Musings: Lettuce Champion, Random Links, and the Contemplation Autumn Brings...

Survivor: Lettuce Edition

Those blessed with a good memory might recall a certain individual who had publicly beamed about his new spread of lettuce seeds he had sown over the summer as he dreamed about all the wonderful wraps, salads, and whatnot he would make from the results. But after that one post nary a mention or a word on said lettuce crop was made.

Remember these guys?

As further proof that I wasn't blessed with a green thumb, the long story short is that my lettuce growing experiment was an utter failure. They actually sprouted for the first week and I attended to them as a doting father would. But either the lil guys were no match for the environment they were in or I did something wrong and I ended up being a mass lettuce-ider. I'm sad to say I think it's the latter. Even when I gave them water the sprouts didn't seem to hold up well against the weight of the water droplets and they all eventually disappeared back into the dirt and their unfortunate souls gone off to salad heaven.

So there sat my box of dirt which I left outside my new house after moving in July when a miracle occurred- a sprout emerged once more. I must admit that initially I ignored the little guy as I was still stinging from my loss and resigned to the fact that feelings and attachment to this new survivor would only lead to more heartache.

But perhaps "tough love" does really bring about results as the little fella grew,... and thickened... and even flourished. And now I'm actually the proud father of a lettuce that I grew from seed... even if it was only one lettuce that made it out of some 15-20 seeds ㅡㅡ;. Now the only problem is that I gotta eat the little lettuce-that-could before the frosty winter winds gets to it first... how cruel the circle of life can be.

Anyways, perhaps there's still hope in me yet to retire as a farmer in the fields of Jeju somewhere one day. But for now, this little experiment has given me renewed vigor to try my hand at something again next year! So if you've got any tips for veggie/produce growin, feel free to share!

Random Links

Did you know ketchup traces its origins to China?

I love "Portlandia" and of course I have a bias towards the city since I grew up there so this is perfect- 8 Portland dishes to spoof on Portlandia.

Korean food growing in popularity in India

If you know the Korean food show, "Shik Shin Road (식신로드)" then you know they review the places they hit up with a rating of 1-5 spoons. This is a collection of all the spots that were awarded a unanimous 5 spoons from all those appearing. Link is in Korean.

Because I'm a slow cooker fan: 27 low carb dishes to make in a slow cooker.

Did you know true sushi eaters eschew chopsticks and use their hands? Oh, and asking for more wasabi is a no-no. How to eat sushi like a pro

For my American friends- copy cat recipes of your favorite chain dishes.

All about the healthy benefits of capsaicin from chili peppers. Definitely getting plenty of capsaicin  in Korea!

Some interesting things you can do with leftover coffee grounds.

29 classic vegetarian dishes. Been trying to cut down on red meat especially.

All about the prized Japanese Wagyu beef

Have you ever wondered what "Reserve" wine is? Well, wonder no more...

The secret to making good bread is not so much the recipe but knowing and watching the dough...

Lotte eyes the wine market while Shinsegae goes after beer...

Salsas here, salsas there, I love me some glorious salsas...

From hummus in Israel/Lebanon to yee sang/yusheng in Malaysia/Singapore, 7 of the world's fiercest food feuds...

In case you didn't see it before, Korean college students make a raft out of bags of potato chips and cross the Han River to show how manufacturers are increasing the input of nitrogen (to prevent chips from being crushed) and decreasing the amount of actual food inside...

18 airline meals from around the world...

Came across this by accident but fascinating- how to farm and grow your own mushrooms using a 5 gallon drum...

10 foods that help burn calories

How snacking habits are changing around the world...

As further proof Starbucks is just about everywhere, did you know even the CIA has a secret Starbucks?

Autumn and life.

Been delayed again with the busy-ness of things again- wrapping up projects, trying to stay warm from the plummeting temperatures, and also meeting up with a lot of friends in town. Coincidentally, October seems to have been friends-in-town month as a good 7-8 buddies have swung by or currently are in town.

Anyways, despite the chilly weather, the fact it's autumn- my favorite season- and that I'm spending time with some great people is really putting a bounce in my steps these days. In fact, I think I'm more happier and content with life lately than I've been all year long. 2014 has been an odd, transitory year in many ways and for someone like me who prefers stability, living an oft volatile life where one week can be so different from the next has been taxing at times.

But just as autumn itself is a transitory season- where summer's grasp wanes and winter's might peeks through the veils of autumn- I'm learning you can only appreciate the transition as a whole when you look at its natural progression. I'm still coming to terms with how to process 2014 as a year which seems both long and short, boring and exciting. However, a transient season such as autumn teaches you to appreciate the natural flow of life as ephemeral and I'm beginning to understand it often requires a step back to examine the entire progression that you can enjoy the fleeting present.

In any case, if you too have been feeling a bit glum or in the doldrums lately try and step back to see the big picture. You'll see there's a lot of hidden beauty in the details of everything- the wind, the leaves, the brisk air...

With that, here's a few pictures I took up in Haneul Park during the reeds festival a few weeks ago :)

Regular updates to hopefully come again starting this week... :)