Sloppy Joes

Often Wyll and I reminiscence about the food we ate as children. He talks about the tacos his mom use to make with ketchup, something she wouldn’t dream of doing today. My food memories from this time are cooking pumpkin and making Sloppy Joes in apartment ‘B’ when we lived near my cousin Gideon. And of course, the time my mom convinced my sister that we were having chocolate pancakes for breakfast- they were buckwheat. Sloppy Joes are the kid food that I think about. I wonder if they are as good as the memory because many people thought spaghetti-oes were good twenty years ago.

Not long ago, I floated the idea of making Joes for dinner and, as i recall, Wyll protested because he didn’t want to eat sweet, slimy children food. The spaghetti sauce in Korea is pretty sweet so yesterday, I proclaimed “I’m going to make Sloppy Joes for lunch tomorrow…”

Waiting with slightly held breathe for some sort of okay regarding the father’s day menu.

“Great! I love Sloppy Joes.”

Did I imagine this previous conversation? Well, no need to get into this now: Sloppy Joes for father’s day! I hope it’s a good idea. :/

This morning the baby and I went to the store. Park asked “Where is Wylliam?”

“At home,” I responded, “It’s father’s day.”

“Oh,” he replied knowingly, you would think father’s day was celebrated in Korea. Maybe it was the understand that all anyone wants to do is stay at home and play cards by themselves. Or whatever it is other people do alone because I doubt that Wyll does much else when I’m not around. Park asked if he was delivering our groceries today, “배달?”

(Which sounds to me like pay-dar.)

I respectfully decline although, really, I should, but I’m hungry and the Sloppy Joes are getting tastier with every minute. Here are photos of the Spaghetti sauce and Gochu pepper, I used:

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Sloppy Joes recipe:

2 Tablespoons oil- I used canola

1 diced bell pepper

1/2 diced onion

2 minced garlic cloves

200 grams (about a half pound) of ground pork

1 teaspoon Gochu pepper

2 Tablespoons ground ginger (in the future I’ll leave this out)

1 cup spaghetti sauce

Heat oil in a sauce pan add veg, when onions become clear add pork then cover with ginger (or don’t). Stir to cook pork evenly. When pork is mostly cooked add sauce. Let cook for another five- ten minutes until sauce turns a little darker.

Serve on bread. Try to eat with hands, make sure a for is close by.

I paired it with a cabbage salad. It was a great idea, but needed to be dressed. It probably needed a little more thought. It was well received and I’ll definitely make Sloppy Joes again. Here are some pictures of the final project.

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Settled in

Trying to run a class as other students keep coming into the office. It’s never anyone’s first choice as a classroom. However it works on many occasions like Monday through Friday for one hour when the academy is the busiest. The door stays open so my Korean speaking co-workers can answer the phone when it rings. Undoubtedly from a parent with concerns for their child, their English isn’t good enough/ they need more practice. More often it’s a machine with offers for a new cell phone plan or water cooler. My co-workers are also teaching albeit behind closed doors, it takes a few rings for them to hear it. Then they run as fast as they can to catch the phone before the caller hangs up. If it’s an advertisement, they call back several times. This is  a trick I became familiar with while working in sales. It reminds me of Tim Allan in Galaxy Quest, ‘never give up; never surrender’. The office is always crowded with students. Middle school boys playing cell phone games like FIFA or the latest League of Legends knock off. Middle school girls pass by and bow to me. Then they notice the mirrored door frame and start check their hair, eyes, and lips. So many years ahead to check out their reflections. Some students fight their way to the copy machine grabbing at the mountain of paperwork printed off for them.

It’s a tough space to role play in but these two little guys are rallying. They pass a  giant ‘band-aid’ back and forth; ‘Ouch, my arm’. They get out of their seats and pretend to be hurt on the ground. The older students turn, look and go back to their game. Finally, I’ve got something that they enjoy doing although not every role play is as exciting as pretending to hurt yourself and then lets be honest become a zombie. Everybody loves zombies because they’re fun. They make it a game and if it looks, smells and acts like a game then it must be English class. Or at least that’s how I want it. The older students are the same way. I’ve started bringing a beach ball into class for grammar review. This is basically a speaking exercise where students read the written exercises but they throw a ball to the next person. My students love this. They love to smash the ball into the heads of non-participating students, which means that everybody plays. It keeps them off their cell phones and out of the mirror because they have years ahead of them to do that.


The weirdest candy- I think it’s mostly corn starch in a straw.

Mulberry Jam

After returning from a recent trip to Seoul, my Halmonie (my boss’ mom), sent over a largish box of mulberries. After stuffing ourselves on them, there was still several left in the box. We were out of jam and syrup so I thought I’d try to make pectin-less jam- if it didn’t work out we could have it on pancakes! This was a fairly simple recipe with some delicious results. The main factor was having a lot of time to not really watch it but be in the house while it cooked. I’ve tried it with other berries and not been successful.

About 3 pints of berries (no stems)

1/4 cup sugar

3 Tablespoons Lemon juice

I started by heating up the pan and throwing berries in. Then I mashed up the berries added the sugar and lemon. I let it cook for 6 hours; stirring sometimes. I cooked it on the lowest setting possible.

It probably ended up to be about half a quart…

I canned it and put it in the fridge.

mulberry jam and yogurt

mulberry jam and yogurt