Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Food bloggist doing her part to save the earth

I watched the Inconvenient Truth By Al Gore and was deeply disturbed by the facts he mentioned about global warming.

As a citizen of planet earth, I have a responsibility to spread the words to fight global warming. During the last few days, I immersed myself in all the global warming sites. I wanted to find out as much as I could to make up for my ignorance for my past 20 years. Global warming has been mentioned over and over again for decades, not a new term coined over the last few years. Yet no one really listens or cares. I care now. I hope it is not too late to start changing my habits and to inspire anyone I know to change their view about global warming.
Steps I have taken:

I have joined the march to stop global warming. You can join too!

Stop Global Warming

I have emailed everyone I know to take actions against global warming and I posted banners on my blog. Everyone living on planet Earth needs to be educated about global warming and it is true.

Cut down on electricity, water and heating: It's winter in Seoul now, my appartment is usually around 19 degrees celsius. I would put on more sweater and thicker socks or cover myself in blanket. I would stop heating my apartment unless it gets unbearably cold.

I am using less water to brush my teeth.

I am trying to cut down on kitchen paper towels, instead I am using a dish sponge and kitchen cloth towels to wipe up spills or to mess.

I am already recycling most of my garbage given that South Korea is very strict on recycling, all garbage needs to be separated: food trash, paper, plastic, glass, glass. How spoilt and selfish I was to complain about how the Korean government is making lives more difficult for its residents. I am willing to suffer a little for a good cause.

I turn off my computer when I am not using it. I am already using a energy efficient PC. My phone charger and hair dryer are unplugged when not in use.

I turn off the lights when not in use.

I am using a drying rack to dry my clothes even though clothes dry slower in winter. I shall not be attempted to use the electric dryer unless I have bulky items like bed comforter.

I bring reusable bags when I go shopping. Sometimes I forget, but I will try harder to remember it.

I am taking public transport - bus and subway.

I am going to have meat only once a week. I will go green on my diet - more veggies. ( Do you know cows are one of the greatest methane emitters, methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas?)

I shall plant more herbs and even bigger houseplants in my apartment.

I hope to change the view of many Americans regarding global warming. We must pressure George Bush and his adminstation to sign the Kyoto Protocol. I hope all countries can speed up their actions to reduce emission carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases. Economy is not everything. Climatic change will continue to do irreversible damages at an accelerating rate. Glaciers are disappearing, some wildlives will be driven into extinction, eg polar bears, birds, fishes. Global warming is man-made and we must undo it.

Monday, January 15, 2007

New Year's Eve Dinner

New Year's Eve
Originally uploaded by icecat_seoul.
A great 7-course dinner at The Bistro, Novotel, at 88,000won each. Best of all, it was a quiet night for a New Year's Eve. We were the only ones there, obviously with all the other 10-20 tables, all candles lit, clean and empty at 9pm.
I wondered what happened to all those food prepped for this mega event: mushroom and leek mousse, roasted chestnut soup, trios surprise(a raw oyster topped with goat cheese mousse, foie gras terrine, minced fresh crab cakes), white wine peach granita, the steamed veggies for the main course beef medallion topped with grilled squab and pan seared foie gras and lastly, the dessert and petits fours- all of which prepared in advance to cope the big audience expected to come and dine on this special day.
Sitting there at a table decorated artistically with salt-like confetti, just like snow flakes on the background, white plates and silver ware scattered on the snow, I thought what was the food cost of an even like this. I couldn't help thinking about it since I was taught to reduce food cost at the French bakery I used to work in. It's one of the first thing you learnt in the food industry.
No doubt it seemed like an unexciting night for a New Year's Eve, it was a surprise haven for us to get away from the usual crowdedness of Seoul.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Enter The Meatrix

Check this out: http://www.themeatrix.com/ .

I won't divulge any details of the movies but they are rather fun, educational and enlightening. Ooommm.....

There are 2 1/2 videos. Make sure you check all out.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Chinese dessert soup from Singapore

Last winter when my relatives visited me in Seoul, I prepared Pulut Hitam- also known as Orbeebay in Singapore- to welcome them. It was a treat as well for me. I miss the aroma and texture of the sweet black gluey-looking soup. On the contrary, during my childhood, I hated it. Too bland, too heavy. I would rather have some icecream back then. Or even an Ice KaChang, an ice shaving dessert with red, green and brown syrup, topped with red sweetened beans and condensed milk. Great for the 360 days of hot weather in Singapore.

Everyone changes their taste every now and then. So have I. Possibly being homesick plays a major role in my change of taste. I can't think of any other reasons.

Pulut Hitam is actually a piping hot sweet soupy dessert, made with black glutinous rice, water, palm sugar and coconut milk. It is sold in the food market in Singapore usually for less than 1 usd a bowl enough to keep your stomach full for an hour or 2 since it is extremely filling. It can be eaten any time of the day.

Pulut Hitam Recipe ( Sweet black glutinous rice soup)

  • 1 cup of black glutinous rice( rinse and soak overnight with enough water to cover completely);
  • 1 litre of water.
  • 2 pandan leaves, knotted (Optional- it is not easily found outside SE Asia) ;
  • 100g Palm sugar( usually comes in compact form, available in asian supermarket). If it is not available, use white sugar as substitute;
  • 4 tablespoon Corn flour, mixed with 4 tablespoon of water to a smooth consisitency;
  • 1 can of Coconut milk.

Put the black glutinous rice and 10 cups of water into a pot big enough to hold twice the volume of the content. Bring the pot into a boil and simmer it uncovered for 40 mins or until the rice is soft. (Note: Check on the soup during this period of time to make sure the soup doesn't get dry, add more water to the rice if necessary.)

Break the palm sugar into smaller pieces and add it in the soup. Add pandan leaves. Stir the soup and let it simmer for another 10 mins.

Remove the pandan leaves.

Add the corn flour mixture to the soup and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil. It will be ready.( If the soup is too liquid, more corn flour-water mixture can be added to it to make it thicker. )

To serve, spoon the soup into bowls and drizzle 1-2 tablespoon of coconut milk on the soup. Serve hot.