My recipe goal for this month was to find a Korean dessert to share. For inspiration, I visited the Maangchi website that I mentioned in my yaki mandu post. I was delighted to find a recipe for hoddeok, a popular street food.
The first time I tasted Yaki Mandu, I had no idea what to expect. Jared and I were eating dinner at a tiny restaurant close to our house, and the owner gave us a plate of this snack food on the house. I was immediately hooked and knew that I had to try to make some on my own.
Since we arrived in Korea, I have been cooking homemade meals much more often. That’s not to say I didn’t cook much in the US, probably 4-5 meals per week there. However, now we have been trying to be a little healthier and have not been going out to eat as often as we did when we lived in the states. Luckily, I love to cook and have finally gotten over my fear of a gas stove!
I’m not a traveler who takes it easy. Jared and I always pack as many activities into our vacations as we can; we’ll go from getting sunrise pictures, to walking an entire city, to a late night dinner without stopping. That is what traveling means to me, but I know a lot of people who enjoy relaxing on cruises or in all-inclusive resorts. And while I know that is the ideal type of vacation for some, it makes me feel antsy to just hear about it. I like my journeys to challenge me, to push me out of my comfort zone, to cross lines that I normally wouldn’t.
I’ve known people who say that they don’t like to eat. That the only reason they eat is for nourishment, and dining isn’t an exciting experience. I don’t really understand these people, though I respect our differences. I love food. Even as a picky eater, I feel comfortable saying that. I may not like all food, but what I will eat, I thoroughly enjoy. It’s one of the reasons I love to cook: I get to eat the product of my effort.
I have never been on the perfect vacation. I doubt I ever will. My weekend in Kyoto was wonderful, please don’t doubt that, but it wasn’t all pretty temples and ice cream. I don’t think the “perfect vacation” exists. There is always something that is bound to go wrong. Some unforeseen difficulty. However, it is the difficult times that make the most interesting stories. It’s working through language barriers, mysterious menus, and transportation horrors, that make a person a traveler, not just a tourist.