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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Corn Fritter recipe

This simple recipe is from The Korean Table by Taekyung Chung and Debra Samuels. J posted pictures.

Corn Fritters (Ockssusu Jeon)

2 cups (350 g) corn kernels

1 Tbs miso

3/4 cup (100 g) flour

1/2 cup (125 g) water

1/4 tsp salt

Mix. Fry in oil ~3 min on each side. Serve with dipping sauce of choice.


We added some kimchi (~40 g) and some finely chopped leftover pork ( ~20 g), and ate it with mayonnaise and tempura dipping sauce. The fritters were pretty good! Surprisingly sweet because of the sweet corn, but a pleasant change from eating it on the cob.