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  • A Birthday Cake for Charlie

    A decade ago — or possibly even less — I would’ve made fun of the kind of person who made a birthday cake for their dog. We always had family dogs while I was growing up, but they were backyard dogs who, while part of the family, weren’t really as integral a part of the household as Charlie has become.

    To say that it’s been a rough couple of months would be an understatement. At the end of May, I caught a bad case of the flu, and as it reached its pinnacle, my mom called to say that she had collapsed at home and had been taken to the hospital via ambulance. My mom had ongoing health issues, so I tried not to be too alarmed, but I had a bad feeling from the start. The next day, she called again to say that there was a mass on her liver, and that the doctors suspected it was cancer, and that if it was, that it had probably migrated there from elsewhere in her body.

  • Tartine Bakery in Hannam-dong, Seoul

    It’s been an age since I actually visited Tartine, but I did want to make a post about it, since there still doesn’t seem much information about it online in English. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a proud owner of the Tartine cookbook, and that the detailed instructions I found inside helped me finally master bread, which I had been trying to do for nearly a decade. I still highly recommend it for anyone who wants to make decent homemade bread but who just can’t seem to get it right. Maybe one day I’ll do a post on how I hacked my toaster oven to produce crusty, bakery-style loaves, but that’s for another time.

  • The Nature of the Beast

    It’s the wee hours of a Saturday morning, and I’m already regretting letting that last cup of coffee in the evening get the best of me — it’s so hard to resist a hot cup of something after dark when it’s this cold, but tea just feels so anemic, unless I go to great lengths to turn it into a latte-type thing that’s really just a counterfeit version of what I really want — a fucking cup of coffee.

  • Merry Christmas & Happy Yule

    So here’s what happened. I was all set to start blogging on the regular again, with my new, relaxed schedule — I even did a whole photoshoot for how to make pumpkin purée, but the file is still sitting there untouched on my desktop, because, one day in early November, while I was in the studio working on a recipe for pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls, my old producer walked in.

    She told me that she wanted me to come work on her new show with her. In exchange for going back to the radio station, I could work from home all but one day a week, and the most challenging part of the job — managing upwards of 20 guests per week — would be a nonissue, since the new show has no guests at all.

  • Binge-worthy: The Halloween Edition

    Tomorrow is Halloween, which is one of my favorite holidays, even though I hate the whole costume/party aspect of it. I enjoy the spookier stuff and have been indulging since the beginning of the month, which may have contributed to me being more paranoid than usual when something creepy happened about a week ago.

  • Taking Stock & New Beginnings

    October has always been an important month for me, which I guess would make most people assume it’s my birth month, but it’s not. It became a strange life marker ten years and two weeks ago, when I got on a plane at DFW airport bound for San Francisco, where I met up with my friend Mags to wait for our flight to Incheon International Airport. It was an empty flight, and as always with flights, it had that weird air of in-between — existing temporarily between places and times. The feeling was exaggerated by the out-of-body experience that is leaving your home country to live and work in a foreign place that you’ve never been to before, where you don’t speak the language and know little about the culture. Moving into an unknown new apartment, starting a new job.

  • This Week: June 30-July 6

    In an effort to get back to regular blogging, we’re going to try this one more time. Here is a collection of links from around the web that have caught my attention this week.

  • River North Baking Studio & What’s to Come

    It has been quite a year for me, and, as usual, when I get busy, I tend to let blogging slip. And boy has it slipped. To be honest, ever since the old blog died its slow and anticlimactic death, I’ve struggled to figure out exactly what I want to do going forward. I’m sure that struggle has been tangible for those of you who have made the transition with me. It’s coincided with a series of crises about picking a lane in life, which feels more and more urgent with every passing year. But things have been pretty tumultuous, and I’ve had some trouble taking hold of the reins.

    I’ve always been able to see the vague outline of a future I might someday want to arrive at, but I’ve never been very good at plotting a course to get there. At least that’s how it feels. I’m impatient and afraid to commit to anything that might not work out. But I’m getting just a little bit too old to keep hopping on every semi-enticing vessel that drifts past, just to see where it will take me.

  • Mr. Peyton: Pastries and Coffee in Hannam-dong

    It has been an inexcusably long time since I’ve made a post, but I do have a few excuses. One of them I will get into in more detail soon, but the reason why I’m suddenly posting again today is because today is the final deadline of a book I’ve been translating over the past six months, in addition to all my other work. That means I finally have some free time again. Well, I don’t really, but I’m giving myself a week off before I get fully stuck in to my next project, which should be appearing here soon.

    Of course, part of the issue with being busy is not really having time to write and edit photos, but my schedule’s been so out of control for the past few months that I’ve not even really had time to do things like stop by a café for a pastry and a coffee. Hopefully, that will change soon, because there are so many great places to do that in Seoul now, and one of my favorites is Mr. Peyton, in Hannam-dong.

  • This Week: Cocktail Fest, Reopened Greenhouse, & More

    Alright. I’m a shit blogger. But as I mentioned in the last post, I am a really well-informed shit blogger these days, and while I’m trawling through countless articles to look for material for work, I’m constantly saving articles, too, that I have a personal interest in and mean to come back to at some point. That point is usually Sunday, when I should be getting work done to make the week run more smoothly. So I thought, while I’m at it, at least I can make myself useful (is that what this is?) and do a kind of round-up on Fridays/Saturdays in the weird witching hours between finishing one week’s work and starting the next week’s.

    And what a week it has been my friends. I’m going to try to bring some order to the chaos, but this will probably be an evolving format for a while (or this will be the only time this kind of post ever happens — life is full of mystery).

    In Korea


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