One beautiful, fall day, I was slowly ambling along, enjoying the rustle of the leaves beneath my feet and all the color.
I was thinking about Fall in Korea. I lived there for 12 years.
Korea has four seasons and is about the same latitude as the Midwest, where I am from originally. So the weather is similar.
Koreans have several things they celebrate or enjoy during each season just like we do here in the U.S. Since I lived there so long, I grew accustomed to those traditions and began to look forward to those things too.
One of the things I enjoyed was drinking a variety of hot teas in the Fall and the Winter. One of the teas that I liked best was ginger tea. I like the “burning” sensation of the fresh ginger.
So on this day, as I slowly walked along, singing one of my favorite old Korean songs to myself, mentally teleporting myself back in time for a short moment, I didn’t notice the Korean couple and their small child walking up ahead of me.
They heard me singing. They stopped and turned around and waited for me to get closer. They asked me, in Korean, “How is it, that you can sing Korean songs so well?” (왜 이렇게 한국 노래를 잘 하십니까)
I responded politely with humility, as any well-mannered Korean would have, and said, “Oh I don’t sing well, but thank you anyway.” (잘 하기는요)
I told them about my experience in Korea and how Fall reminded me of the hustle and bustle of people at the market place, scurrying around, scooping up all the fabulous ingredients and food they were going to prepare and enjoy now that the weather had gotten colder.
I said I always enjoyed ginger tea and dried persimmons.
They nodded there heads in agreement. Then they told me of a recipe for ginger tea that, “would suit me just fine“.
I thanked them for their kindness and bid them farewell.
Now I want to share that recipe with all of you:
It’s very simple.
(By the way, ginger tea is pronounced “saeng gang cha” in Korean and it is spelled like this ” 생 강 차 “, (if you’re a good speller..and I am).
All you need is five ingredients:
…….A palm-sized hunk of fresh ginger
……4-6 cinnamon sticks
……8-10 dried red dates (found at Korean or Asian stores)
- Start boiling a big pan of water.
- Peel the ginger and slice it into thin, small slices and throw them in the water.
- Cut the dried dates in half and add them to the water.
- Throw in the cinnamon sticks.
- Boil on medium high for 30-45 minutes, then reduce to medium low temperature for a while until it is as strong as you want it.
I like it strong so I boil it longer.
Then when it tastes just right to me…….
I pour myself a cup……..
Use my finger to stir the honey……
And sprinkle about 6-8 pine nuts in it.
I usually eat some type of fruit with it, but that’s just me.
I had waited and watched these peaches ripen just the way I like them. That was my cue to get the tea going.
I then sat down and enjoyed it all. Ahhh, simple pleasures, right?
Hope you enjoy it too. (잘 드시기를 바랍니다)
The last thing I said to them was, “If you see me getting smaller you know I’m leaving.”