It’s only fitting that when I’m back in the states most of my posts are about food, right?
I thought I would knock out a few days worth of posts by posting everything in one entry. And yes, it’s mostly just food. 😀
Day 1 at home: Ribs
While Korea has pork, they lack real barbecue. Real as in, “grow some hair on your chest and be a man” type of real. My dad has perfected a ribs recipe where you bake it first for an hour or two and then you barbecue it for another 20 minutes or so. It comes out fantastic.
Go Carts That Are…. Electric?
Same day, Andres my brother in law invited me to go indoor carting with him. I of course said yes. But not before I took a selfie while I was picking him up.
The place was pretty large as far as carting is concerned, and the carts were faster than I expected. They “feel” faster than they are. I did absolutely terrible as it was my first time, but between my first race and my second I gained almost 3 seconds so there’s room for improvement.
You Don’t Know Real Pancakes
Swedish pancakes are literally derived from a slice of heaven. Ordinary pancakes do not compare. IHop, Dennys? GET OUT. This is the good stuff- real, Swedish goodness.
Me N Eds- Who is Ed?
Central California is known for it’s pizza chain, Me n Eds. It doesn’t matter who Ed is, just that his pizza is amazing. Baked in a brick oven and thin crust goodness is the way it goes with Ed.
But seriously I grew up on this stuff, it’s like crack. It also helps that they are running a multi-year special where it’s only 10 bucks for a large pizza. It used to be $18. I don’t think it’ll go back to 18….
Beef- A.K.A. Man Food
Okay so stereotypes and sexism aside, Korea lacks real beef. They don’t really have very many cows in Korea. Not only are there no cows, but they import any other beef they have from like, Australia or something. Guess what costs a fortune in Australia? Literally everything. I invited my siblings over to my parents house and bought some beef. Tri tip in this instance.
Now let me express my displeasure with the sales staff (AKA check stand lady) at this particular establishment. Living in a small town, there’s really only one supermarket option. I have been coming here for years. People know me here. Sounds pretentious? It’s not, everyone likes knowing everyone and meddling in people’s business so I think I have room to say that I am recognized most of the time that I go in.
Well this particular sales associate (AKA check stand lady) proceeds to card me for buying Blue Moon (AKA beer that’s better than anything ending in a “light”) which I understand because let’s face it- I still look 12 and America is obsessed with carding people. I get carded for buying lotto tickets even, which doesn’t even make sense to me. If I’m underage, I CAN’T COLLECT THE PRIZE MONEY. WHAT IS THE POINT.
Anyway not to drag out the story, she looks at my ID for far too long and then tells me that California passed a law where the drinking age is now 25. She goes on to tell me that now she’s going to have to card everyone because she can usually “guess” when someone is 21 or older.
I respond with, “interesting…” I sense a lie is being told to me. This upsets me. She then says that it got voted on by “the government” and that it was going into law in August. She points out that people like myself who have been drinking for years will now not be able to. I respond with “good thing I don’t live in this country…” to which she replies “oh it’s just California as far as I know.” I said country, not county. Get it together lady!
Anyway fundamental flaws, such as the 21st amendment, the lack of news coverage, the fact that laws usually are put into effect in January NOT August, and sheer logistics aside, this lady was not budging from her stance. So I grudgingly bought my meat and beer and left. How upsetting.
I don’t know why it bothered me so much and I’m sure if any of my family is reading this they are rolling their eyes (I already beat the dead horse) but I think I finally realized why- people in the US are pretty ignorant.
Sorry for dragging it out, on to the beef.
Mmmm… Plenty of starch. I miss beef like this.
Sushi: From America
I love sushi. Which is why my siblings and I went to I Love Sushi, a sushi restaurant.
I especially like the american adaptation of sushi. Don’t get me wrong I love sashimi, but a nice sushi roll smothered in spicy mayo? Yum, sign me up!
Don’t forget to ask for the spicy mayo on the side. But seriously. Spicy mayo makes the world turn.
Ball Python. End of story.
Had enough with the food already? Well deal with it.
A relatively starch-less meal with beet soup as a side. Yes, beet soup. Like Dwight Shrute from The Office kind of beet. Notable meal accomplishments include blanched green beans bought from a Vietnamese dude at the farmers market and chicken barbecued on a rotisserie.
Fantasically Fake Chinese Food
As a disclaimer, I have had real chinese food. In fact I eat it all the time. This however is an adaptation of chinese food that I have been eating literally since I was born. It is THE BEST hole in the wall chinese food available. Remember how I said Me N Eds was like crack? Well this is heroin. I’m dead serious. Heroin.
And that actually came true- An hour later my girlfriend showed up 🙂
Go Carts… Again!
But first we went grocery shopping.
My favorite aspect of the central valley is the abundance of trucks, especially lifted ones. Mmmmm size comparison.
Then we went indoor carting!
I broke my first laptime by 4.5 seconds and was .7 seconds off from the leader. I’d say it was an improvement.
I completely spaced on taking pictures, I was distracted with talking. We had italian food.
The Real Reason Why I Came Home
While I tried to make the most out of my trip home, the real reason why I came was because my grandfather passed away. His health had been deteriorating for awhile and the last time I saw him back in March I was fearful it would be the last time I saw him, and unfortunately that ended up being true.
My grandfather is not related by blood, but he was my grandfather. He was the only grandfather figure I have ever had in my life, and I’m thankful I knew him for 15 years. He liked “cars” in the sense that he liked vehicles, which was something we shared together. In college I ended up using his Jeep for two years because he couldn’t drive anymore and my ’98 Jetta was garbage. Every time I visited he would ask about it and we would talk about it and he always wanted to make sure it was running ok. It only broke down on me once and that gravely concerned him. Typical grandpa mentality. 🙂
My grandpa probably didn’t like my new car all that much, he did come out and look at it once. He said it was nice, but he didn’t really like foreign cars that much. It’s ok grandpa, I understand. 🙂
In the summers when I was home every Friday I would get a half day. I would eat the heroin chinese food for lunch and then grab my grandpa a milkshake and take it to him. By that time he was living in a 24 hour nursing facility. He always complained about the lack of food he liked, which is basically just sweets. Anyway I would bring him a milkshake. What did he do? He drank it so fast I doubt he breathed while drinking it, and it’s like I would turn around and it was empty. He really, really like those!
My grandpa’s service was really touching and I am really glad I came home for it. Being an older gentleman a lot of his friends and family have passed on so it wasn’t a huge gathering, but the people who mattered were there.
Here are some photos from Saturday.
My uncle and aunt.
My grandmother, her brother, his son, my sister, and my grandmothers caretaker. Not in that order.
Waiting in line for fooood!
My mom, dad, and mom’s aunt.
My mom, aunt, and grandma 🙂
Family Dinner: Again
In my opinion, you can never have enough of these.
Plus, I’m not going to be back until Christmas so I wanted to see everyone one last time.
I guess it shows that my attention is always on food 😛 I was really happy to be able to barbecue again, I really hope I can find a barbecue here in Korea so I can cook again.
One Last Car Picture
Sunday was technically my last day in the states but I had to leave so early in the morning it didn’t really count.
My next post will be about my flight back, then it will all be about Korea again!