Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Gassiest Month Is Yet to Come

This article is from the February issue of Daegu Compass.

I just got my January gas bill: a whopping 47 bucks.  Not entirely unreasonable considering that some people spend double that per month on phone bills, but then again, it’s just slightly less than what I spent in total from May through December.  Not to mention that last year I apparently used twice as much gas in February as in January, meaning that next month I may have to fork over 100 bucks.  That’s five percent of my salary, or the equivalent of 20 meals out at my favorite restaurant.  I’ve been wracking my brain, and my friends’, for ways to avoid such a catastrophe.  Here’s what we’ve come up with:

1    -  Window blockers.    Everyone knows better than to leave windows open, but sometimes even double-paned windows that are locked tight still let in a bit of a breeze.  If this is the case in your place, and if you’ve got access to the area outside your window, consider putting up one of these plastic sheets that keep the cold out and the heat in.  You can buy them at HomePlus (usually around the automotive section), and all they take to install is some tape and a hairdryer.  You’ll feel the difference immediately.

              (also keeps pesky thieves out)

     -  Limit the area you heat.  If you live in a studio, lucky you, you can ignore this one, but if you’ve got spare rooms, go have a look at your boiler. You can remove the metal case covering the pipes that come out of the bottom, fiddle with some valves, and turn off the heating to the rooms you don’t use. It may take you a few tries to figure out exactly what’s what, but a cold shower or two never hurt anyone, right?

1) get rid of this sheath guy

2)  ascertain the proper valve, perhaps making reference to:

From 12 o'clock, counterclockwise:
드레인 = drain
오버풀로우 = overflow
난방필터 = heating filter
난방환수 = something about hot water circulation
냉수입구 = cold water entrance
온수출수 = hot water exit (for faucets, shower, etc)
난방출수 = hot water exit (for floor heating)
(this is the one you'll most likely need to fiddle with)
가스입고 = gas entrance

4) close. 

5) daydream about ways to spend all the money you've just started saving

3    -   Speaking of which, if you’re daring enough, incorporate more cold into your shower.  Your hair and head aren’t all that sensitive, so it’s definitely possible to do your shampoos cold, provided you contort your body just-so and avoid getting it wet. 

4    -  Get low, go local.  Forget couches, beds, and dining room tables.  Eat, sleep, and play on the floor, closest to the source of the heat. 

      -  Turn down the temperature.  This should be a no-brainer, but just in case: have a look at what you’re wearing .  If you’re in your underwear, something’s wrong.  High temperature differentials make the outside feel colder, and also make you more likely to catch colds.  20C (68F) is the suggested indoor winter temperature in many parts, but I’ve found that guests don’t start complaining until about 17C (63F), and even as low as 13C (55F) is bearable for someone as stingy and environ-mental  as myself.

      -  Layer up!  Again, common sense, but sometimes the convenience of pushing the “up” button a few times makes us forget that it’s just as easy to put on another pair of socks.   Or two.  I recently discovered that it’s entirely possible to wear two hoodies simultaneously, and have even received a few compliments on the look.  (Admittedly, that may say more about my usual attire than about anything else.)  Long undies, parkas, and gloves aren’t only for the slopes. 

      -   Eat hot food.  If you consider yourself culilnarily adventurous, take the opportunity to try your hand at porridges, roasted or steamed veggies, soups, and stews.

There are surely a ton of other strategies out there – if you’ve got any to share, don’t hesitate to drop a comment or visit the the Daegu Green LivingFacebook group.

Stay warm!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

2012's First Ggureomi

I was originally slated to get a delivery right around Christmas time, but due to some travel plans, I asked Heuksalim to push my delivery back about two weeks.  I returned home to an empty fridge on Wednesday, and the next day at noon my first Ggureomi of 2012 arrived!  In it were:

10 Antiobiotic-free, free range, fertilized eggs (무항생제 방사유정란)
1 Pack of additive-free, silken tofu. (소포제, 유화제, 무첨가 순두부)
1 Pack of organic giant green onions. (유기농 파)
1 Pack of organic celery (유기농 샐러리)
1 Pack of organic carrots (유기농 당근)
1 Pack of pesticide-free Shepherd's Purse (무농약 냉이)
1 Organic behemoth radish (유기농 무)
1 Pack of domestic beef bone broth (한우사골 곰국)

In just a week or two, I managed to put nearly everything to excellent use.

No sweat potluck prep. 

Simple vegetable roast.  Chop up celery, carrots, and potatoes; add oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings of choice; drop into a casserole dish with a bit of vegetable stock at the bottom to prevent stuff from burning; let everything roast and steam and swelter in the oven for an hour or so.  At the end, everything is nice and soft, and the flavors have blended beautifully.

Looks/smells like a chaalenge!

The Shepherd's Purse, or 냉이 (Naeng-i) in Korean, required me to practice a new cooking method.  In Korean it's called 무침 (Mu-chim), but there's no real appropriate translation in English. I like to think of it as high-class squishing.

You can make 무침 with just about any kind of vegetable.  Onion and cucumber 무침 is pretty common, as are radish 무침, cabbage 무침, lettuce 무침, bracken fern root 무침, bellflower root 무침,  spinach 무침, and other random green 무침 (this is the category the Shepherd's Purse falls into).  No matter what the vegetable, all you need to do to make 무침 is add some oil (sesame  or perilla), some seasononigs (red pepper powder, perilla powder, garlic, sesame seeds, red pepper paste, vinegar, or fermented soybean paste). Then, you use one hand to hold the bowl and one hand to squish everything together, crushing the vegetables in just the right way so as to open their little pores and smush all the flavors in.  It sounds a little brutal, but it's a lot of fun and pretty easy.

The Shepherd's Purse has a strong scent and taste, grassy and at the same time sweet, so it doesn't need much in terms of flavoring.  I rinsed it thoroughly using a multi-bowl system (gotta be careful with root plants), blanched it for about a minute, took it out and ran it under cold water, squeezed it try, and then made 무침 with two different types of seasonings, just to see how it would turn out. The first was traditional: perilla oil and garlic, with just a sprinkle of salt. It turned out really well, with the bite of the garlic enhancing the softer bitterness of the root.  The second method was just a stab in the dark, following my own obsessions: periilla oil and perilla powder.  Unfortunately, the creamy/sweet of the powder didn't quite match up with the grassy qualities of the Shepherd's Purse, so I don't think I'll be reusing that recipe.  Unless I'm out of garlic.

This is what it looks like when it's done and placed on a friend's nice china.

Artsy shot!

Incorporated into a "I guess I can no longer call myself a vegan" breakfast.

Unpictured bonus: Don't throw away the water that you use to steam the sweet potatoes!  Just drink it straight, it's nice and...sweet.  Surprise.  Also, don't throw away the water you use to blanch the Shepherd's purse.  It's a deep green, full of good stuff, and tastes like an all-natural Powerade.  Permission granted to throw away water used from poaching eggs.  

As for the Behemoth Radish / 무 / Mu, which looks like this, 

I had tried a 무침 before with red pepper and vinegar and it didn't turn out so hot.  Actually, I don't really like the flavor of raw Behemoth Radish, it tastes like I'm going to get a headache, if that makes any sense to you.  So, I decided to mask the flavor a bit by cooking it instead.  Slice it into thin strips, like Q-tip (crap, I forget what the English English speakers among us call these...) size, then sautee in perilla oil for a bit. Make sure to cook the BRs thoroughly, adding a bit of water to the pan if the oil all runs out. When most of it has boiled off, add a little salt or miscellaneous vegetable spices, some perilla powder, and mix it all up. Congratulations, you've just made 무들깨볶음 (Mu deulkkae bokk-eum, stirfried radish with perilla powder), which is a real side dish, not one I made up on my own.  The mellow radish serves as a nice vessel for the simple richness of the perilla. 

For a slightly healthier, more eco-friendly meal, you can also do this recipe without the oil.  Instead of frying the radishes, just steam them with a little bit of water in the pan from the beginning of the process, until they get slightly soft.  Pour off any excess water then continue with the seasoning.

Also, I can't help but add, Behemomth Radishes are pretty awesome, environmentally speaking.  They grow late into the winter when other sissy crops have all given up the ghost; they're super-cheap; and really filling too.  They may not be the most appetizing or appealing monstrous root crop, but they're definitely worth learning to cook with.  

Finally, I made some spicy tofu soups (순두부 찌개) out of 
-Tofu and green onions from this month's Ggureomi
-Organic sweet potatoes, baby pumpkins, carrots, and  red pepper paste from Woori Coop down the street 
-Red pepper powder I've been chipping away at since one of my summer Ggureomis
-Soup soy sauce (국간장) and red pepper seed oil (고추씨 기름, sooo hot).
-You can also drop in an egg near the end and stir it up, if you'd like.  

Awesome steamy, spicy vegan (just leave out that last egg) breakfast for winter mornings, and a great match for the softer flavors of the Behmoth Radish Perilla Stirfry.  

Thanks as always to Heuksalim and the farmers they represent for sending me all this fresh, local, organic, safe, healthy, delicious produce.  And for encouraging me to develop my cooking creativity and push my kitchen skills to the next level.  

If you happen to be interested in giving Heuksalim's Ggureomi a shot, follow the tag link to other Ggureomi posts to see more details, or email [noksaeksari (at) blogspot. (dot) com] for information on how to sign up. It's cheap, easy, fun, and fulfilling!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Eco-Film Night: The Linguists

Thanks to winter vacation and loads of spare time, DGL is running two film nights this month!  The last one, Go Further, was a smashing success, with several people contributing to the event and nearly forty in attendance. Moreover, the film - in particular, Steve's constant good-natured chorus of "Pus n blood, pus n blood" -  encouraged several people to try life without milk for a while. Like Woody Harrelson says to that English girl in the movie: if it makes difference to even one person, it was worth it.

The next film, to be shown at around 6PM on Sunday, January 29th at Buy the Book is 2008's The Linguists.  Here's the official word:

"Scientists estimate that of 7,000 languages in the world, half will be gone by the end of this century. On average, one language disappears every two weeks."

THE LINGUISTS is a hilarious and poignant chronicle of two scientists - David Harrison and Gregory Anderson - racing to document languages on the verge of extinction. In Siberia, India, and Bolivia, the linguists confront head-on the very forces silencing languages: racism, humiliation, and violent economic unrest.  David and Greg's journey takes them deep into the heart of the cultures, knowledge, and communities at risk when a language dies."

THE LINGUISTS world premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The only film funded by the National Science Foundation ever at Sundance, THE LINGUISTS has since screened at more than forty festivals worldwide."

In addition, we'll be showing a short speech by Heuksalim Chairman Lee Tae-geun called "Organic Agriculture's Joyful Revolution" from the Korean "15 Minutes to Change the World" conference. Listen as the man behind DGL's beloved Ggureomi CSA delivery service shares his thoughts on Korea's agricultural predicaments and explains what his organization is doing about them.

The Korean speech will have English subtitles and the (mostly) English movie will have Korean ones!
한국어로 된 발표는 영어 자막이 있을 거고, (대부분) 영어로 된 영황는 한글 자막이 있을 겁니다!

And, as always, the event is open to one and all, free of charge.  Come early and enjoy a drink, snack, or meal off Buy the Book's healthy menu, or come out afterwards for a group meal.  Hope to see you there!

What:  The Linguists
When:  Sunday, January 29, 6PM
Where: Buy the Book Cafe', Downtown Daegu, 
Mr. Pizza Building, 4th Floor
How much: Free!

겨울 방학과 여가 덕에 녹색살이 대구가 이 번 달에 두 편의 영화를 상영하게 되었습니다. 지난 영화 ”Go Further”는 여러분들의 기여와 거의 40여명의 관객동원으로 기막힌 성공을 거두었습니다. 더욱이, 이 영화에서 스티브의 끊임없는 자연의 합창인 “고름과 피, 고름과 피”는 여러 사람들이 한동안 우유를 마시지 않고 생활을 해보겠다는 동기를 부여했습니다. 우디헤럴슨이 영화에서 영국인 여학생에게 말했듯이: 단 한 사람이라도 변하게 할 수 있다면 그것으로 의미가 있다.

1월 29일 저녁 6:00 경 Buy the Book에서 상영할 다음 영화는 2008년에 개봉한 “The Linguists 언어학자” 입니다. 여기 공식적인 글을 소개합니다. 

“과학자들은 세계에 7000여개에 달하는 언어가 있음으로 추정한다. 그 중 반은 이 세기 말에 사라지게 될 것이라고 한다. 평균적으로 2주마다 한 개의 언어가 사라진다는 것이다.”

영화 The Lingusits는 막 사라지게 될 언어들을 문서화하는데 다급한 데이비드 해리슨과 그래고리 앤덜스 이 두 과학자들의 통렬하고 재미있는 연대기입니다. 시베리아, 인도, 볼리비아에서 이 두 언어학자는 침묵의 언어인 인종차별, 굴욕, 잔인한 경제적 불안에 강경하게 대응합니다.  
데이비드와 그레그의 여정은 언어가 사라질 위기에 있는 문화, 지식과 공동체 속으로 깊이 들어갑니다. 

The Linguists는 2008년 썬 댄스 영화제에서 세계에 개봉되었습니다. 썬 댄스에서는 유래 없는 내셔널 과학 재단에서 지원을 받은 유일한 영화인, The Linguists는 40개 이상의 세계 영화제에서 상영되었습니다. 

덧붙여, 대한민국 “세상을 바꾸는 15분” 총회에서 “유기농업의 즐거운 혁명”이라고 불리는 흙 살림의 대표 이태근씨께서 한 짧은 연설을 보여드릴 것입니다. 녹색 살이 대구의 사랑을 한 몸에 받고 있는 꾸러미 CSA 배달 서비스 배후의 한 사람이 한국 농업의 고충에 대한 그의 생각을 나누고 그의 조직이 그 고충들에 대해 어떻게 대응하고 있는지를 들어볼 것입니다.  

한국어로 된 발표는 영어 자막이 있을 것이고, (대부분) 영어로 된 영화는 한글 자막이 나갈 것입니다!

늘 그래왔듯이 이 행사는 무료로 여러분 모두에게 열려있으며 일찍 오셔서 Buy the Book이 제공하는 건강한 메뉴에서 음료, 간식과 식사를 즐기시거나 단체 식으로 뒤풀이에 함께 하셔도 좋습니다. 
그곳에서 여러분을 뵐 수 있기를 바라며…

무엇:  The Linguists (언어학자들)
언제:  1월29일 일요일, 오후 6
어디: Buy the Book Cafe', 대구시내, 
미스터피자 빌당, 4층
무료 입장!

Thanks to Allen and Sunny for all the help!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Eco-Film Night: Go Further

Hey hey! This Sunday, DGL will be part of an extremely excellent day at Buy the Book. Free yoga with Megan in the Morning (11:30), Writing Circle with Jenny in the afternoon (2PM), Eco-film in the evening (5:30), and Megan's birthday party from the end of the film until closing! Everything is free, though if you want in on some of Sandy's awesome vegan buffet, you'll have to fork over 15k.

This month's film was suggested by Ryan Patey, relative newcomer to Daegu and editor of T.O.F.U. magazine. Come out to hear him explain what it's all about and how you can get your hands on the just-released 6th issue. 

The movie in question is "Go Further." Here's the official blurb: 

"GO FURTHER explores the idea that the single individual is the key to large-scale transformational change.

"The film follows actor Woody Harrelson as he takes a small group of friends on a bio-fuelled bus-ride down the Pacific Coast Highway. Their goal? To show the people they encounter that there are viable alternatives to our habitual, environmentally-destructive behaviors.

"The travellers include a yoga-teacher, a raw food chef, a hemp-activist, a junk-food addict, and a college student who suspends her life to impulsively hop aboard. We see the hostility these pilgrims encounter, and watch as their ideas are challenged from within and without.

"We meet an entrepreneur who runs a paper company that does not harm trees; an organic farmer who believes Nature is his partner; a man who teaches environmental activists to use humor as a strategic weapon. And throughout, we see Harrelson test his belief that the transformation of our planet begins with the small personal transformations that are within the grasp of each and every one of us, after which… we’ll go further."

You can view the official website at

No need to RSVP, but for the message board and other facebooky stuff, here's the real event page: 

한국어 설명을 좀 이따가 쓰겠습니다! 그리고 이번에도 한글 자막을 만듭니다^^

Buy the Book
Downtown Daegu
Mr. Pizza Building 
4th Floor
All are welcome

한글 자막 꾸준히 작업중!


시간: 일요일 저녁 5:30 ~ 7:30
장소: Buy the Book (대구 시내 로데오거리 미스터 피자 건물 4층)에서

이 달의 영화는 대구에 새로 이사오신 이웃이며 T.O.F.U 잡지의 편집자인 라이언 페티(Ryan Patey)님이 추천해주셨습니다. 함께 오셔서 이 영화가 우리에게 알리고자 하는 것이 무엇인지 그리고 얼마 전 발표된 6번째 사안을 어떻게 받아들일지에 대한 그의 설명을 들어보시기 바랍니다.

문제의 영화는 “Go Further(더 나아가리라)” 입니다. 여기 공식적인 소개 글을 올립니다.

“Go Further(더 나아가리라)”은 한 개인이 대규모의 변화를 일으키는 열쇠라는 아이디어를 하나 하나 이 영화 속에서 더듬어 갑니다.

“배우인 우디 해럴슨(Woody Harrelson)이 그의 작은 그룹의 친구들을 이끌고 퍼시픽 코스트 고속도로를 따라 바이오 연료 버스를 타고 떠나는 대로 카메라가 그 뒤를 따라갑니다. 그들의 목표요? 우리들의 습관적 환경 파괴 행위에 대한 유력한 대안이 있음을 사람들에게 경험해서 보여주기 위함에 있습니다.

여행자들로는 요가 교사, 생식 요리사, 대마초 운동가, 불량간식 중독자와 한 충동성적으로 자신의 인생을 거는 한 대학생입니다.

우리는 이 순례자들이 접할 적개심을 보게 될 것이며 그들의 생각들이 내부와 외부에서 도전 받게 되는 것을 보게 될 것입니다.

우리는 나무에 해를 주지 않으면서 종이 회사를 운영하는 기업인; 자연은 그의 동반자라는 것을 믿는 친환경 농부; 전략적 무기로 유머를 이용하는 환경운동가들을 교육하는 사람을 만납니다. 도처에서 우리는 해럴슨이 우리들의 지구를 위한 변화는 우리 모두 각자의 능력 안에 있는 작은 개인의 변화에서 시작된다는 그의 신념을 시험하는 것을 보게 됩니다. 그 후……우리는 더 나아가게 되리라는……”

늘 그래왔던 것처럼, 이 영화는 무료이며 모든 분들께 열려있습니다.

한글 자막을 만들고 있습니다!