, real bacon, cherry tomatoes, pecans, black eyed peas, and cucumber (Baby ate all the avocado yesterday). Jax wanted everything except egg. Tae wanted everything except the black eyed peas, pecans, and cucumber. Baby mainly ate the olives and the egg. Of course, being that we're Texans, we had Ranch dressing.

The boys loved the snack. I put Oreos in a ziploc bag, and the boys beat them with spoons. We poured the "dirt" onto Vanilla Bean ice-cream, and I let the boys arrange the gummy worms on top.
Dirt and Worms

Baby is taking his nap and the boys are having free play. I may update this post with a picture of the cellophane noodle beef soup if I have time. I hope it turns out yummy.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Quick Flan

Speaking of flan... Don't start cracking the eggs and separating the yolks out. Don't make a hot water bath for your custard cups. Don't start making your own caramel. Just go to the Mexican section at the grocery store and buy some Con-Gelli. It comes with a package of caramel to squeeze into your custard cups, and all you do is bring four cups of milk to a slow boil and mix in the packet. It's just as good as the stuff I used to serve at Vargo's (Houston). Having two six year olds, a one and a half year old, and a thirty seven year old (all boys) to take care of, any time savers are appreciated. Add some raspberries and a small sprig of mint, and you have something special. I think Jax would have liked it, but he heard me tell Puddleglum, "Mmm. This reminds me of that egg custard pie at House of Pies that I used to get all the time." Then Jax took a few bites and said, "it tastes like eggs." Then he wouldn't eat any more. I guess for him, eggs and dessert don't mix.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

First Photo Together

Here is the first picture of my two oldest babies taken together at AMSA in Seoul, South Korea in late April 2003.
Jer, Jon's caregiver, Jon

Friday, March 3, 2006

Puddleglum's Pooch

This morning the boys were concerned about our dog. We love her. I tell the boys she is the only other girl in the family. We've had her for 7 1/2 years. We rescued her from the local dog pound, so we don't know exactly how old she is. She is probably almost ten years old. She is such a good dog with the boys. I am so thankful for her. Anyway, she doesn't seem herself this morning. Tae asked if we could pray for her. So we put our hands together, and Tae said a little prayer.
JJ & JT 03-03-06 AM