May 25, 2012

work stress and lotus root 연근

So school has been less than stellar lately. We're coming to the close of the first semester and things seem to be reaching an unfortunate place. My university was a whole lot less than honest about the schedule from the get go and said we could talk about changing it before second semester (but no changes could be made at that time) to placate us. Well, it's right before 2nd semester and our first meeting about next semester happened as though nothing would be changed. Opinions had to be expressed again, but I'm seriously doubting changes will be made. Dishonesty in the work place is quite a downer.

Plus everyone seems to be feeling the stress, as students are getting restless in class (bringing out a whole lot of texting instead of working) which will at least make grading easier. And by grading, I mean dealing with students' complaints about their grades. Nothing shuts down complaining students more than telling them they brought on their own bad grades by texting instead of working, sleeping (yeah, that's semi cool in Korea, students study for ridiculously long amounts of time), speaking Korean the entire time, etc. But even my co-workers have been pretty snappy, so I'm thinking the whole choosing our classes and plans for next semester is going to be another lesson in all kinds of unpleasantness. Well, at least this semester will be over soon enough. Things have changed a whole lot from the beginning...

And at least this is the long weekend because Monday is Buddha's birthday! I've got a bunch of Buddhist students, but none of them are vegetarian. Those two things don't go together here. If I had to choose any religion to follow, I would go with Buddhism, but I don't consider myself a religious person. But this is definitely my favourite holiday in Korea.

And lotus roots 연근, another food I didn't try until Korea, and roots in general being my favourite food to eat here.
 This is what they look like all on their own.
So if you bought them in their whole form, you just need to cut off the ends, peel and slice. If you don't want them to discolour, just stick the slices in some water with vinegar. I did that in the beginning, but don't really care about that anymore. It wasn't really necessary because I used them immediately.
But naturally, Korea being the convenient place that it is, you can buy them peeled and sliced!
Normally I just make lotus chips, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper, bake them and then serve. But whenever I've eaten them at restaurants or school cafeterias, they've been battered and fried or are in a soy sauced form. They have a crunchy texture, which is why I like them in chip form.

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