Today is Chuseok (추석), which is the traditional Korean harvest festival. But more on that later.
I need to take care of a few maintenance things first, and rather than stick them at the end (as I would normally do), I am dealing with them now, since I feel they need emphasizing.
First, I am planning on changing the appearance of the emoticons. I will be using TaniDaReal’s Foxy Mood Icon set. Here is what the readme says:
I hope you like the Foxy Mood Icon set. Feel free to use it as you wish. Giving credit is always welcome. Please upload the images to your own webspace to use them (please do not just link to my website). The pictures are transparent gif files that work on all backgrounds. Enjoy! ~ TaniDaReal (www.tanidareal.com)
So there is credit where credit is due for when the emoticon appearance change takes place.
Second, to those businesses or spammers who have posted comments that my on-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t that great: No duh! That’s not my goal. I’m naming pages with my own names rather than use the standard because I’m trying to fit a certain theme. If not many people read my blog, then that is fine (yes, it would be cool to have many readers, but that’s not my primary goal). I would rather spend my time and effort on creating worthwhile content than advertising and I don’t have a current need to pay anyone to advertise and optimize for me.
Third, I’ve dug out the tunnels to what should be the last of the main areas. Since some of you may be lost or confused, I’ll provide a guide.
- Fox’s Den = The home page (because a den is a fox’s home)
- Ramblings = The blog (because my blog is a collection of my ramblings)
- Scriptorium = Writing/art showcase (because the scriptorium is where monks copied books and illustrated manuscripts)
- Chapel Ruins = Bible study information page (because you study the Word in both)
- Scones & Tea = About me (because you might be served these if you sat down to get to know me in person)
- The Meadow = Links (because a meadow is filled with a variety of paths going many different places)
- Starwatching Rock = Contact Me (because of what my name means, this is where you are most likely to find me)
I hope that has provided enough clarity on the matter. If you think I need to provide this guide on a “static” page, then please comment on this post! And with that, I will get back to rambling on Pizza and Chuseok.
Last Friday I got to go with the primary students (aka elementary) on a field trip to a place that called itself the cheese school! I’ve been missing cheese (it’s not that common and also expensive here), so this was a joyous event for me. I took lots of pictures of the students having fun riding sleds down a sloped track, making pizza, watching rice become like popcorn, and stretching out mozzarella cheese. Since I’m not sure if I’m allowed to share these pictures on my own blog, I’ll just tell you to imagine a bunch of excited 1st through 6th graders doing all of those activities.
To help you out with picturing how we made pizza, imagine you are sitting at a long table. In front of you and two of your students is a tray with flour piled in the middle. Next to the tray is a container holding your toppings and on top of the container is a ball of dough. Your students first pick up the dough and smash it flat in the middle of the flour, making sure to get the flour on both sides. They take a rolling pin and roll it out into a smooth circle.
One of the staff takes one of the groups of students’ circle of dough and tosses it into the air, spinning it. Suddenly all of the students are calling out in Korean for the staff member to toss their dough next. Your students watch excitedly as their dough is tossed into the air and you are glad that they aren’t given a chance to try. The dough is returned to you stretched out, and you place it on a pizza pan that has just been provided for you. Your students roll the edges of the dough so that it is contained by the pan. They spread out the sauce. One of them insists that you take a turn spreading sauce and so you get around to helping.
The cheese comes next, and your students sprinkle it liberally over the pizza – it is the cheese school, after all. Then they add the rest of the toppings: pepperoni, bulgogi, onions, green peppers, olives, mushrooms, corn, and more cheese. You assist now and then, but let them do most of the work. The pizza is collected and sent off to be cooked. The staff take you to watch rice be “popped” in a pressure cooker (it tastes and looks sort of like the rice that make up the rice cakes that I think Quaker Oats makes) and Jegichagi (제기차기), a traditional Korean game that is sort of like hacky sack, but played with something that is more like a modified badminton shuttlecock.
Upon returning to where you made pizza, you discover your cooked pizza waiting for you to devour it along with spaghetti and a side of sweet pickles. Sweet pickles seem to be served with pizza as a side dish – when Eruanna and I went to a small pizza shop, they gave us a small package of sweet pickles. It’s sort of like going to pubs in Ireland and having potatoes in some form as a side to whatever you ordered, including lasagna.
We also got to help in the process of making mozzarella, which was entertaining. We had to put on two layers of gloves and then broke apart a solid block of mozzarella into a large bowl. That’s right, mozzarella has a less stretchy form! We added water to the bowl and then squished and kneaded the mozzarella into a gooey blob. This blob was then taken out of the bowl and stretched in multiple directions by all of us at the bowl. We repeated this stretching multiple times until the mozzarella was nice and stretchy. Each of us got to take home a container of mozzarella and I think it will be going into a homemade pizza…
As for Chuseok, Eruanna and I will be hosting a few of our fellow teachers for a potluck and a movie tonight, since none of us have family to go home to here in Korea. Chuseok is like Thanksgiving in the U.S. because, both are harvest celebrations of sorts, both involve traveling to be with family, and both involve eating a large meal!
The English church service Eruanna and I attended yesterday had a Chuseok feast for their foreign attendees and I got to eat many different delicious Korean foods, such as Songpyeon (송편) – a rice cake filled with some sort of paste or seeds. We played Jegichagi and another game, Yutnori (윷놀이). I had a lot of fun and now have something to practice Jegichagi with.
There’s no school tomorrow because of the holiday – they get three days off for Chuseok, which is rather nice. I hope all of you are having a wonderful day!
Blessings and Shalom!