S’mores in Korea

While I was at Costco last month I found that they sold large bags of marshmallows! I normally don’t like them, but it had been a long time, and I wanted to try s’mores again. Not only did I want to try them, but I wanted to share them!


The only problem was that Graham Crackers are a bit difficult to find here.  I made do (wonderfully) with a Korean digestive cookie (Diget) that already had a coating of chocolate on one side. Using the convenient microwave method, I had s’mores ready in seconds. 20131029-211846.jpg

I also have a portable gas range that I tried roasting marshmallows on, and that worked pretty well too.  So if you can manage to find marshmallows, the rest of your s’more journey is easy!

Also, since marshmallows go stale, I decided to use them as rewards for my students, they love them!

Traffic collisions in Korea

As I was walking home one night I saw what has become a somewhat common scene; two tow trucks racing down the road. Traffic collisions happen in every country, but the response to these collisions certainly varies. In Korea, tow trucks drive insanely fast to reach the collision site first. I think the people involved in the collision have a chance to figure out different rates, but the first truck there is probably the most likely to get the job.

So this night, for example, I saw these two tow trucks racing above the speed limit down the road with their lights flashing. About 20 seconds later I saw another tow truck driving above the speed limit down the same road. In another 30 seconds, yet another tow truck drives down the same road. About one minute after all of these trucks have driven past, I see more flashing lights. These lights belonged to an ambulance that was driving within the speed limit. After another 30 seconds I see a police car driving at about the same speed with its lights on.

So, as long as you’re not seriously injured, you should have no worries with the logistics of the aftermath of a collision in Korea.

As I was walking further, one of the same tow trucks sped down the road in the opposite direction.

Ginseng water (인삼물)

This weekend I went out to the traditional market and I bought bought some fresh ginseng (인삼).  I had heard about some of the benefits from eating and drinking it, and I thought I would give it a try.  20131006-134910.jpg

This ginseng (인삼) cost 1,4000 won for 300 grams.  Converted to US currency and measurements, that is about $14 for 2/3 pound.20131006-134922.jpg

When you buy fresh ginseng, it comes with the dirt still on it.  Ginseng (인삼) is a root after all. 20131006-134934.jpg

So the first step in using ginseng is washing it.  You can either cut off the little bits and wash them separately, or leave them on.  The important thing is to get rid of the dirt.  20131006-134946.jpg

What a difference! 20131006-134959.jpg

Next, add the roots to water; one liter of water per root is a good rule of thumb.20131006-135010.jpg

Turn the heat on and wait for it to boil. 20131006-135021.jpg

Once it boils, put a timer on for 30 minutes.20131006-135032.jpg

Turn the heat down to half.20131006-135046.jpgThe water may still boil; that is ok.


After the timer goes off, turn the heat down to about 1/4.20131006-135113.jpg

Set the timer for another 30 minutes20131006-135128.jpg

When the timer goes off, remove the ginseng and set it out to dry.  You can use it a total of 2-3 times (1 or 2 more times).20131006-135139.jpg

And you are done! pour a cup of tea and add honey if you like.20131006-135149.jpgAs for the left overs, you can store them in bottles and put them in the fridge.  You can also eat the ginseng once you have used it for the last time.

This can be taken hot or cold and can be used any time in place of regular water. To make a stronger drink, add more roots or subtract water at the beginning.