Seoul is mighty cold in the winter. Nearly everyone here has a smart phone. But not everyone knows the cheapest, easiest way to keep your gloves on while using the phone…










I have an expensive stylus I would rather not drop/lose on the street. Ta-da: the sausage-cheese-fishcake works like a “finger”. Somehow it has the right electrostatic to function well, though not perfectly, on my phone for spare change (less than 500W or $0.50USD). I have these yellow sausages stashed in all my coat pockets, handbags and stroller. If one gets lost, or eaten by a hungry toddler, no worries. Try it yourself, it works! (Kitchen tip: use one to navigate while cooking using a recipe app, no more food smudges.)


Tomorrow is November 11th which means Peppero Day in Korea. I’ll be buying a giant box because they are only available this time of year.

It’s also the start of the G20 meetings in Seoul.

FYI: plan on not going to or near COEX because the security is extreme.

There is a clock on the refrigerator that tells baby time. First-time guests think it’s a toy teach-me-clock but it actually serves many purposes. With a newborn set the clock to the time of the last feeding ~ better to gauge the next feeding or why she is crying. With a toddler set the clock to the time of yesterday’s nap ~ know when to start winding down for naptime. Magnets mark when there was poop ~ helps plan outings. It’s easier to read than a note that will get lost in the daily shuffle.

Baby clock indicates that our toddler napped at 11:30am with poops after breakfast and lunch yesterday.

Try using magnets of different colors or shapes for each child. Maybe even one to indicate when they got medicine…it is cold season.

Learned a trick of the trade from our cleaning lady ~ glove within glove. Putting on cotton gloves before putting on rubber gloves means no struggling to get wet rubber gloves on and off.

Skeptical at first, it took me a while to become converted. The glove trick makes it more likely that I might actually wash the dishes or scrub the floors on days without hired help.

Feeling guilty about all the packaging on the tiny packets of laver/김 with only seven slivers of seaweed, I finally learned how to cut the big sheets neatly from my aunt. Here’s the lesson in three photos:


Snip the bag open at the seams to catch the crumbs. Cut the sheets in half lengthwise, then into thirds (or fourths).  Voila, just the right size laver and they can be kept in an airtight container for a few days. Saves money and the environment.

Persimmons are in season now. There are three kinds at the market right now. The soft, mushy ones are called yun-shi/연시. The crunchy, squat ones are called dahn-gahm/단감. And the conical ones that need to ripen like an avocado are called hong-shi/홍시.


Tip: Persimmons could cause constipation if you eat the lighter colored flesh right beneath the leaf topper. Take a pair of ever-present kitchen shears and snip it away while you’re at the sink or use a knife to remove that part.

Baby enjoys eating yun-shi but certainly can’t eat too many. I used the excess (10 are 3,000W at the neighborhood market) in a banana bread recipe and the result was a scrumptious molten lava persimmon cake.


Molten Lava Persimmon Cake

2 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. vegetable oil or butter

1/2 c. brown sugar (no need to halve since I already reduced the amount)

2 eggs

2 1/3 c. overripe persimmons (approximately 5-6 yun-shi, remove skin)

Add wet ingredients to dry, mix well. Bake in individual ramekins for best presentation at 175*C for 30-60 minutes depending on the size of container…It will smell so good you have to take it out and eat it when it is ready to be removed from the oven. They keep well in the fridge and are still yummy warmed up in the microwave.

I took sturdy rubber bands for granted. In Korea the rubber bands are flimsy whether they are paid for or collected from daily living (take-out boxes don’t clip shut~ rubber bands are used). Toothpaste tubes can be bound up nicely with a strong rubber band.  Rubber glove finger slices are my solution. Binder clips just get rusty from all the water. Store bought contraptions are too bulky and even less graceful.


Loop a sturdy rubber band across the bottom end of the tube, flatten and fold up then flip the visible side of the band over to keep it all together.


Korean rubber bands disintegrate in your junk drawer (look left).

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