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:

P1010271 P1010272

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.

P1010267 P1010270

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

Vegetable Stock and Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

While looking up recipes for vegetable stock I came across the wise advice of Jamie Oliver, “I find that I tend to make this after we’ve had our Sunday roast − I just throw the carcass in a pan with any root veg and herbs I happen to have”. Any root veg and herbs I happen to have!?! Well, I can do THAT in Korea. After having too much food poisoning and buying bad chicken from the store, I eat mostly vegetarian. Adventures in stock making was so easy, much easier than finding vegetable stock at the store (I got some beef stock but it tastes weird- like it wasn’t made in the US! HAHAHA). So what veg and herb did I have? After prepping for stuffed pepper soup I had some extras for the stock:

Veg:
1 1/2 Onion; really the top, bottom and outer skin of two onions- this includes the peel
One Carrot; roughly chopped
One bell pepper; remains of a green and orange pepper
Four cloves garlic; smashed with the peel on
1/2 a leek; big pieces
Herbs:
1/2 bunch of green onion; cut into four
1/2 bunch Chinese celery; scrunched a few times then cut into four

With some grape oil, I browned the veg threw in the herbs- let them sweat it out a little, then filled with water and covered with a lid. After putting the heat really low, I watch Fantastic Four and Dr.T and the Women. Both of which I had never seen, they were entertaining but not as good as Christian Bale as Batman. He reminds me of Wyll. I’m fine being the only one who sees it.
Christian Bale

After three or so hours of movie watching, I put a colander in a mixing bowl and separated the now colorless vegetables from the now flavor rich, brown water. Stock done, moving to the soup!

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup (you will need 2 pounds of blanched, diced tomatoes):

In a hot pan with a little grape oil add diced:

One onion
One green pepper
One red pepper
Four cloves of garlic
One pound blanched tomatoes

Cover with Spices- to taste:
Paprika
Cayenne
Chili powder
Salt

Then add the Other ingredients:
Half gallon of stock- enough to cover the veg and feed the rice

Once the soup is hot and the spices are incorporated taste that bad boy, make any final adjustments then add:
One cup clean rice

This soup ends up really thick like a chili. I topped it with yogurt, lemon and green onions. Enjoy!

Lemon Time is upon us!

Today I had a wonderful time with Pat Greer of Seahorse Ranch making a lemon jelly. Her daughter came over to help us in the kitchen. We talked about culture, food and current events. She brought three bags of fresh lemons from her ranch, three bags of organic sugar, a few jars of spring water also from her ranch, and some pectin from Andy’s. It was a few hours of trading off washing, peeling, and juicing. When I say a few hours I mean 11-5 with a short break for lunch. Around 3 pm we started cooking and when I left at 5 the first batch was going into the canning bath.

Surprisingly, everything was done by hand. The juicer was cone in a dish. The peeler was not a grater. Pat explained that a grater produced smaller shavings, a peeler was the right tool for peeling. I didn’t mind but it left us without additional help which really I didn’t mind. I was catching up with an old friend, hearing about changes in the community. Exchanging old ideas and passing on newer information. We had a girls day and it was awesome. Also this jelly uses a lot of lemon juice so I have more ideas of what to do with Lemoncello leftovers extra rind peelings included although that might not be a problem.

 

My hands smell

like lemons.

 

Kabocha Squash Soup

If I learned anything last year (2011) it was making soup. While I was working at Bloomfield Farms, I had mountains of produce to play around with. I ventured into all sorts of veggie dishes from stir frying to soups. One of my favorites is a squash soup that uses lime and cashews. You can find the recipe here. When I saw the squash at the market (and with the help of the recent snow) I thought SOUP!

It might have been easy to create the same soup again, however I like a challenge so I set off to create lunch in under an hour with only the thing we already had in the house.

Total ingredients include:

3 baby Kabocha Squash- cut in half, with the insides scooped out

2 yellow onions – one quartered, one chopped small

1 apple- chopped small, with peel, without seeds and core

handful of peeled garlic cloves

salt, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, Bragg’s liquid aminos

Plenty of Water

First boil water with squash, quartered onion and salt. I was hoping to use boiling water for broth but I ended up throwing out the remaining onions and water. Once squash is soft and cooked put in bowl of cold water to help separate from peel. Put yummy goodness in bowl and set aside.

Do a quick rinse of your pot and fill 1/3 with water, in the vicinity of two quarts. As you bring to a boil add  chopped onion, apple, garlic, a dash of cinnamon, a dash of cayenne, and a squirt of Bragg’s probably 3 Tablespoons or less. Cover. Let it boil and cook all the veggies. When soft add squash and smash everything together. Enjoy hot!

Image