Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Holidays and Other Shenanigans in Sturgis, SD: 2013

Having stopped at Clear Creek Brewing Company in Buffalo, the Harringtons were ready to continue forth to Deadwood, South Dakota for a nights free lodging, a bit of slot machining and most importantly seeing Grandma and Papa Cushing as well as Uncle Bernard.

The drive through the canyon and onto the interstate was relatively uneventful, although the moon did light up the night sky creating a peaceful journey across state lines.
The couple stayed at the Franklin Hotel in Deadwood where they were guests in "Josephine's" room (don't worry, there wasn't an actual escort of sorts in the room, just a plaque with her name on the door). The duo was a bit bummed to notice that another room boasted their own family name and that the grandparents were housed in John Wayne's room, fortunately, the success of the trip wasn't based on the name of the room...then again, perhaps it was.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Brewery Tour: Clear Creek Brewing of Buffalo Wyoming

It should go without saying that the Harringtons loved food and traveling in South Korea. Yet, as we recently stated here at THT, the couple is thrilled to be back in a land where going out to dinner sometimes includes incredible BBQ and Bread Pudding. Additionally, the amount of joy the couple has experienced in being able to track down fine craft beers...that joy is also quite immense.

Following their holiday celebrations in Worland, the couple hit the road and made their way through Ten Sleep Canyon en route to Deadwood, South Dakota where the next leg of their holiday celebrations would take place. However, having a desire to re-enter the world of craft brews and perhaps gain some insight to the business potential of such an operation, the couple was eager to get through the canyon and stop off at Wyoming's newest brewery, opened in September of 2012, Clear Creek Brewing Company in Buffalo, Wyoming.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christmas and other Shenanigans in Worland, WY: 2013

Oh to be home for the holidays! A long-awaited joy in the life of the Harringtons and while the school district wasn't overly generous in vacation time, it was far more than the couple had enjoyed for the previous two years during the actual holiday season and therefore allowed them embrace the days they had and spend as much time as possible lazing around and visiting family.

The bulk of Christmas vacation as well as the official Christmas holidays were spent with the Harrington family eating, eating, reading, eating, traveling, attending church services, eating, reading, blogging, wasting time on the internet and eating some more...oh, and just in case you can't put two-and-two together, eating always includes drinking, and lately, drinking always involves new (or well-loved microbrews...Christmas in Worland included Pig's Ass Porter and Polygamy Porter among others).
Aside from such a heavy schedule of dining and relaxing, the Harrington duo, in tow with the sisters made a quick trip to Billings to see Grandma Barb. With nothing but warmth and love, Grandma Barb welcomed in her grand-kids and quickly asked that the dog be returned to the car, because, unfortunately for Lady Annyeong, three-legged great-grand-mutts are not welcome to run free in all abodes. So while Lady shivered, the Harringtons enjoyed burgers and learning about Grandma Barb's life and her days in a sorority and her connection to Roald Dahl. Finally, commenting that the sun would soon go down and there was still a bit of driving to be done, the Harringtons slipped out of Grandma's house and joked on the way home about Tiger Lady and bugtruk (two Montana drivers who had earlier made a lasting impression on the Harrington-filled Subaru) before drifting off to sleep and letting the man Harrington get them safely home.
The holiday continued with the Christmas Eve meal and supplementary traditions (reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and other such cheer-bringing, holiday-spirited stories), Christmas morning stockings and gifts, traditional morning coffee cake, breakfast with Heidi and eventually the large, impossible to put-a-dent-in Christmas meal featuring turkey, prime rib, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, rolls and every other imaginable item to be consumed...it was all there.

Rolling themselves home and overcoming the lethargic feeling that can only be induced by an abundance of food, the entire Harrington family eventually enjoyed the vacation playing new games, watching new movies, baking home-made pizzas and resting in the joy that is family and vacation and the promise of new beginnings.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Fine Dining in Laramie: Boomer's BBQ

While the Harringtons enjoyed (and now dearly miss) dining in Daejeon, there are more than a few fine dining establishments in Laramie, Wyoming and, honestly in the USA in general. Among the highlights of returning to the states, eating is one of them with drinking fine beer being another.

A few months back, the man won everything! Football tickets (twice!), Dracula tickets and coupons for Boomer's BBQ, a restaurant which was not in Laramie the last time the Harringtons called the town home.

Excited to go out for dinner and a drink, the Harringtons set out with their coupons on a chilly night, as they all are from October to May in Laramie, and sat down for a meal which would wow them!
Since the coupons promised a free sandwich and side, the Harringtons were bold and glutinous in their ordering: Wind River Brewery Pale Ales to drink, Artichoke Dip to begin the meal, a Pulled Pork Sandwich each, one with Potato Salad and one with Baked Beans. Sandwiches come, as Boomer's describes them, Naked. Diners are then given a 6-pack of in-house prepared BBQ sauce which includes nothing but deliciousness in the form of: Original, Bourbon, Habanero Heat, Alabama White, South Carolina Mustard and Carolina Vinegar.

Following a pulled pork sandwich, that throughout the meal served to host to all six sauces, the Harringtons decided it was absolutely necessary to try the Bread Pudding which features a home-made Koltiska sauce (Koltiska being a Wyoming-made liqueur) which was truly out of the world and continues to have Melissa ending the day with a strong and insatiable desire to down another plate (or pan) full of the perfect end to a meal.

So, should you come through Laramie or find yourself living here as some folks do, you should make it a habit to stop in Boomer's BBQ and enjoy a meal that is simple, yet out-of-this world!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Lesson in Korean Cooking

One of the great joys of returning to Laramie is being able to meet up with Korean families and individuals who have been transplanted in Laramie either for school, work or some combination of both.

One such family is composed of a husband and wife and their two darling girls. The husband is an exchange professor in the University of Wyoming Law School and kindly and fortunately, brought his sweet family with him. Thanks to Melissa's work with the school districts ELL families, she had the pleasure of meeting them early in the fall semester and now even has the great pleasure of working with the two girls one-to-two times a week at the University Lab School.

The family has helped the Harringtons to settle into American life while keeping up with Korean pop culture, pop music and most importantly food. In November, the family came over and helped Melissa prepare kimchi and made a promise to get together soon so that Melissa could learn, first hand how to make a favorite Korean dish, Japchae!
The lesson involved learning which spices are most essential (such as pork, dash-i-da, and of course vegetables) and how to test to make sure the noodles are ready. Not only did Melissa learn the fine art of preparing Japchae, but they Harringtons were also served a meal full of all that is Korean deliciousness from calamari to kimchi, to dumplings and cucumber kimchi and so, so much more.

To top off the evening, the girls performed some K-pop dances and left us clapping, smiling and remembering all the reasons we love South Korea and all the reasons we're thankful to have met this lovely family!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Holiday Cheer and Tea

While we fight to be present, it is sometimes required to volunteer for things you undoubtedly love, such as being with friends while enjoying tea. With a bit more hesitancy than typical of herself in such occasions, Melissa opted to host a table at a Women's Tea this past December and was reminded of her love for hosting, drinking tea and enjoying fellowship.

Feeling sentimental, and particularly family-oriented, Melissa set up her table with particular attention to items which would represent the history of her family and the family to which she is joined while also speaking tribute to the lovely family members who continue to enjoy and to the dear souls we've mourned and said good-bye to throughout the years. So Melissa served from the Blue Willow China which is that of Grandma Cushing's, set the table with Grandma Carolyn's wooden bowl filled with rocks polished by Grandpa Al, a pocket watch from Grandpa Jack, a wooden bird from Grandma Barb and it came together simply and beautifully and further reminded Melissa why it's good to be home.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Great Beer Explosion

Most afternoons at the Harrington abode are fairly run-of-the-mill, nothing too exciting. Generally, afternoons involve reading, cooking, baking, watching TV shows or soccer games and taking Lady Annyeong for a walk.

But some afternoons get a bit exciting.

Take for example the after noon we came home to a carboy of Porter that has managed to ooze out the top through the airlock and is making a bit of mess on the sweatshirt the carboy wears to stay warm, but seems otherwise manageable.

However, within minutes, after a certain man decides to release some pressure to clean out the airlock and get things back in order, you soon realize that beer has sprayed everything from the ceiling to your bedroom door to your man's face and beer is still spilling out the sides of that ornery glass carboy. You think quick, grab a large pot, hold it under the carboy and restrain your laughter while the man is assessing the mess created and how ridiculous brewing beer outside of Korea has become.
Soon enough, the man makes his way to the mirror and lets out a soft chuckle realizing how humorous the whole situation is and how unfortunate his face appears when splattered with beer goop. Relieved you let out a fountain of laughter and together you get to work mopping and wiping and cleaning and re-fermenting, thankful that the beer goop actually does come off of the ceiling tiles, so long as you don't scrub too hard.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fighting to be 'Present'

Since returning to the United States in late August, the Harringtons have been fighting to be present, to re-embrace all that life in America is made of while simultaneously mourning and yearning for the land of Kim-chi. Sometimes, it's quite simple to be in this place, at this time: visiting favorite restaurants, quick trips to visit family, conversing with favorite friends, participating in the holidays, having family dinners, having friends drop-by because they know exactly where you live - all of these things (and so much more) make being in the States beautiful and homey and exactly where the Harringtons belong.
But it's still a process, one that feels doable, enjoyable and easy some-days and absolutely overwhelming on other days.

One thing the Harringtons are recognizing, is that while Laramie is place where they are well loved and have many beautiful relationships, it's not their forever home. It's a place, that as a home, served a great and beautiful purpose in preparing the Harringtons to embrace the world, to travel, to live with intentionality, to go deep in friendships, to be hospitable, to drink fine beer, to re-claim food, to dream, to pursue, to feel and be loved. And that's the truth. Laramie is an essential piece to the larger whole that has formed the Harringtons into the couple and the individuals they are today and will be for the rest of their lives.

So, as they struggle, to be present, to anticipate the future while honoring the here and now, to ache for what is past and desire what is to come, they remind themselves that Laramie is "home", Laramie and her people are crucial to their story and Laramie and her people have played one of many beautiful and supportive roles that the Harringtons have been so privileged to experience and live out.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sturgis-bound for Thanksgiving 2012

By far one of the best things about being in one's mother country is being able to celebrate holidays in all the traditional manners without the difficulty of tracking down ingredients for all your favorite dishes and being reminded of just how far you truly are from family. However, don't let these statements convince you that the Harringtons have lost their fondness and love for the land of kimchi or that celebrating Thanksgivings 2010 and 2011 in South Korea weren't absolutely beautiful and memorable, no, not at all. It's just, in the challenge of re-adjusting to the mother land, the holidays provide a kind of stability and sense of home the Harringtons are reaching for. Not to mention, turkey!

With great swiftness, the Harringtons packed up and loaded the car as soon as school was released on  the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. They made the five hour drive to South Dakota discovering that the new Subaru, while boasting seat warmers, failed to play CD's or anything other than radio and cassettes, fortunately, the Harringtons have a love for the radio and were content to make the drive sans Dan Walker and Jalan Crossland (although, the couple is quite fond of both artists...)
Upon arrival in Sturgis, the couple was greeted with warm hugs, a warm fire and a warm bed - can't get much better or warmer than that!


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