Monday, September 1, 2008

translucence of memory: the art raw memory

marinated cucumbers inspired by the Korean side dishes also called *banchan*


As I have been going forward with my new found love in raw food preparation, I am also rekindling my taste memories of growing up with fantastic flavors from my mother's Korean inspired recipes.

Many of the Korean vegetable dishes, as well as the namesake that identifies Korean food we know as kimchee can also be considered raw foods.

That is of course, depending on the types of ingredients and style of preparation.

I grew up in California and the majority of my mother's style of cooking was a lighter and fresher version of traditional Korean recipes. She did have some dishes that were more on the hefty side too. It was a fusion of gosh it must have been Korean and Southern cooking. I am scarily remembering her ham hock and red beans recipe that used to freak me out with the bright red gelatinous piggy blugger. Her vegetable *banchan* dishes and kimchees, are more reminiscent of fresh crunchy salads.

We'll get to kimchee later, that's a hot topic for me because my mother is the queen of kimchee preparation. I have yet to perfect the art of kimchee. But for you meat, potatoes and kimchee fantatics, you can go here for a lighter version of the savory kimchee chigae I posted about back when.....

Just thinking out loud, there is the separate + second *kimchee* refrigerator that can be found in the garages of Korean households.....as well as mine. Though for the most part, ours is now stocked with over sized bags of carrots for juicing, romaine lettuce, celery, miso paste and Samuel Adam's Oktoberfest brew.

radish kimchee ~ this is a similar version from my mother's side of the family. There are no chili pepper flakes in this version. The beauty of this is the mild taste that comes from the radish itself melded with sea salt and black pepper. Another trick is to pre-salt the radish slices as you would in kimchee preparation. Thereafter when the slices soften the juices are squeezed out by hand. After the spices are blended in, allow time to chill before serving. This way the radish is able to regain its crunchy composure.

Also, for those of you not familar with raw foods. It doesn't mean I eat RAW MEATS....ewwwww....I have had people ask me that!

It's raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and then some.

This can all be done in great taste and savory appeal.

Not to sound like a repeating gong, but I am just excited to share this with you....

I have been on this raw diet exposé since January of this year. I had to slowly work my way from a very complicated mix of foods to where I have comfortably retained myself today at 80% raw foods and 20% cooked foods. The latter being smart choices in cooked foods with occasional lively obsessions like tacos. I have a weakness for Mexican flavors!

Yet by allowing more ease into this new way of eating at 80/20 lessens the stress of my balancing act of a life. My current lifestyle which is about being mother of three, wife, working woman, the other breadwinner, activist (this should be another blog and what seems like another lifetime of events I am passionate about), fashionista while retaining my health and sanity sort of thing in the midst of hurricanes + tropical storm threats and pre-teenism......

You get the picture.

The excitement never seems to end around here.

Otherwise, I would be someone else perhaps as incense wove through our house, while I sat on a hammock spinning my Asian girl dreadlocks, making herbal remedies, let the kids run wild without bathing, eat root vegetables for dinner and let frogs into the house.....can't do that we have white kitchen tiles and cream colored carpet that kinda looks dark beige now. Well, I do all of the above except dreadlocks, we don't have a hammock, frogs and on occasion allow the kids to bathe. Perhaps we'll ease into the rest as well?!!

With that said, since January of this year I LOST 18 POUNDS!!!

I have literally dropped 3 sizes downward and shopping for clothes can be a b*tch now.

18 lbs. is a lot for me as I am small framed and stand at 5 foot 5 inches.


the scent and imagery of freshly sliced cucumbers brings me back to my mother's kitchen

It's been a delight to *cook* this way.

I have enjoyed the benefits of eating natural, organic when able, raw and especially more vegetables.

But what is truly refreshing is something I need to share with you......

scallions....green onions....call it what you want. They bring zest to each bite, don't they?


The clarity.


I am all about mincing. I love developing my knife skills with green onions. So when I share recipes with mincing involved with friends that hate chopping, they tell me that because of me they've hauled their food processor out. At least they said it was well worth it.


There is so much more clarity in mind.


beauty in simplicity

I look forward to bringing you more highlights about savory foods both cooked and *uncooked*.

I will share with you my take on fresh, natural and savory foods with a slight tumultuous ethnic twist.

YES, this is a passion of mine!

What's your passion?

13 comments:

noble pig said...

Beautiful picture.

Nina Timm said...

I admire your discipline....'cause that is what it takes to stay on this journey that you are on. I will have to make a complete mindshift first....

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

I love Banchan! Those cucumbers look so good. Congrats on losing 18 pounds! Wow, that is so impressive.

Nicole said...

Nice post. I would like to take a knife class and have better knife skills. I am such a rookie chopper.

b.q. said...

Round of applause for your yummy, healthy, "raw foodist" passion! And you dropped 18lbs? Excellent. I love your blog - I'll be back, for sure. Take care.

foodhoe said...

wow taste memory girl 18 lbs is kick-ass awesome!!! and it doesn't sound like you've been suffering much. The radish kimchee sounds refreshing an1d is so beautiful, love the pictures

taste memory said...

hey everyone! prepping these veggies were fun + sooooo easy. they go fast around here/need to make another batch :)

Passionate Eater said...

Congrats on the weight loss TM! Keep it up! I can't wait to hear more about your Mom's Korean dishes (with the fresh, natural twist). :)

earthmother said...

Wow! I just discovered this site and what a treat. LOVE the photos. I've been transitioning from SAD to Raw for two months now. Been keeping it reeeeeeeally simple, but when I'm ready to get brave and start experimenting more in the kitchen, I know where to come for some delicious ideas and recipes.

Carolyn gail said...

Did I read that right ...Korean and Southern ? Ham hocks and red beans ? Now you've got me hungry. I love all the Korean veggie dishes which are so fresh and flavorful with sesame oil, vinegar, ginger, green onions and garlic.

And I love my Southern dishes too, such as fried green tomatoes, okra, blackeyed peas and corn pudding. They tasted even better just fresh picked from the garden. When I was a kid I used to put fresh scallions ( whole ) in a biscuit and eat it. Yummy !

Even though I've been vegetarian for a year now and despite my active lifestyle my post baby boomer body won't let go of any weight. I think I'm cursed with a slow metabolism.

Look forward to more of your take on fresh, natural and savory foods with a "slight tumultous ethnic twist. "

taste memory said...

earthmother ~ welcome, thanks for stopping by ;-)

carolyn ~ wonderful taste memories of growing up, your garden, scallions + biscuits ;-)

adding to the korean + southern twist: steamed pigs feet, then chilled in frige until really cold and mom would serve it with kicked up soy sauce (kang chang) with sesame seeds, sesame oil, bit of korean dried chili pepper + freshly minced green onions - phew!

Mamaliga said...

You simply can't beat the raw colors! There is life in them, period!

Love your article!

Gabi @ Mamaliga.com

Angie's Recipes said...

18 Pounds!! Hooray!
I love nuts, fruits , greens too...the saddness is nowadays they don't taste like what they were......

Thanks for the add.
Angie's Recipes