While I have on occasion photographed some cool vintage signs of local store chains, I have only once ever photographed a sign belonging to a national chain. But this Firestone sign, from the location on Chippewa in St. Louis, has a great vintage shape, and even has functional neon, so I’m making another exception.
When I was planning our special meals to celebrate the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, I realized that the Lunar New Year was going to fall right in the middle of the festivities. China is probably the first country that comes to mind when you think of Lunar New Year celebrations, but Korea, Vietnam, and several other Asian countries also observe this holiday. I also discovered that while it no longer is, it also used to be on Japan’s calendar, too. With that information in mind, I decided to make not just a Korean meal, but a whole “Taste of Asia!”
I did most of the cooking from scratch. I made shrimp egg rolls (which I’ve done once before) and Japanese pork gyoza, as well as more of the Korean fried tofu we enjoyed last week, and some light Vietnamese shrimp spring rolls. We also bought a package of frozen pork buns from the Asian market, and I used my bamboo steamer for the first time to prepare those. And Ryan went out and bought some crab rangoon from our favorite Chinese restaurant…they make them so well, there was no way I was going to bother trying to replicate them at home!
It was a nice selection of foods, from a good variety of Asian countries!
I even tried some Japanese sake for the first time:
I confess…I didn’t make any of the dessert from scratch. But we found two varieties of mochi (red bean and green tea) at the Asian market, and I bought a bag of fortune cookies, as well:
This was another fun meal, and gave us all the opportunity to try some new things. I’m planning one more big Korean dinner before the end of the Olympics, so stay tuned!
I thought I had done well to find two vintage signs to photograph in the Chicago area last month, and then one night, on the way from Elmhurst to Wheaton, we drove by the Highland Manor Motel. Of course it was on the wrong side of the road, so I had to turn around and go back to photograph it, but it was worth it…this is a great example of the style of vintage signs that I love!
In addition to the sign at Mack’s Golden Pheasant, there was one other vintage sign I knew I wanted to photograph when we traveled north last month…the sign at Malloy’s Liquors in Glen Ellyn:
I don’t think I’ve ever photographed a liquor store sign before, but this particular one stood out in my memory. I could just say it’s because it was on the way to the grocery store we went to when I was a child (which is true), and I saw it a lot, but I also remember it because sometimes my dad would go there, and they always gave me a Dum-Dums Pop when I went with him!
When we decided to go up to the Chicagoland area last month for Frosty Faustings, I decided I needed to do some research and find at least one cool vintage sign to photograph. Pretty much the first thing that popped up when Googling was Mack’s Golden Pheasant, a restaurant on North Avenue in Elmhurst. The sign is just the kind I’m always looking for:
I was kind of amused to discover this place, because it turns out I drove by it regularly when I was in college. My interest in all things retro hadn’t manifested itself yet, though, so I guess I never really noticed it!
The Opening Ceremonies of any Olympics are always reason for a feast!
I have been so excited all week, because I have been planning a Korean dinner to celebrate PyeongChang 2018. I spent a lot of time looking through the Korean cookbook I purchased just for this occasion, and choosing the things I wanted to cook for our Korean feast. When I finally came up with the menu, I realized there were quite a few ingredients in the meal that were new to us:
I had fun cooking all of the various components of our dinner…especially those that required me to work on my wok skills:
We had sweet potato starch noodles with stir-fried vegetables and beef (japchae), panfried tofu with spicy seasoning sauce (dububuchim-yangnyeomjang), and kimchi. I made everything except the kimchi, and originally, I had planned to make that, too, but I think I’ve watched too much Food Network, and it scared me a little!
It was a delicious dinner, and to my surprise, everyone enjoyed the tofu, which was probably the most foreign item on the menu!
For dessert, I had planned to make panfried sweet rice cakes with edible flowers (hwajeon) to go with the pear punch (baesuk) that has been steeping in the fridge all week. When I couldn’t find the necessary edible flowers, I bought a package of Korean rice cookies instead. But then Ladybug and I decided that mint leaves might work instead of the flowers, and you know what? They were delicious!
We had a really fun time trying out some very new-to-us Korean foods, and not only did I love cooking some new foods, I was pleased with how much everyone enjoyed the things I made. We have a few other fun foods to try during the Olympics…I hope they’re as popular as tonight’s dinner!