Purisima Creek Trail

A few weekends ago, J, friend A who likes bugs, friend S who is a friend of friend A, friend S’s college friends, and I took a trip to the Purisima Creek Open Space Preserve. We hiked on the Purisima Creek Trail a total distance of 12 miles!! That was much longer than anticipated, but J and I were surprisingly not in bad shape the next day. My calves were a little sore, but that was it. J and I do walk a lot now (at least 2 miles a day, just to the train station and back. If we do any extra activities, like on the weekends, then we easily reach 6+ miles in a day.).

We saw a tooon of banana slugs. They’re famous for being yellow and living in  redwood forests. It would seem that they have aposematic coloration, but they’re not toxic. In fact, there’s an (annual?) banana slug recipe contest in Russian River, CA.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of this trip. J brought his fancy camera, though, so I’ll have him upload something soon.

Mattress update!

I worked on my wool mattress last Saturday. I was just stuffing it (and worked all day!), but got barely halfway done. I can’t imagine making wool mattresses for a living…

It’s been taking up so much room on the floor. And the wool I’m using is really dirty, so there’s dirt and wool everywhere. The apartment is going to get a thorough cleaning once I’m completely done with the mattress. There’s even wool fluff under the sofa.

Despite all the work, I’m glad I didn’t buy a commercial wool mattress. Mine is almost certainly going to be higher quality than most of those available in the US. And now I know how to make a mattress!

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Keeping track of the books I read

I made a Goodreads account to keep track of books I read that are relevant to this blog. If you want to see what I’ve read and what I want to read, take a look at my profile.

Goodreads is a website that allows you to rate, review, and track books you’ve read. There’s enough detail for you to track how far you are through a book (60% or 70%?) and when you started and finished a book. The reviews are quite thoughtful and helpful when choosing a new book to read. Check it out!

Awesome Japanese, ethical, slow fashion clothing brand!!

After the Mahouka movie and my thrift store finds, we browsed the Japantown mall. In the atrium area, there was an amazing Japanese clothing brand~ They were having an exhibition to advertise and sell their products, and I totally got sucked in. Everything was amazing!!! I could tell even from a distance that it was my type of clothing, from the colors to the cut.

The company is called Usaato, a contraction of Usaburo Sato, the designer’s name. It’s a pun: “usaato” also means “rabbit” (although it’s a less common word than “usagi”), which they use in their logo. Here’s their Facebook page (in Japanese) and their USA page, which still has quite a bit of Japanese.

Ahhh, just look at that. The top layer is cut on the bias (you can tell because of how the stripes chevron into each other along the back seam), which is an unusual and complicated detail for commercially-produced clothing. And the cut of the collar and sleeves is so nice.

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Redwoods and Cacti

A few weeks ago, J and I had an uncharacteristically adventurous and nature-filled weekend with our friend A. It turns out A really likes hiking and such, especially since he can look for cool bugs! I’m more into plants, but it’s good to learn about native insects too. Sadly, we didn’t see any banana slugs 🙁

A big tree at Sam McDonald County Park on the Heritage Grove trail. Heritage Grove has some of the last old-growth redwoods (the rest were logged). J’s camera has better, but inaccessible, photos.

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Mahouka alternative activity- thrift shopping!

While J and co were watching the Mahouka movie, I went to… the thrift store!! I do love a good browse, but usually can’t get J to wait for me, so this was the perfect opportunity.

I’ve been on the lookout for linen pants or shorts to wear in the summer, small weights for arm and wrist exercises, a basket to organize J’s receipts, and maybe a loaf pan. I’ll tell you what I found! Continue reading “Mahouka alternative activity- thrift shopping!”

Gochujang recipe

There aren’t a lot of gochujang recipes online (in English). They don’t explain what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, so it’s hard to tell if it’s working. Because gochujang takes several months to ferment, I wanted to be extra sure that it would work. So I combined three different recipes with some advice from the beer-brewing community. Of course I started with Maangchi’s recipe, but I also consulted this video and Eating Korean. I’ll give you the recipe I ended up using, with some explanation at the end of what we’re doing.

 

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Assembling ingredients for gochujang

J and I recently ran out of gochujang, a spicy fermented red pepper paste ubiquitous in Korean cooking. Since I’ve been trying more than usual to not buy things in plastic packaging, I was hesitant to buy a new container. (Although Wholly Jang offers gochujang and other products in glass, the company is currently on hiatus as they move to a different facility.) Fortunately, I discovered that you can make your own at home with just a few ingredients!!

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My mom’s potato bun recipe!! Delicious!

Now that I’ve worked the kinks out of my mom’s bun recipe (the first version she sent had a few typos in it…), I can share it with you! These buns are delicious– slightly sweet, moist, fluffy. Even when I substitute a ton of the ingredients, they still turn out completely fine!

Refrigerator Potato Buns (makes 24 rolls)

1 1/8 tsp yeast

3/4 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup butter, softened (1/4 cup butter can be used for lower fat)

1 egg

1/2 cup mashed potatoes

1/2 cup rolled oats

3 1/2 cup bread flour (Start with 3 cups. Reserve 1/2 cup for adjusting the texture of the dough.) Continue reading “My mom’s potato bun recipe!! Delicious!”