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Memorial Day Eats

On this past super hot memorial day, I went for a cookout at M’s mom’s house in Newtown Square. Wow, I hadn’t been there for such a long time. I have fond memories of playing in my “rock” band in high school and ruining their deck. Ah, teenage good times. Speaking of good times, we thoroughly enjoyed these mojitos, made with mint fresh from their garden.
P manned the grill and cooked up burgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs galore.
Somehow, it almost turned out to be a salad party. We had a multitude of bean, veggie, chicken, and potato salads. Also, one of the guests brought some deviled eggs, complete in deviled egg trays. Gadgets never fail to impress me. And this jar of pickles nearly killed us. P had stuck a bunch of scotch bonnets into this jar and did not warn anyone. So when you bit into this innocuous looking pickle, it lit your mouth on fire. I almost cried.
Dessert was just as fun. We had some strawberry shortcake with a homemade pound bundt cake that was super dense and amazing. There were brownies that I absolutely loved, even though they were out of a box. There were even two homemade ice creams. Plus, they have a kick ass back yard and deck and it was just lovely being out, even though it was beyond hot!

1st Birthday Hoopla

The 1st birthday for a korean baby is a big deal. I mean it’s a huge deal. It’s bigger than what a sweet 16 would be, what turning 21 would be. It’s a true celebration and people tend to go all out and fest. My nephew just turned 1 and his mom went absolutely bonkers preparing for the little kid party of the century. It was a rainbow theme and there were decorations galore. It’s amazing just how many different ways to decorate people can come up with. The internet is apparently a great source for all kinds of random party stuff.
One of the traditional things you have to do with the baby is a fortune telling ritual where the baby picks what career he/she will end up having. A bunch of objects that represent things like athlete, lawyer, entertainer, etc. are laid out and the baby is free to pick an object of their choosing. This signifies what they will be in the future. It’s corny but it’s fun to see. Baby E picked entertainer. Somehow, I don’t see this happening.
My mom did not feel like cooking, and who really wants to cook a bunch of food by herself for 20 people, so instead, we got catered food from Kobawoo in Elkins Park. And let me tell you, it was all good. Here is the galbijim.
Pigs feet! I did not partake in this. But apparently, it was quite good.
Here is some marinated spicy squid and a bunch of banchan.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a party without a bunch of jeons. There was a spicy kimchi one, a fish one, and a plain old chive one. I particularly dug the kimchi one.
Japchae! Have you ever been to a korean party of some kind and not had japchae? And here’s some cucumber kimchi.
Big hunks of fish. There was so much food in my mom’s house it was ridiculous. All I kept doing was encouraging people to eat and take food home.
But aside from the proper dinner food, there were plenty of other foods and edible decorations. There was a giant selection of different kinds of dduk, korean style rice cakes. These thoroughly took me back to the motherland. I don’t eat dduk often, but when I have it, and when it’s good and fresh, I really enjoy it. See those little decorations with the beans? My sister-in-law made those, by hand, bean by freakin bean! I was impressed.
Here’s some more dduk, a different kind, as well as a plethora of fruits. I think they each probably symbolize something, but really, they’re also just colorful. This particular kind of dduk was actually my favorite.
This was the first of the two birthday cakes. This was a korean style cake made out of dduk. It’s super cute, huh? And those watermelons? Courtesy of yours truly. My first watermelon art, but I think they turned out pretty well.
The piece de resistance though, was the regular birthday cake. Courtesy of the baking artists at Night Kitchen bakery, this super adorable cake was really the hit of the party. They did an amazing job following my slapdash mock-up of what we wanted. I’d never had a fondant cake before so I really didn’t know what to expect. Everyone I had talked to before said that they made really tasty cakes. It was a vanilla cake with lemon curd, and indeed, it tasted great! It was super moist and there was a thin layer of cream in between the cake and the fondant, so even with the odd tasting fondant (not odd in a bad way, just odd) the whole thing was great. It was a little bit sad hacking into this thing that was so super cute, but everyone enjoyed it. Sure, the baby didn’t get to eat this cake nor will he remember it, but I think everyone else will. Ok kiddo, we’ll see you at your next birthday!

Fun With Lore’s Chocolate

I got invited to attend a sampling of a birthday party at Lore’s Chocolates. It’s designed for kids, so I brought Eve along. She loves her some chocolate so I thought she would be a perfect fit.
They have a shop on the ground floor and the “factory” part is downstairs. In this little factory party, kids get to make their own chocolate! There are vats of milk, dark, and white chocolate ready to be dipped, molded, and formed…You get to make some nonpareils. I always thought that the sprinkles were laid on top of the chocolate. Nope! The sprinkles are on the bottom and the chocolate is plopped on top. Who knew? Not this idiot!
Here’s Eve making some chocolate flower lollipops with milk and dark chocolate.
Let’s move on and get our I Love Lucy on! So this is a magical conveyor belt of chocolate… with chocolate on the bottom and chocolate flowing down from the top. You get a little box of different things to cover with chocolate, like marshmallows, animal crackers, and pretzels.
You can’t really tell but there’s chocolate on the bottom now!
After they get covered on top, you can put little designs on them. That’s where the swirls come from! Then they get cooled a bit more and move further down the conveyor belt until they’re ready to pack and eat! And you get to take home everything you make!

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