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I could unravel a glittering scene of  heavy platters of amuse-bouche and Hugh Jackman to sweep me off my feet with a midnight kiss but no such things happened.  Rather, I received an unsolicited love confession, a spilled gin and tonic on my shoe, and another “keen observer of the human spirit” trying to read my palm.  I think that just being surrounded by noise and liquid courage does not a splendid night make.  Despite the earnest coaxing of my fellow comrades to laugh-jump-play, I couldn’t help but notice the suffocating loneliness tucked here and there ever so conspicuously (or at least to me).  As we counted down, which in itself took me by surprise, (hey, where did my fried pickles go?)  I watched from my peripheral, a silent man, seated at a table alone, cradling his glass, sucking away any support it might lend him.  Not even a brow arched as the ball dropped and sticky bodies clumped with rainbow glitter shot out and clung to each other.  As I was pulled in for a round of hugs, he must have quietly padded off and poof!  he was gone like 2012.

This is how I spent my first days of 2013.  Cookies.  Cookies take priority.

Pfeffernüsse, one of my favorite Holiday cookies, left over from Christmas, and classic chocolate chip (I told baby brother I’d bake him anything he wanted, and that’s what he wanted).

Re-reading one of my favorites + fire.  Could there be anything nicer?

Well, maybe spending time with Mama.

She and I made an Olympic pool sized vat of Kimchi (ok, so I exaggerate) but if you’ve ever had the privilege of witnessing this process, you know that it’s a rather long time that you’re bonding with the almost comically large tubs of  Napa cabbage, cajoling it into what will become the soul of Korean food.  Mama asking me to roll up her sleeves that no matter what, slip back down, ruby stained hands, the thick pungent smell of brine shrimp and fish sauce hanging in the air, dots and slashes of water sprinkled everywhere (and the beautiful over all mess that Kimchi produces)…and finally, the part where Mama reaches in to gather a pocket of leaves folded over to allow me to taste our creation…these are all such fond memories that lay firm in my head.  Food always has the magical ability to snap you back to a warm and delicious memory whether it be a decade ago or, yesterday

Step 4 is important in order to maintain your strength, haha.

…and no worries, here is the classic Kimchi recipe as well as recipes for quick Kimchi (the classic Kimchi tastes better but the quick one does in a pinch), and recipes to make things with your homemade Kimchi: Kimchi braised Chicken, Kimchi Fried Rice, Kimchi Pancakes, Kimchi/Sausage Potstickers, and Kimchi Soba Noodles.  If you’re interested in another kind of Kimchi, try my Radish Kimchi, too!

Mama always says a Korean person can’t live without their Kimchi (maybe that’s what lonely guy is missing in his life)!

….Maybe Kimchi is love.

I digress.

Happy New Year!

Maybe 2013 be as rich and spicy as your Kimchi!!


Your Squishy Monster ^.~

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