Friday, November 3, 2017

"Mrs. Pyke Eats Korea" 2017 Korea Tour

Korea Tour 2017
Is it time to eat again !! Part 4

As seen in the November 2017 edition of the Chosun Taekwondo Academy Newsletter
The DMZ

Saturday morning we head out for a bus ride heading north to the Demilitarized Zone, more commonly referred to as the DMZ or the 38th Parallel. The DMZ is a border that divides the Korean Peninsula in half. It was created by an agreement with North Korea, China and the United Nations in 1953. When we arrive we are put on a DMZ bus that has blacked out windows, we can see out but they, the North Koreans, can’t see in! As we approach the gates a ROK (South Korean Soldier) gets on the bus to inspect our passports. It’s all very official.  The highlight of the tour for me was going into the tunnels the North Koreans had dug to attempt an invasion in the 1970’s.  The first tunnel was discovered on November 20th1974 by a ROK while on patrol. The second tunnel was found on March 19 1975. The third tunnel was discovered on October 17 1978 and the fourth tunnel was discovered on March 3 1990. We get to take train ride down a shaft deep in the earth. Thank goodness we have donned hard hats because you can easily knock your head! The tunnel is 5,200 ft long and 240 ft below ground. It was a slow and steady decent.  When we reached the bottom we headed on foot deeper into the tunnel.  Then suddenly the tunnel stops and we are as close as you can get to Kim Jong-un !!  The tunnel was sealed after its discovery. We hike out on an extremely steep ramp to the surface. This is not for the light hearted.   The experience was overwhelming for me. My Dad was stationed right at this very spot. I share a photo book with pictures of my Dad at the DMZ with everyone on the bus. Our tour guide Mr. Kim is moved by the photos and thanks me for my Father’s service to his country.

Time for lunch!! We head into a beautiful country town just outside the DMZ. Mr. KIM brings us to Yo Ree. You would have thought we were dining at home!! Yo Ree is a modern Korean restaurant. I will describe this fusion cuisine as Korean meets Farm to Table. The menu was Chef’s choice, so we had no idea what was coming next!  The meal was served family style. First course was a  lovely green salad that reminded us all of home. Next came a very unusual rice cake roll very similar to  a Vietnamese cold spring roll, so amazing.  Acorn jelly seaweed noodles, Spicy Chicken and Peppers, Jeon (vegetable pancakes), can never get enough of these, Beef Bulgoki and a gorgeous  Mixed Vegetable Tempura that had tempura Lotus Roots !!  Tea was served at their roof top sun room which had a beautiful view of the countryside. There was a Korean family celebrating their son’s birthday and we all sang Happy Birthday to him! They shared their traditional Korean Rice Cakes with us and were so delighted that we were Tae Kwon Do martial artists! So what happens next was wonderful…the birthday boy does Tae Kwon Do too, so he, Nina Rose Cirillo and Luke Cirillo get up and do Taeguek il jang!!!  Everyone is clapping and we are all so proud !! By the way Rosa and Luke hit it out of the park!!!
What an amazing day it has been. Thank you again Mr. Kim for being the best guide ever.
We are exhausted when we return to the Sommerset Palace and we don’t want to dine out. We decide we will party at the Cirillo’s Penthouse (yes it’s true!!) and Mr Kim goes above and beyond...

To be continued…
Korean Takeout Chinese Food!!

Haeng bog meogneum !!
Happy Eating!!

Pamela Pyke

The Chosun e-newsletter Archive Volume 8 #11 November, 2017

Dear Martial Arts Enthusiast,

Welcome to the October edition of the  Chosun Taekwondo Academy e-newsletter!. The clock is ticking down to the 20th Annual Awards Banquet and Dinner Dance on Saturday December 9th... join us and share the spirit of the season with fellow Chosun students and friends. See details below and don't miss this opportunity to reflect on the outstanding achievements of the past 20 years! There are many ways you can be a part of the celebration. Please see opportunities below...


Check out all upcoming CHOSUN events on the events page of the CHOSUN website!

View the 2016 Chosun Taekwondo Academy Retrospective 

Please visit the updated and improved CHOSUN Yelp page!  ReviewUsOnYelp
Happy Thanksgiving!

Kamsahamnida,                                                                                                            facebook button
Patty Cook, Editor www.facebook.com/chosuntkd 

 
                                                                                                                                       
Chosun Taekwondo Academy celebrating 20 years!


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Monday, October 2, 2017

"Mrs. Pyke Eats Korea" 2017 Korea Tour

Korea Tour 2017
Is it time to eat again !! Part 3

As seen in the October 2017 edition of the Chosun Taekwondo Academy Newsletter

After a relaxing night and a wonderful breakfast at the Gyeongju Hilton we take a lovely ride through the lake region. Soon we head up a very steep entrance to the Golguksa Temple . We are met by the monks and are escorted to a changing room to put on our monk training clothes.  This outfit is a pair of fabulous loose pants and a button up vest. Everyone looks great! After some very rigorous training in their main hall we head outside for Zen style Archery. This year I finally was able to hit the target!! I was definitely much stronger this trip because of my continued training in Traditional Taekwondo.

Last time we were here Master Cook had a private Tea with the Abbot of Golguksa Temple. This time we are all invited into their new Tea House. It was so beautiful. We all sat around the perimeter of the room as the Abbot sat at his floor level desk. On his desk was a little plastic globe of the earth. It was odd yet so appropriate! As we drank our tea he spoke of many aspects of the Martial life. He himself had also studied Taekwondo. He emphasized the importance of meditation and to continue training in the traditional ways. Afterwards we all posed for a photo with him and then headed up to the dining hall.

Lunch here is always an amazing experience. Food when prepared in a spiritual manner enlivens your whole being. As we enter there are two very long low tables, one for women and one for men. Today our meal is served buffet style. You must only take what you can finish. Throwing away food is wasteful. The meal is so good…sauté mixed vegetables, spicy slabs of super yummy Tofu and black rice. Yes it’s black and if you haven’t tried it you must! They don’t have it at Shop Rite so you can head down to Woo Rhee and grab a bag. This is the rice you add to your sushi rice to turn it purple. One cup sushi rice to one tablespoon black rice. We are also served Doenjangguk. This is a wonderful fermented soybean paste (miso) soup with chilis , seaweed and vegetables. I went back twice. We all eat in silence. This is such a lovely experience.

It’s time to get back on the bus for our five hour drive back to Seoul. We will be having two rest stop breaks…what can I have!! First rest stop is a major highlight in my culinary journey of Korean food , my first time having Tteokpokki in Korea!! I make Tteokpokki at home a lot, but now I am having it the way most Koreans do. Served in a paper cup with a toothpick. I’m in heaven!! Tteokpokki is to Koreans what Mac and Cheese is to us! Cylindrical chewy rice cakes smothered in a sweet and spicy sauce.  I have to hold myself back from not ordering another because our next rest stop is for dinner!

Just like last time the cafeteria is a bustle with travelers and truck drivers waiting for their food. I scan the photos as they scroll by and decide on Sal Guk Su. This is a kimchi  seaweed noodle soup that is so soothing to my already Tteokpokki full belly. Dylan orders a hamburger, French fries and a coke and is hog heaven!!

Back on the bus and sated most of us doze off knowing that tomorrow will be our last full day in the Land of the Morning Calm. The must anticipated tour of the DMZ.

To be continued…

Haeng bog meogneum !
Happy Eating!

Pamela Pyke

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Subscribe to the Chosun newsletter at: www.chosuntkd.com


The Chosun e-newsletter Archive Volume 8 #10 October, 2017

Dear Martial Arts Enthusiast,

Welcome to the October edition of the  Chosun Taekwondo Academy e-newsletter!. As the days get shorter and 2017 begins to wane, we have much to celebrate...The CHOSUN 20th Anniversary Awards Banquet and Dinner Dance preparations are in high gear and there are many ways you can be a part of the celebration. Please see opportunities below...
PLEASE SEND IN AWARDS BANQUET RESERVATION AND PAYMENT ASAP!

CHOSUN will be closed for Columbus Day, Monday October 9th.
No evening classes on Halloween, Tuesday October 31st. 


Check out all upcoming CHOSUN events on the events page of the CHOSUN website!

View the 2016 Chosun Taekwondo Academy Retrospective 

Please visit the updated and improved CHOSUN Yelp page!  ReviewUsOnYelp
Happy Halloween!

Kamsahamnida,                                                                                                            facebook button
Patty Cook, Editor www.facebook.com/chosuntkd 

 
                                                                                                                                       
Chosun Taekwondo Academy celebrating 20 years!


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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Chosun Sunrise Returns

By Master Jake Garrett
Following a brief hiatus, the Sunrise Class returns on Wednesday September 6th. We are fortunate to have such a full weekly schedule of classes; the diversity of classes allows a student to experience the many facets of traditional taekwondo. The Sunrise class is a unique traditional experience, there is something different about training early in the morning, your body is fresh and strong, your mind is calm and receptive.

 A perfect time to begin a 15-minute meditation. The additional time in meditation allows you to move beyond our typical start of class meditation in which one stills the mind in preparation of focused training. Sunrise meditation can promote a calmness and relaxation in your body and mind, a deeper focus is developed down to a single point, a point of stillness is obtained, this is an acquired skill that not only benefits one’s martial skills and practice, but also carries over into your everyday activities.
Following mediation time is spent in Ki development with the practice of Qigong exercises. The active principles of Qigong are breath, posture, movement, relaxation and concentration-visualization. The Eight Brocades a soft style practice is an ideal system for students to enhance their understanding and use of Ki energy. If your concerned about another discipline to learn and the proper way to practice, don’t be, the way to practice is “take it easy” follow along with the movements, use natural breathing, don’t look for the Ki, it is in your in body, it is occurring, with practice and intent you will eventually recognize and use it every day.
Each week we will spend time focusing on the details of each one of the eight positions, while breathing naturally allowing the Ki to sink to Tanjun. New to this class will be the introduction of hard style Qigong exercises focused on rooting and centering technique.

Meditation and Ki awareness culminate in the reward of the class, Poomsae! Having spent time clearing your mind in mediation focusing on your breath and performing slow relaxed movements, you may discover a new aspect and understanding of your poomsae practice. This is a wonderful way to start the day.
As seen in the September 2017 issue of the Chosun newsletter...
Subscribe at: www.chosuntkd.com 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

"Mrs. Pyke Eats Korea" 2017 Korea Tour

As seen in the September 2017 edition of the Chosun Taekwondo Academy Newsletter

Korea Tour 2017
Is it time to eat again !! Part 2
Today we are traveling all the way across Korea to the beautiful city of Gyeongju. It is a five hour drive through rice patties, ginseng farms and fruit orchards. The mountains are glorious, verdant green and covered in mist. This is a hikers paradise. No wonder the rest stops are filled with folks decked out in Patagonia jackets and hiking boots. Rest Stops in Korea are so much fun! You can buy electronics, sun bonnets that cover your head and face entirely, hiking clothes, souvenirs and of course food! Our guide, Mr. Kim let us know we would be making two stops on our journey. On our first stop Rosa Cirillo got a bag of corn on the cob. It was steamed and the kernals were huge compared to the sugar and cream
varieties that we have at home.  It was an excellent snack. Then Bill Cirillo  got back on the bus with a box full of Ho-doo Gwaja!! These are a famous rest stop snack sold all over Korea. They are beautiful walnut shaped doughnuts that are filled with sweet red bean paste. Super yummy. Soon we are back on the road admiring the scenery. Next stop is for lunch. You enter the cafeteria and over the counters are scrolling photos of all your choices with the price. What amazing choices. Jjajangmyeon (noodles with black bean paste), Katsu (pork cutlets), Jjampong ( spicy seafood noodle soup), Sundubu-jjigae (spicy soft tofu stew), Jangjorim (braised beef) and on and on!! Not only do they prepare the meal to order it comes with silverware, glass plates and bowls and even cute little stainless steel water cups that you fill with ice cold water. No plastic or Styrofoam! No waste. So civilized! I chose the Katsu . The cutlet was the size of Texas and served as it always is with a sweet cabbage slaw, pickles and Korean potatoe salad. You had to keep pinching yourself because you are eating this wonderful meal at a reststop!! Back on the road again and we arrive at  the city of Gyeongju, the museum without walls. Beautiful huge green mounds are everywhere. These are the tombs of the Kings and Queens of the Silla Dynasty. Next stop is Bulguksa Temple, a World Heritage site where after sightseeing in the blazing sun and gift shopping Rosa turns us on to these fabulous plastic squeezy bottles filled with fruit flavored ice.  Back on the bus and off to the Gyeonju Hilton for a much needed shower and brief rest.
Tonight we dine on Beef Bulgogi  with Banchan. This restaurant is memorable not just for the beef but the endless little bowls we all share. Here’s what I remember, Juipo-muchim (seasoned dried File Fish) to die for, Ganjang-eomuk-bokkeum(stir fried fish cake with soy sauce)I love making this at home, Ojingeo-bokkeum(spicy stir fried squid), Gaji-namul(steamed eggplant), Sigeumchi-namul(steamed spinach), Kongnamul-muchim( seasoned and steamed soybean sprouts), sweet and lovely Korean potatoe salad , and of course this apple sweetened cabbage slaw we all fought over. No need to worry here though, the waitress will refill all the Banchan we can eat!!
If my memory serves me well, we headed out after our dinner and took a walk to visit the Cheomseogdae Observatory. This is the oldest existing observatory in Asia. It was built for Queen Seon-deok . She used the observatory to view the stars in order to forcast the weather. Her observations would help the farmers know when the right time to plant was.
We had a beautiful night and headed back to our luxury digs for a good nights rest.
Just a quick comment on the breakfast buffet at the Gyeongju Hilton, superb!! Fresh egg station, breads, Asian station with tofu and miso soup, smoked fish, salads, French toast, fresh fruit and so much more. Today we will go visit the monks at Golguksa Temple and have some of the simplest yet delicious vegetarian fare…
To be continued…
Part three of 2017 Korea Tour.

Haeng bog meogneum

Happy Eating!

The Chosun e-newsletter Archive Volume 8 #9 September, 2017

Dear Martial Arts Enthusiast,

Welcome to the September edition of the  Chosun Taekwondo Academy e-newsletter!. Summer is officially over but the Autumn season promises to be a busy one...Invitations went out for the 20th Anniversary Chosun Awards Banquet & Dinner Dance. Please respond as soon as possible. We hope to see you there!

CHOSUN will be closed for Labor Day Weekend: Saturday September 2nd, Sunday September 3rd and Monday September 4th   Enjoy the holiday! 


Check out all upcoming CHOSUN events on the events page of the CHOSUN website!

View the 2016 Chosun Taekwondo Academy Retrospective 

Please visit the updated and improved CHOSUN Yelp page!  ReviewUsOnYelp
Happy Labor Day!

Kamsahamnida,                                                                                                            facebook button
Patty Cook, Editor www.facebook.com/chosuntkd 

 
                                                                                                                                       
Chosun Taekwondo Academy celebrating 20 years!

 


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