Friday, January 14, 2011

"Beef on a Leaf", The Korean Dining Experience

I was thinking about getting back into the swing of eating Korean food again and realized I've described the food but have never revealed a picture! So here you go!

As you can see, there are tons of dishes/sides. Nearly all of them are pickled or cold. No potatoes or salt and pepper. If you look at the meat on the left, you will notice some scissors and tongs beside each other. This is how Korean people cut their meat... With scissors! As a side note: This is also the way they cut their crab legs.
The way that this traditional meal usually goes is... You sit on the floor after you've taken off your shoes and wait for your server to bring you hot coals to place in the middle of the table top grill. After the grill is set up, you cut the meat into bite size pieces and place it on the grill. You also may place whole, raw garlic in some aluminum muffin tins to roast.
After the meat is done cooking, you don't put it on your plate. You move the cooked meat to the side of the grill to keep it warm. Then you take a piece of lettace, aka "Leaf" and hold it in your hand and fill it with whatever you would like. Similar to a tortilla... Kinda. No one has a "plate" of their own. Double dipping to them is very much okay. You simply take your chop sticks and pick up what you want on your lettuce leaf, along with everyone else. I can only eat this way with my husband. To me, everyone's germs on their chop sticks and their double dipping into every dish is too much for me to handle.
In this particular picture, the vegetable choices that you have are: picked onion, tofu and seaweed, pickled/spicy bean sprouts, whole garlic cloves, kimchi, spicy anchovies, radish and red pepper paste for dipping. Nearly all Korean food is spicy. Many things that you eat at meals like this one are colored red due to the spice they add.
Now, in America, it's considered rude and uncouth to talk with your mouth full or to "stuff" food into your mouth... Not here. This is the way all Korean's eat. Whether it be a burger, ramen soup, or beef on a leaf. They consider it a "compliment to the chef" when you slurp and shove huge bites into your mouth.
I had a very hard time adjusting to this style of dinning to say the least. The "bites" of food they eat are enormous! Picture putting 2 hard boiled eggs in your mouth at once and this is the average bite for a Korean. :|
So if you find yourself in Southeast Asia, in the tiny country of South Korea... You will now know what to expect for a dining experience. I assure you, it's like nothing you've ever seen. Oh and one more tip... Ordered bottled water for obvious reasons.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Joyous January Journal Jotting

Say that 5 times fast!

Made it home safely to Seoul yesterday afternoon. Our trip home was amazing and I wanted to write about all the happenings. I was unable to see all the people I wanted to see due to the fact that I was sick literally the entire time! How is that you ask? Epstein Barr virus and a touch of the flu is the answer. The main symptom of the virus is chronic fatigue. So the short version is that I slept about 2/3 of my trip. Nice right?

So lets move on to the things we did while I wasn't comatose. 

One of the first things we did was check out my brother and sister-in-laws new house! It had came a long way from the first time I'd laid eyes on it in pictures. We stayed at their house for a few days and decided to go see the lights at Steal Your Dollar City.
 Aren't they just too cute together?!
 The little sis and I. Camera work courtesy of Rocky. He may need a little practice.
 My mom and sister in the kitchen preparing an Italian feast!
 Shelly and I in the huge chair!
 Tyler and his beard!
 Beautiful lights.
 Rocky and Shelly in Grandpa's Mansion.
 Cute Shelly :)
Who doesn't love GIANT Christmas tree festivities?!

 AND Chocolate cake!
Sweet shot of my gorgeous car!
 A new life on the farm.
 Cows like to pose in case you didn't know :)
 Quick snap shot while cruising the old dirt roads.

As far as our Christmas went, we had a wonderful time. We had Christmas day at Tyler's parents house and everyone came over to help celebrate. We are oh so thankful for such wonderful family members. We also got to meet our twin niece Aven and nephew Talen for the first time. It made me cry simply because they are so beautiful. Love them to pieces!
 Emersen enjoying her Christmas.
 Reese just a tad bit excited to begin opening gifts.

 Candice, Reese and Emmy.
 Dave and Tyler making Reindeer Fodder :)
Pastry Chef Reese :)

 Pat opening his "Army Style" gifts.
 Belinda's beautiful tree!
 Yes, it's true. I got a little blue box for Christmas :)
 And for the former diabetic... 2 lbs of Reese's!
 My present to Tyler.
 Some of my loot!
 Tally and "Monew"
 Handsome Tally and I.
 Trav and Ty have matching beards this Christmas.
 "Take my picture!" Says Emersen.
 Little monkey, Talen :)
 Aven loving on Uncle Ty.
 Handsy little guy.
 Reese and Aunt Sam.
 Chubby Tally!
 Grandpa and Emmy.
Sleepy Aven.
 Shelly rockin' the onesie!
 The Mink!
 Tyler and I going out for New Years Eve. I look gross because I was sick :(
 My handsome hubby!
 Picturesque Liberty square.

Beautiful Baptist Church.

I didn't get to take nearly as many pictures as I wanted to due to sleeping excessively but the ones I did get are great!

We were happy to see our own home again and sleep in our bed but still miss our family terribly bad. We are hoping the White House job works out for us so that we can travel back and forth to see our family as much as we like! I've even jumped the gun a little by looking at houses and things to do in D.C. Sue me :)
I hope you all enjoyed my jet lag post. We really did have a great trip and can't wait for summer to be here so we can see everyone again. Before I get too caught up, I'm off to unpack some more and take a shower. Until next time!