Markets and Muffins

Two weekends ago, I bought a baking pan at the Bangsan Baker’s Market. I’ll write more about this place in a future post, but for now, it’s suffice to know that this is easily one of my favourite places in Seoul, where I’ve spent most of my money, and pretty much what I imagine heaven to look like.

I brought the pan home, eager to make something with it, only to find out that it didn’t fit in my oven. Now, I’ve mentioned that I’ve been taking intensive language classes for a few weeks now. In the comfort of my classroom, I actually feel quite confident about my Korean. However, outside of it, everything I hear is still mostly a blur. But on that particular Friday afternoon, I decided it was time to put my skills to the test, by going back to the market to ask for an exchange.

I felt rather nervous about this endeavour. Market ladies here are notoriously feisty, and so I prepared for all sorts of unfriendly scenarios. I walked into the stall, spotted the owner and confidently spat out the lines that I had memorized. Fortunately, she was very sympathetic to my situation, and amused by my limited vocabulary and awkward pronunciation. She gladly exchanged my pan for a smaller one, and even refunded the difference! I thought her kindness justified me spending a few more dollars there, so I bought a couple more items, including a muffin pan. I really shouldn’t have though, as I’m starting to accumulate far more than I can handle.

I came home feeling a little guilty, and thought that the only thing that could make me feel better would be to use it. So I made these oatmeal apple muffins with a crunchy streusel topping.

One bite was all it took to cure my pangs of conscience.

Saturday morning, we ate them with a peas and potato frittata, which had quite a story of its own. The night before, S decided to bring home a ricotta salad for me, a thoughtful gesture that acknowledged my desire to eat more vegetables without having to be involved in it. But I don’t particularly care for this kind of cheese, and especially not when it has been dumped on a bed of greens. Now in Canada, I wouldn’t have thought twice about simply not eating it, but here, any kind of cheese seems too precious to just throw away. So I did what I thought was a heroic act of recycling. I picked it out the ricotta, cleaned it of its cranberry bits, and reused it the next day in our italian omelette pancake.

Yes, it’s far more delicious when it’s melted on eggs and potatoes, and now I really think I’ve outdone myself.

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