Korean Fried Chicken and Spinach

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“Korean Fried Chicken and Spinach” Cedar Park, 2020

Here are a couple of easy dishes that I made for dinner. The spinach recipe is super simple, with only a few ingredients. The fried chicken is a little more involved, but still at a level that I can handle. 😀

One comment about the chicken is that it is not spicy, even though I used a few large peppers. If you want to add some kick, make sure you use a fiery pepper! And one other thing, Maangchi fried the wings for 12 minutes, but I did it for 8, and next time, I think just 5 minutes for the first fry would be sufficient. YMMV of course!


Crispy and crunchy fried chicken – Dakgangjeong 닭강정

Spinach side dish – Sigeumchi-namul 시금치나물

Sayonara 2020 (I Wish)

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/2000 sec, ISO100
“Sayonara 2020” Cedar Park, 2020

What a year… and it’s not even June. 😞

Eleanor & Park (2012) – Book Review

I finished reading (audiobook) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I was captivated by this YA novel from beginning to end. Set in Omaha, Nebraska, it’s about two high school students’ relationship. The year is 1986, which was the year I graduated, so the references to popular culture were familiar to me. I normally am put off by too many references in books, but I enjoyed the ones in Eleanor & Park. Some were pretty obscure, like the Prefab Sprout t-shirt towards the end of the book, which I really appreciated. I feel like only a certain 80s subculture, like the one my friends and I were part of, would recognize many of the references. But others, such as Totino’s Party Pizzas (we used to eat them all the time!) are common but add a lot of context to the times.

The love story is a simple one but the details and characters were very interesting. Eleanor is a misfit, Park is half-Asian, Eleanor has a large family with an abusive stepfather, while Park’s lives in a typical household. While it’s mainly a teen romance, subjects of bullying, domestic abuse, inter-racial relationships, and racism are also talked about, but not too deeply, which is kind of a shame and I think a little bit of a missed opportunity. However, the pace of the story moves along nicely and maybe it was just the right amount of lightly touching on those heavy subjects.

I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that I thought it was excellent and I (unlike many other readers) was satisfied. That final chapter brought a big smile to my face and a little tear to my eye. 😊 Give it a read if you haven’t already!

Note: Book cover design by Olga Grlic and illustration by Harriet Russell

******** SPOILER ALERT *********

About the ending… it reminded me of the ending to Monsters Inc. It’s that same feeling.

By the way, I made a little sketch of Eleanor wearing Park’s Prefab Sprout t-shirt::


Pizza Dinner

I’m not religious, but my wife must be the Goddess of Pizza! Three different kinds today: sliced pork, onion, and scallions; Margherita; and cured meat, goat cheese, and greens. All on a yummy crust! We have had a pizza stone for years, but Mariko got a pizza steel a last year and we’ve been using it for pizza (and also to regulate the temperature of the oven for baking). The crust is much better with the steel, I have to say. If you are serious about using your own dough, it is worth having! We bought this one, which is currently unavailable, but there are others just like it. And while you’re at it, buy a pizza spatula too! 🍕 Bon apetit

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Pork & Onion Pizza” Cedar Park, 2020
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2.8, 1/35 sec, ISO3200
“Margherita” Cedar Park, 2020
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2.8, 1/40 sec, ISO3200
“Greens on the Pizza” Cedar Park, 2020
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Fresh from the Oven” Cedar Park, 2020
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Making Pizza” Cedar Park, 2020

Stay-At-Home Grumble

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2.8, 1/40 sec, ISO3200
“Box Bed” Cedar Park, 2020

Working from home for the past two months hasn’t been too bad, but it seems like I live in two worlds now. There’s the stay-at-home mentality, in which life outside the door is filled with sickness, and we do most of our activities online. But when I venture out to pick up food, life seems like normal. The automobile traffic outside my neighborhood seems at pre-COVID-19 levels. Last weekend I visited the UPS store to drop off some returns, and although there were social distancing guides on the ground and signs on the tables, only one worker was wearing a mask. Outside the store, I saw people in swimsuits on their way to the lake, not wearing masks. It was concerning.

At the post office, however, everyone was wearing a mask and there was hand sanitizer for you to use. So, it’s not consistent. I’m erring on the side of caution, however, and wearing a mask. When I run, I have a mask in my running belt in case I need it, but I’m usually on the other side of the street of anyone I encounter. Earlier in the week, we had someone come to the house to service our air-conditioner, and I gave him a mask to wear. He said that some people prefer not to wear them, which I thought was not good. He was fine with wearing one though. But he sees so many strangers every day, I would think he’d want to wear his whenever he is in someone’s house.

I rescheduled my dental cleaning for two months out. I know they are taking precautions, and I want to support them, but if I can wait a bit, I will. I don’t know. It’s still a weird time, when people are relaxing their vigilance. I guess we’ll just have to give it more time and see how things progress. And try to keep it together!