Tag Archives: colorado

Hot on the Trail

The High Park Fire

Fire! Fire on the mountain… Great when backed by the Grateful Dead’s chords, not so great when the truth of the matter. As I’ve said before, I have roots in Colorado.  Colorado’s been quite the hot topic lately, literally and figuratively.  As Smokey Bear warns at the entrance to the state’s  forests, the threat of wildfires is always present.  This season, unfortunately, Colorado’s number came up. 

The authority on the matter

Colorado has been hit particularly hard by wildfires this season.  With a lightening strike on June 9, the region around Fort Collins, Colorado, was set ablaze.  The homes of a multitude of living things, as well as my fondest memories–the Poudre Canyon, Rist Canyon, Lory State Park, Horsetooth Mountain Park–all went up in flames.  Now 100% contained, the High Park Fire has left a trail of devastation.  257 homes, 87,284 acres.   

Near Colorado Springs, the Waldo Canyon Fire was a scene from our wildest nightmares.  Declared the most destructive in the state’s history, the fire raged into suburban subdivisions destroying countless family homes.  Declared a disaster area by President Obama, the situation is bleak. 

While all may be a part of Mother Nature’s cycle, it doesn’t change the fact of the matter.  There are a lot of pieces yet to be picked up across the state I love.  In this tough time for Colorado, do a little rain dance and send cooling thoughts their way. 

Whether we are the ones affected by a burning blaze, or we’re lost on a hunt for frozen scallops, we all need a little help sometimes.  In exchange for your rain dance, I’d like to be of assistance. 

I’ve been working hard on a new component of my website. In the directory of pages, you’ll find the addition of “Ingredients Guide.”  Check here to find a glossary of ingredients as well as a listing of where you might find them in Korea.  There’s also a list of useful in-person and online retailers.  Check it out – Ingredients Guide!

After stocking your pantry, if you’ve got a little change rattling around and you’re thinking of Colorado, consider donating to one of the organizations below.

Trees, Water & People

A Fort Collins-based organization doing exceptional work in the community.  As a former intern, I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of their programs.  In the area affected by the High Park Fire, they will not only re-plant trees, but will reconstruct the devastated ecosystems to create a forest that is healthier and safer than before.

High Park PAC

The remnants of their bedroom

Some friends were personally affected by the fire, and in response, they’ve set up the High Park Relief PAC.  Currently in the process of establishing tax-deductable 501(c)3 status, they’re working to raise funds to directly help members of their community. 

Colorado Professional Firefighters Foundation

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Beard Free Sounds Alright to Me

Before Korea, I lived in Colorado.  Ground zero for the hairy and unwashed.  Let’s be clear, I am neither discriminating against those who tend to small mammals under their arms, nor ruling out that I may have given up on shampoo for a short while myself.  Just telling it like it is.

Conducting field research. That’s a lot of hair.

When my grandmother came to town for my brother’s graduation, she was a little confused by the presence of turbans.  Turbans, yes Grandma, let’s just go along with that.  The explanation of dreadlocks may take a while.  You totally wouldn’t appreciate the cool factor that explodes when they’re done up in a lofty nest.  Not to mention the bonus points if the head wrap happens to be red, yellow and green (black accents and african motifs also acceptable).

Example A: Head wrap may not fall in the designated category, but the radiant luster earns plenty of party time credit.

Beards were par for the course and everyone who was anyone rocked one.  To be honest, I can’t disagree with the trend.  I envy beards during brisk rides up the ski lift. They are the face warmer to trump all others.  They’re a perfect tool to ensure you’re able to savor the last bite of every meal.  And also…beards are totally dead sexy!  They work like gravitational force with the ladies.  Well, some ladies.  You know who you are.

Notice how subject A is insuppressibly drawn to the beard. Subject B notes this quality, and wants a beard for himself.

While we know the consensus in Colorado, I’m not so sure of the beard verdict when it comes to clams.  A bit foreign to me, I’m not even entirely sure what a clam beard looks like.  I picture it as a scraggly little tuft, similar to the growth on an unsightly mole.  Either way, I don’t think it’s favored for consumption.  Since I am obviously in no position to identify a clam beard, let alone remove one, I was stoked on a find at NongHyup the other day.  In the cooler section, they had a shelf full of fresh, cleaned clams, seemingly ready to go. I’d been wanting to recreate a clam sauce recipe my friend’s mom let me in on, and it seemed the time had arrived.

Score

I established a healthy 1:1 clam to clove ratio for the garlic, and the rest was smooth sailing.  The best part is that this was on the table in about 15 minutes.  This is key for finding the time to pursue bearded bliss, be it disposing of sharp edges or trailing your local Mufasa.

Dig in

Clam Sauce

Serves 2-3

5-6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin if available, extra generic if living in Korea)

1/4 pound shucked, cleaned, debearded clams, lightly chopped and juices reserved

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

pinch of salt

fresh ground pepper

1/2 pound spaghetti/linguine, cooked

Heat oil in a shallow skillet over medium head.  When oil is hot, toss in the garlic.  Cook, gently stirring, for about 3-5 minutes or until garlic just begins to turn lightly golden.  Be careful not to burn the garlic as it will turn the dish bitter.  Just when garlic is starting to brown, turn off the heat.  Toss in clams, reserved juice, and parsley.  Stir to lightly cook the clams.  Season with salt and pepper.  To serve, spoon over hot pasta.

I’d like to give a special shout-out to my man Don Wooden, new recruit to the Bearded Gentleman’s Club (BGC).  He went for the gold with this one!

I tip my hat, good sir.

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