Cooking class : Japchae

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When my church decided to start a once per month cooking class, I was so excited. Not only do I get to learn how to cook some traditional Korean dishes, but I get to hang out with my girlfriends in the process.

Our first class was Japchae.

4 oz beef steak cut into strips
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 egg
seasonal vegetables (we used mushrooms, carrots, onions, bell pepper, and cucumbers for our class)
sweet potato noodles
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Directions:
1. Marinade beef in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and sugar. Store in refrigerator.
2. Scramble egg in a bowl. Fry egg in a pan. Once cooled, cut egg into strips.
3. Chop or julienne vegetables into small strips.


4. Put noodles in boiling water and cover for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick.

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5. Brown meat in skillet on medium.
6. Add vegetables that take longer to cook first (carrots) and stir. Continue adding vegetables until you have added them all.
7. Add the eggs and cooked noodles at the end.
8. Add any additional soy sauce or sesame oil to taste.
9. Sprinkle sesame seeds as a garnish at the end.

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Our next cooking class is September 15 at 10 AM. We will make cucumber kimchi and vegetable pancakes. The cost of the class is $5.

Christmas Adventures in Seoul

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Christmas is very different in Korea than it is in America. We wanted to do something fun for Christmas but still stay warm. We thought that if we went to some of the bigger malls in Seoul there would be Christmas decorations like we are used to back home.

On our anniversary, Tim and I went to the train station to buy our train tickets. Round trip tickets were about 15,000 won for adults and 7,000 won for children.

On Christmas Eve, we attended our Sunday morning service at New Creation Church. After service was a Christmas feast potluck so we had fun eating lunch with our friends and eating yummy food.

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On Christmas morning we drove to Jije Station to take the SRT to Suseo. While we waited in the lobby for our 9:55 train, Clarissa was greeted and given gifts. The employees gave Clarissa two lolipops and a cardboard train model to put together. One of them also took off their reindeer antlers, placed them on Clarissa and then took our picture on an instant camera. On the platform, she received another lolipop and a small bag of goldfish.

The train was very similar to the KTX trains that we are used to. Assigned seats with plenty of leg room and an above your head compartment for bags and strollers. The seats were very comfortable. The ride to Suseo was only about 20 minutes.

Our first stop was Coex Mall. We ended up at McDonald’s for lunch since it was right outside the mall. We figured we should eat before the rush. We had a great time visiting some of our favorite stores: Gundam Storefront, Asem Hobby, Butter, and Jaju. But we were very disappointed that there were hardly any Christmas decorations at all.

Next, we took the subway to Lotte World Mall. Here we were not disappointed. There were lights and Christmas trees everywhere. There was even a space in the middle of the mall for performances so there was a live bells performance, a choir, instruments, and a magician throughout the day.

We had plenty of shopping adventures in Lotte World Mall. We enjoyed the Studio Ghibli Store, Copenhagen Flying Tiger, Butter, Miniso, and Hi Mart. We also went to Ex Monster. When we went over the summer, you could go through and see all of the Marvel movie statues and models. But this time, you had to buy something first so we were disappointed.

We had dinner at Hard Rock Cafe, which Clarissa and I had never been to. The food was a little pricey, but wonderful! Clarissa kept saying, “I don’t like it, I love it!” about the music videos playing and the lights on the walls. The manager thought she was so cute that he gave her a set of four Hard Rock Cafe pins as a gift.

We caught the 640 train from Suseo back to Jije Station to go to home. There was a parking lot specifically for SRT passengers. When you leave the station, there is a kiosk to pay. You type in the last four digits of your license plate number and the computer pulls up a picture of your car and you pay with your credit card. It was reasonably priced. We were parked for about 9 hours and paid 8,400 won.

When we got home Tim and Clarissa built one of our purchases together, a mama bear and baby bear in pink.