Monday, April 11, 2005

postal scrotum: trees, biking, and mandu

CEarly writes in with two emails and some answers.

From the first email:

The trees outside your place are varieties of Chinese magnolia. You'll have noted that the white ones flower a bit before the pink ones do. They do well here in the US, too.

Later in that email he writes:

You ought to get a bike and crank up Namsan with it instead of walking. It's a lot more interesting than walking - especially that last grunt up to the base of the tower or coming up the backside the wrong way. I used to do 6 ascents on my road bike in about 2 hours on Saturdays, and then ride out to Pyongchondong to scarf up a plate of Gavin's sausages, to replace all those cals I'd just burned up.

I like biking, but have never biked in a big city and don't own a bike in Seoul. I'm not really interested in biking up mountains, anyway: I've always been more of a walker, though I love the Mount Vernon bike path near my home in Alexandria, Virginia.

Namsan gets tons of bikers, that's for sure. Sometimes they travel in little wolfpacks, a gaggle of wheels and helmets and grunts and Spandex. Very few of these bikers are female, I've noticed.

In a second email, CEarly offers a recipe for mandu skins:


1 1/2 cup Flour

1/2 tsp Salt

2 x Eggs

1 1/2 cup Water


1. Combine flour and salt. Beat eggs lightly and blend in.

2. Gradually add water, beating in one direction to make a thin smooth batter.

3. Lightly grease a small skillet, as in step 3 above.

4. Beat the batter again; then pour 2 tablespoonfuls into the skillet, tilting or rotating the pan so that the batter spreads thinly and evenly over the entire surface. (Pour any excess batter back into bowl at once to make the skin as thin as possible.)

5. When the dough shrinks away from the sides of the skillet, quickly pick it up (do not let it brown) and place on a tray. Cover with a damp towel.

6. Repeat process until dough is used up, lightly re-oiling the skillet each time. VARIATION: In step 1, add 1 tablespoon cornstarch to the flour and salt

(Took me about 30 secs to find this, searching on Google, using "eggroll skin recipe")

What I find interesting about this recipe is that the skins are actually cooked. That's unexpected. I would have thought that the skins would be "raw," as they seem to be in the pre-packaged variety you can buy at the store.


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