Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kimchi making

Making kimchi in Seoul.

A couple of weeks ago, our friend invited us over to her house to help with the annual kimjang -- or kimchi making. We gathered on her living room floor and her mom and aunt instructed us on the messy art of creating Korea's most famous dish.

The post-kimjang feast.

After we packed all the tuperware in the house with fresh kimchi, we sat down for a homemade feast of boiled pork, green onion pancakes and, of course, kimchi.

Eating at home.

The kimchi was some of the best we've had in Korea. We've been eating it one cabbage head at a time and it's only getting better with age. Whether that's from the recipe or just because we had a hand in making it, I don't know.

The Korean government has been trying to globalize Korean food quite a lot lately. But it seems that their efforts will get a boost early next year when chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his wife launch their 13-part PBS series on Korean food, "The Kimchi Chronicles." The NY Times recently posted a preview of the show and I'll be interested to see how it turns out.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Music Supply Heaven

I've been working on some music these days and naturally was drawn to the Nakwon Music Arcade for my instrumental and music supply needs.  This building, located adjacent to the famous Insadong shopping street, is packed with multiple floors full of just about any music-related item you can think of.  That means pianos, synthesizers, violins, guitars, drums, monitors, mixers, microphones, cables... the list goes on.

Once you're inside, the corridors are lined with instrument vendors down the middle and countless small shops down the sides.  It can get pretty confusing as there really doesn't seem to be any organization at all to how the different supply categories are laid out.  But that's part of the fun of spending a couple hours at the arcade -- wandering about its various nooks, alleys and dead ends, and hopefully finding that one piece of equipment you're looking for (in my case, a brass jingle tambourine)... or maybe something you didn't even expect.

A classic Moog synth

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bizarro Breakfast

Something is not right here.

Not right at all.

(But if you close your eyes and eat them, they taste just like home -- full of sugar and delicious artificial flavoring.)