I prepared some food for chuseok.  But before that, we had a tornado warning.  I heard the siren and saw the tree in front of our house almost uprooted by the wind.  So I looked online and there was a tornado warning and severe thunderstorm warning which said to take cover in the interior-most part of the house and stay away from windows and flying debris.  Which freaked me out!  So I hid in the closet with a book and my ipod so I could check weather updates until it passed.  Fortunately, nothing crazy happened, and I came out and cooked dinner.


Happy 추석

Happy Korean Thanksgiving, or Mid-Autumn Festival! While each Asian culture has its traditions, a big one for Koreans is to eat a type of rice cake called songpyeon. Here's a photo I took at a wedding I shot last year, to give you an idea:

추석 (Chuseok) is a time to celebrate the harvest. I plan on making bulgogi and chapchae, typical foods eaten on this day.  I actually have some songpyeon that I'm defrosting right now from my cousin Jane's wedding. Also, fresh fruits from the harvest are eaten, so I'll make sure to cut up some asian pears that I picked a few weeks ago.

After dinner, hubby and I will look at some of the photos I took in Korea this summer, and then take a walk at night to enjoy the full moon.  He doesn't know it yet, but this is the plan.

Tunnel scarf

I started this scarf about 3 years ago, and I finished it yesterday.  I had run out of yarn and it was short so I didn't know what to do with it. I considered unraveling it because it's a nice alpaca wool and I wanted to make good use of the yarn.  

Last winter I got into tunnel scarves because they are comfortable and hassle free...which gave me the solution to finishing off this scarf. I like how it turned out, and it's perfect for fall.

By the way, it took me about 30 tries to get a decent photo of myself wearing this scarf. I don't know how people are so good at taking photos of themselves through a mirror.


Over the weekend...

- Friday dinner at the back of an Indian grocery store.
- Saturday trip to Yellow Springs, Ohio.
- Sunday lunch at a Laotian/Vietnamese restaurant.
- Sunday late night taco truck run.  Taco trucks (& food trucks in general) are definitely up to par here.

We've been surprised by how much good, cheap, authentic ethnic food there is around here.  Yay.

Oh, and here's breakfast I made on Saturday:


Eastern time

Yes, although Ohio is in the Midwest, we are on Eastern time.  It's amazing how significant a 3-hour time difference is compared to a 2-hour time difference.  Like phone calls and jet lag.



Every year I have an annual gathering with my cousins over Christmas.  We have certain traditions such as playing flag football, singing carols and chilling in the hot tub.  The other thing we do is have a gift exchange.  It's done white elephant style with numbers handed out and stealing, and there's always a theme.  In the past we have done themes of movies, gift baskets, books, board games, under $5, gift cards and others that I can't remember.  We're trying to think of a good one for this year.  The only thing I can come up with is Christmas ornaments.

Do you have ideas from gift exchanges you've done in the past?  Or any you've always wanted to do?  Please share!


I made kimchi yesterday! I've officially become a Korean housewife.  I'm already planning for future kimchis: radish kimchi, cucumber kimchi, buchu kimchi (don't know the english word).  The possibilities are endless.

I hope it tastes as good as it looks.



I got my first roll of film shot on the Holga back yesterday.  It took me over a year to take 12 shots.  The first shot on the roll was from back in June 2009 when my mom visited me in Chicago.  I took a couple shots here in Columbus to finish off the roll so I could finally develop it.  I love the look of it.  Here is our current home:



My aunt brought these over this morning:

Organic eggs straight from the farm.  Some of her friends went to the chicken farm over the weekend to pick up eggs and she requested a carton for me.  I've been loving getting local food here in Columbus.  It's much easier to do so with so many farms nearby.  The asian pear farm I went to last week was actually in the city - about 30 minutes away from where I live.

Some grapes...she's always bringing me things like a few potatoes, cereal and now grapes because it's just her and my uncle but they still buy in bulk, so they share with us.

And last but not least, this belt that she's worn for 30 years.  It's an antique.  She thought I wouldn't like the lion buckle in the front, but I love it, and I love that it's something my aunt has had for so long.  It's definitely a keeper.


Pear Picking

My aunt invited me to go pear picking last week. Asian pear picking!  It was my first fruit picking experience of any kind.  I was so bummed last year when I realized it was a thing to do (most Chicago people go to Michigan to pick apples), and I was 2 weeks too late.  So I was excited to go.  We went on a weekday and had the farm to ourselves as my aunt knew the lady who was working there.

I came home with 2 large bags of Asian pears.  They are the sweetest Asian pears I've ever had.  Fruit picking made me realize how artificial the perfectly shaped fruits at the store look.  In reality, they are all shapes and sizes and colors.

Enjoying the juicy sweet pears at home...


Fall Blanket

Fall has officially arrived here in Columbus.  There is a slight chill in the air, and the house has cooled down. We switched out our summer blanket with a warmer one that we bought in Korea over the summer. It provides just the right warmth for fall weather.


Roses in Bloom

I noticed these roses at the front of the house on Friday while getting the mail.

I was surprised (and happy) to see them as I haven't done any sort of maintenance.


I Heart NYC

We had such a great time during our short trip to New York. Friday night we got in and had late night pizza at Lombardi's.  I love thin crust pizza.

Saturday morning we had an unexpectedly good complimentary breakfast at the cafe next to our hotel.

Then we headed off for New Jersey by train for the wedding. My first Jewish wedding - it was awesome.

The groom is W's friend from grad school.  They had a Jewish ceremony on Saturday and an Indian one on Sunday. We decided to just pick one, but I'm sure Sunday's celebration was a blast.

After stuffing ourselves at the wedding, we met up with Janice for dessert at Cha-an Bakery, which was delicious. It reminded me of cafes in Seoul.

On Sunday we went to Hoboken, NJ to visit other friends we made in Chicago. Then we met up with Janice and bought her Korean groceries at H-Mart, had a quick meal at BCD and then took off for the airport.

I loved NYC.  It reminded me of the cities we visited during our Asia trip, especially of Seoul and Bangkok.  It's amazing how different life is just a one hour plane ride away.  I can't wait to go back and explore more of the city. Our time was so packed this time that I felt like I barely touched the tip of the iceberg.


Breakfast Lately

toast: with almond butter, honey & sliced banana
fruit: honeydew, blackberries, blueberries & strawberries
hot drink: green tea, genmaicha or coffee


Happy September

We've been in Columbus for a month now!  Last night W and I took a walk around the neighborhood and I asked him if the time has gone by fast or slow.  He said fast, and I said slow. :)

In other news, some goodies arrived yesterday, and I was beyond thrilled:

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law sent these over.  Thank you!!! -

new heat induction rice cooker
electric water boiler
kitchenaid mixer
small clay pot
3 kinds of beans
ginseng extract

Not pictured -

W's hair wax
a bunch of geeky finance books for him
a green suit of his

The mixer is on loan as Janice (sis-in-law) just moved to NYC for school.  I can't wait to start baking, especially this winter when it gets cold.

I'm especially grateful for our new rice cooker.

But before I talk about that, I would like to write a little tribute to my old rice cooker, a basic Zojirushi 5 cup cooker.  The current rice cooker was a housewarming gift from my cousins back in 2001 when I graduated from college and moved to Westwood.  Countless pots of rice have been made and many people have eaten rice made in that cooker over the last 9 years, including myself, who eats rice almost daily.  When W moved to Chicago two years ago, it was dropped during transport from the car to the house.  It got cracked and a piece of plastic fell off near the area where you push the "cook" button, but we continued to use it.  It was never quite the same (sometimes rice-liquid would seep out of the hole that releases steam), but it chugged on. Two weeks ago, we had 25 members of my family over for a BBQ after my cousin's wedding and we served rice from that cooker.  One of my aunts asked my mom why the rice was so hard.  That is because we now mix our white rice with brown, and like to add beans or seeds, even though that rice cooker is not meant for cooking brown rice or beans. :)  I want to say thank you to my cousins who so thoughtfully bought me my old rice cooker years ago, and I'm grateful to have had a great rice cooker that served me and others well.

A week after my aunt's comment about the stiff rice, W's mom called saying she was sending us a new rice cooker for his birthday.  You can imagine my excitement.  It arrived, a nice, new and shiny Zojirushi  5 cup heat induction rice cooker.  It really just looks like an upgraded and more high-tech version of the old one, with fancier buttons, prettier curves and more functions.  It can cook white, brown, sweet and mixed rice.  I think even porridge.  And to top it off, they gave her a free Zojirushi electric water pot when she purchased the rice cooker, which I will probably use every day for my tea or coffee.

I'm so grateful for our new gifts.  I feel spoiled.