Happy New Year! 2021 has been an incredibly hectic year for me. A main reason I have not been active here since April. In May, my husband and I left our beloved Hong Kong, our second home that we had lived for over a decade. I’d always moved a lot, and never lived anywhere longer than 4 years until I moved to our 58th floor flat in the west side of Hong Kong Island. Our flat with a stunning view of Hong Kong’s skyline and harbour was my 23rd home, and I had lived there for over 11 and a half years. Leaving Hong Kong was as hard as I expected but leaving my close friends was much harder than I imagined.
After a physical and emotional roller coaster, we finally left HK, and went to my home country Korea. We had to quarantine for 14 days in Seoul; this was by no means easy, but I was so exhausted from the move that I was happy just relaxing and not going any where for a little while. I was doing quite well in quarantine, and was getting excited about the new life in Seoul. Then something unimaginable happened. On the 10th day of our quarantine, my grandma passed away…It was so sudden, none of us was prepared for it. Even just a couple of days before her passing, I asked my mom how she was, and she said grandma was well and excited to see me and my husband after almost 2 years. If she’d waited 4 days, I would have been able to see her. I still remember the morning of May 17, when I got the phone call from my mom..my heart just sank. This was even harder than I ever imagined it to be, because I was only an hour from her. The fact that I didn’t get to see her before she passed away is not something that I could ever get over. She raised me, lived with me for almost 20 years until I moved to UK. She had always lived with my mom so she was one of the first persons that I saw every time I came home to visit. And she taught me the importance of loving and uniting people through food, the lesson I will cherish for the rest of my life. Having grown up with her healthy, beautiful and delicious home cooked meals was what inspired me to cook and start this blog in the first place. It took me quite a while to get back to normal life after losing her.
Since May, my husband and I have been going back and forth between Seoul and California, where his families are, and staying at short term rentals and air bnbs. I think we moved about 5 or 6 times in the last 7 months, I almost lost count :-). We haven’t decided where to live permanently yet, so moving between the two countries will continue for time being. Thankfully we are getting more used to this exhausting yet interesting nomad lifestyle. And most importantly we are grateful to be able to travel, seeing our families in both countries that are thousands miles apart.
In terms of cooking, things haven’t been easy to say the least. The kitchen tools and tableware I can travel with are limited so I often have to settle for what I have available wherever I am. Even with the limitation, I have been posting as much as I can on my Instagram. It just feels easier and faster than the blog, especially when I’m constantly moving. What I am sharing here today are some of the dishes I made and posted on my IG last year. I hope this post can make up my absence in the last 8 months a little, I will try to be more active on the blog this year, promise ;-). Have a healthy and happy 2022!
1. Roasted feta, plums, figs and pomegranate molasses with mint
2. Stir fried rice noodles with cherry tomatoes, spinach and fried eggs
3. Lemony Greek yogurt and smoked salmon toasts with soft boiled eggs
4. Whipped Ricotta and yogurt with roasted cherry tomatoes, thyme and honey
5. Basil, mint and pea spread with burrata
6. Basil, parsley and mint pesto with Chinese egg noodles
7. Watermelon and feta salad with apple mint and sesame seeds
8. Pomegranate and Greek yogurt smoothie with passion fruits, pistachios and maple syrup
9. Roasted purple cabbage with mustard and dill sauce
10. Thai basil and cashew pesto with rice noodles
11. Wholewheat toasts with whipped ricotta, tangerines and apple mint garnish
12. Fresh baby greens “Bibimbap” with “Ssamjang” and brown rice
13. Wholewheat penne with perilla pesto
14. Ricotta scrambled eggs and Kimchi on rye toasts
15. Berries on rye toast with raspberry yogurt smoothie, blueberries, black berries and pistachios