Life in Seoul: May 2018
So, that wraps up seven months in Korea so far. I can't believe it's almost June! The winter was so cold—and even into spring—that I forgot what warm weather feels like. We had a few glorious, perfect spring days and now we're full-force into summer, with an average of 70% humidity and temps in the upper 70s, low 80s. I love humidity though. It's the great equalizer. No one is sweat-proof in humidity.
This past weekend, I renamed Unplastic to E5THESTORIES, which you've probably noticed if 1. you're a return reader and/or if 2. you saw on Instagram. I wanted a space that felt more personal to the stories I want to share about our life here, rather than a faux brand. Unplastic started in a different time of my life with a different mission, and it the past couple of months it started to feel a little uncomfortable to use that space to share our life. Also, there's some e-commerce site in the UK that booted up with that name and the mix was gettin' weird. So yeah, welcome to the new-ish blog.
This month, I continued my pasta crusade and tried my hand at making gnocchi, inspired by this video. Another video had a great tip about draining the ricotta before you mix it in so your mixture doesn't get goopy. What I figured out though, via trial and error, was that I added too much flour but if you add too much flour, the solution is NOT to add a little more egg. When I cooked the gnocchi, I 1. cooked it slightly for too long because I cooked it all at once and, 2. as it sat over time, it started to take more pasta-like texture rather than a fluffy pillow gnocchi texture. I'll figure this out though (I have to, gnocchi is Bryan's favorite pasta so I eventually have to get it right).
I learned about bagna cauda (also, with my obsession for anything in olive oil and garlic, HOW did I not know about this before???? I totally missed this trend in 2013 which is apparently when all the food bloggers went on a Nancy Silverton inspiration binge and all discovered it for the first time) and made a jarful, and eagerly ate it on everything for about two weeks. It's delightful on top of cheese and crackers, you can keep it on hand for a quick pasta, or warm it up and drizzle over two sunnyside up eggs over rice with a little shaving of parmesan cheese for brunch. It's amazing! And if you want to intensify the flavor when you reheat it, just add a little olive oil to a pan and melt an anchovy, then add a spoonful (or two, or three) of the bagna cauda. Honestly, guys. It's amazing. Life-changing. Okay fine, that's a little dramatic, but life-altering.
My cousin Kim came to visit and we got to hang out for a day. Never mind that it was pouring rain, but we had a nice relaxing time and it was really comforting to have a visitor from home. I'm keeping this point short not because I don't love her but because talking with her brought up a lot of thoughts I've been reflecting on and need some time to reflect on.
I've also made some visible progress in pilates in reshaping my body, which I'll share in a separate post next month.
- Tried lamb kebob bbq for the first time. Very fatty, very gamey. You'll taste it in the back of your throat for like, two days.
- Went to the Great Korean Beer Festival for the second time in one week, and it was delightful. We discovered a craft brewery called Seoul Brewery that makes a beer called "Tart Wit", which is a shortened and unpoetic translation from the Korean "밤에 핀 벚꽃 타르트 윗" - Night blooming cherry blossom tart wit. It was definitely tart, with cherry notes and it was deeeelicious. They're opening a location in Hannam-dong in July, so that's where you'll find me.
- There's a food truck called 'Gangster Truck' that makes beef nachos that tastes almost exactly like a Taco Bell hard taco. Incredible.
- Bryan and I found a bar in Itaewon that's very cute and we had a nice conversation with the bartender who also happened to be from the same small town in Nowheresville, upstate NY as Bryan. Apparently the owners don't like publicity for their bar so it's not listed on any websites and they don't like people posting on IG. So I won't. But if you really want to know, then just message me.
- Bryan was in the US for a week so I had a girls weekend with Yoonie and Jamie, and we went to Homer Pizza! The service was seriously lacking but the pizza was delicious and I would've gotten a second slice if it hadn't taken them 20 mins to prepare the first one. This would never happen at Joe's.
- I started making some YouTube videos to show you guys some of the places we visit, so watch them when you have time. Let me know if you're feeling 'em. Pardon the editing and timing; I'm teaching myself how to do this and I have a long ways to go. But it's all about practice and learning new things, right? :) And please subscribe! YouTube won't let me have a custom URL until I have at least 100 subscribers.
Okay, that's a pretty comprehensive wrap-up of May, I think.