The Oldest Bakery in Korea – In My Backyard 

The Lee Sung Dang bakery opened back in 1945 and is much sort after by people nation wide. Bus loads of people queue up for a treat from the renowned bakers. This happens during the week and of course is at peak on weekends. Whenever you go by, there’s a massive line inside which often spills out onto the pavement.

 

Blueberry Danish – delightful!

Luckily, being a teacher in SK, we were often treated by parents who would turn up producing cakes, cookies and rice breads on Teachers’ Day or just to say thanks. One of my favourite memories of going here was after a night out. Somehow we ended up at the Jinpo Marine Park around 6am. It’s located about a 5 minute walk from the bakery. After some cheeky exploring there, the grand idea to head over there was executed.

 

Jinpo Marine Park
Daybreak at Jinpo Marine Park

 

We were among the first handful of people there. The smell of freshly baked goods, the sight of all the shapes, colours and flavours…. It was difficult to choose. That’ll probably be your biggest problem here! The red bean mandu are popular, as well as other red bean laced items. I am not a fan, at all. If you’re not too, there’s more than enough there to please your taste buds. There are lots of great bakeries around town so when you go here, in my opinion it’s really to say you’ve been there. Check it off your list and enjoy! It was pretty cool to say the oldest bakery in the country was in my city  🙂

 

~~~The Wandering Pier

Mudfest 2013 (보령페스티발 2013)

This was my second time at the Boryeong Mud Festival at Daecheon Beach. I went on the first of the two weekends (20-21/07/13). This time a large group of about 15 of us went down, compared to last year’s cozy foursome.

Road trip to Boryeong
Road trip to Boryeong
Arrived in the B!
Arrived in the B!

We stayed at a great pension nearby, where we barbecued and played some games in-between time spent at the beach. It was about a 5 minute walk to the beach and it accommodated all 15 of us nicely…even a few crashers too 🙂

The boys at work. Amazing ribsssss!
The boys at work. Amazing ribsssss!
Some beer pong action.
Some beer pong action.

watergun

deb

I didn’t actually get as muddy as I did last year, but I had so much fun swimming, partying, looking at the fireworks & air show and spending some good quality time with a couple of friends who were leaving Korea soon.

Muddy friends :)
Muddy friends 🙂
Newbies to Korea. Great way to kick it off.
Newbies to Korea. Great way to kick it off.
Bands to make her dance.
Bands to make her dance.

muddy

Awesome air show
Awesome air show

All in all, it was another fun year at Mudfest. I recommend it, if you’re up for some lighthearted, muddy fun at the beach.

Night time tings.
Night time tings.
Partying til the morn.
Partying til the morn.

tae

Home time. Thanks, Boryeong.
Home time. Thanks, Boryeong.

Yeosu City (여수시)

For my summer vacation (2 days off of work) I ventured down to the southern coast to the city of Yeosu. I didn’t do much research for this trip. I had just heard about the Yeosu Expo last year and then I read about Yeosu as an off the beaten track place to visit on someone’s blog.

When I arrived at the Yeosu Expo Station, I strolled around the expo area for a bit. There’s an aquarium, kayaking and a few cafes around. Then I went to find a motel. I found one that was pretty close and surprisingly cheap given the location ($30 for the night, I think it would have been $40 for the same room for a couple). I dropped my stuff off and went out to explore.

Yeosu Expo Station
Yeosu Expo Station
The Big O
The Big O
Hanhwa Aqua Planet
Hanhwa Aqua Planet

Odong Island was walking distance. The bulwark from the mainland to the island was quite long which was fine for me, but in the heat it felt like a test of endurance. On the island I saw Dragon’s Cave, the lighthouse, a musical fountain and a ground fountain which I took full advantage of in the ridiculous heat and humidity.

Dragon's Cave, Odong Island
Dragon’s Cave, Odong Island
Enjoying the sound of the waves crashing into the rocks and taking in the beautiful view from Odong Island
Enjoying the sound of the waves crashing into the rocks and taking in the beautiful view from Odong Island
Ground fountain- a welcomed cool down zone
Ground fountain- a welcomed cool down zone

Later in the evening, I went back to the expo area to see The Big O light show. The queue was massive and I couldn’t be bothered to join it. Instead, I took a seat under one of the marquee structures and watched the show from there. It was fantastic and that was with an obstructed view. I’d definitely go back to see it seated inside the pavilion area.

The next morning, I headed back to the Yeosu Expo Station to get a ticket for the Yeosu City Tour bus. It cost a mere $5 for this all day tour! There was a guide speaking in Korean and on course 1 we stopped at 6 sights. For two of the stops we had to pay to enter (about $3 each).

Maritime & Fisheries Science Museum
Maritime & Fisheries Science Museum
Turtles at the Maritime & Fisheries Science Museum
Turtles at the Maritime & Fisheries Science Museum
Rocky beach behind the Maritime & Fisheries Science Museum
Rocky beach behind the Maritime & Fisheries Science Museum
Gorgeous view from Hyangiram
Gorgeous view from Hyangiram
Lanterns at Hyangiram
Lanterns at Hyangiram
Statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin and his Turtle Boat
Statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin and his Turtle Boat

The scenery while driving through Yeosu and around the islands was gorgeous. I think this trip is worth it if you’re looking for a quiet and fairly cheap little getaway.

New buy, new try: Green Tomatoes

Continuing my quest to try something new with every food shop I do. I guess to many, this isn’t something exotic, but it was exciting and interesting for me 🙂

 

The glorious green tomato
The glorious green tomato

 

Green tomatoes are great! I’d definitely buy them again. I ate some raw to see how they taste compared to their more popular ruby siblings. The colour inside was a lovely surprise, I didn’t expect it to be pinky/red. That looked cool against the green. The texture was similar, though I’d say these were a bit more crisp with a lil crunch. The taste was a little tart, which married nicely with the savoury seasoning of the steak that I made with it.

 

Steak and eggs with some sauteed mushrooms and GREEN TOMATOES :)
Steak and eggs with some sauteed mushrooms and GREEN TOMATOES 🙂

 

I think I’d love to make a salsa with it using a mixture of green tomatoes and regular ripe tomatoes. My taste buds agree that this is a good idea. I’m glad I tried them. Green tomatoes >> thumbs up from me.

Recipe ideas/suggestions welcome.

New buy, new try: Radish Sprouts

I’ve been in Korea for over a year now and I absolutely LOVE their food. I’ve tried many, many new dishes and there are loads more still to tango with my taste buds. However, I’ve realised that my cooking at home could do with a little spicing up (no pun!).

One of my first Korean meals, gamjatang (감자탕)- spicy pork soup with veggies & peppers. Yum :)
One of my first Korean meals, gamjatang (감자탕)- spicy pork soup with veggies & peppers. Yum 🙂

I really enjoy cooking, but I have realised that although I’m open to trying new things, what ends up in my fridge and cupboards are usually the same(ish) things. Whenever I’m meandering through the aisles of the supermarket, I always see an abundance of interesting looking things, most of which I have no clue about. With these at my disposal, coupled with all the MasterChef I’ve been watching recently, on my last visit to the supermarket I decided that whenever I do my shopping I should purchase something new to me.

Tah-dah! I got these babies! Nothing crazy, but I’m still not sure what I do with them.

Radish sprouts... aren't they cute! :)
Radish sprouts… aren’t they cute! :3

I’ve had them for almost a week, because I’ve been busy and I haven’t done much cooking. Anyway, I thought I better do something soon before they end up in the bin. So, I let them snuggle up next to some juicy salmon… wouldn’t you be happy if that was you?!

Pan seared salmon, sweet & sour battered courgette, sauteed cherry tomatoes and RADISH SPROUTS! *yey*
Pan seared salmon, sweet & sour battered courgette, sauteed cherry tomatoes and RADISH SPROUTS! *yey*

Admittedly, it was not a revolutionary use of these lovely baby trees, BUT it did add a little something to the meal AND I did achieve what I wanted to do- try something new. I’m not sure what to do with the rest of them. I’ll probably throw them in a salad or on top of a soup….? :/

Do you have any ideas about what to do with them? Have you tried anything new recently and should I try it too??? I’m open to suggestions!

I had the sprouts a while ago with raw fish and seaweed

I had the sprouts a while ago with raw fish and seaweed

First Phone Interview for South Korea

My prep for going to South Korea has dragged out for longer than I anticipated and still isn’t over. While I now have all my documents ready for my E2 visa, I now need to secure a job and then begins the visa application process. Finger crossed that won’t be too long of a wait.

One of the many recruiters I have been in contact with, 4DS emailed me with the great news that a school was interested in me and wanted to set up an interview. I reviewed the details of what they’re offering and the only thing I had a problem with is that it starts in October. I would ideally like to be out there by next month but given that the visa process still has to be completed, I may end up getting that at the end of September anyway. I spoke to the my contact about this and she suggested I go ahead with the interview anyway and should something else come up sooner then I can always go for that.

The telephone interview was about an hour ago, to my recollection it’s my first proper phone interview. I’m certainly glad I did it if only for the experience. I think it went well, I didnt freeze up for any of the questions and the school director seemed to really like my résumé and me 😀

Now I wait for feedback on it and whether they have hired me. I have a ton of questions for the school and for 4DS, I think the more research I do the more questions I have! Anyway, I think I may have another phone interview this week, it’s for a job in Incheon which is a city I’d really like to be based in. It also starts in September which is another plus. I really liked the vibe I got from the interview with Langcon though, so I’ll just have to see how it all goes.