Have Kittehs, Will Travel

As the countdown to departure for Jason and I continues, Abner and Ebenezer will be making their trip home sooner. Temperatures in Albuquerque are getting warmer, and that means airlines are less and less willing to accept pets (or any animal I would imagine) on their flights. In fact, United, which is the airline we’re hoping to have fly our babies home, won’t accept them if the departure or arrival destinations are 75°F or above.

If you’re in a more temperate location, that’s fine, it’s February and no big deal, right? Well, we’re not from a temperate location, we’re from the desert, and that means that 75°F comes early and it comes fast. Like April. SO, to avoid all that drama, we’re shipping them home sooner.

Months and months ago we started looking for information on shipping the boys home. After adopting them nine months ago, we knew what we were getting into.

Abner and Ebenezer (2.5 Mo)

 At first, we looked at the airlines, and it was ridiculously difficult to decipher what the real rules were. On top of that, try finding the right crate for the cats in a foreign country. Not so easy. We had to find other means of transport. Aside from the boys, we also have to ship home three bikes, some art, clothes, two computers, and our collection of coffee mugs. We decided against shipping our furniture and will be trying to off load all that and our wired for Korea electronics.

After some research, we finally found an impressive international organization with the only function being the shipping of pets. This organization puts the pet owner in contact with a myriad of companies who have years of experience in the organizing of pet shipment. The companies are endorsed by this organization, which also means the companies are good. The company we’re going with is Pet Airline, so far, they have been infinitely helpful. Since they are here in Korea, they are able to even help us talk to our vet to get the boys their Rabies Certificates. We pick them up on Saturday.

So, once that is taken care of, I think we will be saying “see you soon” to our boys. They will be met by my wonderful aunt and promptly taken home where the rest of our menagerie awaits.

Abner and Ebenezer
Niki and Copper

We Be Jammin’

As a follow-up to my post from last week on turning my Jeju oranges into jam, I would like to offer up this short blog about another jam recipe I found on WikiHow. It has been a yummy alternative to banana bread when you spread it over warm toast. The recipe doesn’t mention the shelf life, so I would suggest not letting it go too long. Bananas are fickle and while semi preserved in the cup of sugar melted down at the beginning, the bananas themselves may not last very long. But, if you find it as delicious as we did, it really wont last very long.

Orange in the Back, 'Nanners in the Front
Toast with Orange Jam (back) and with Banana Jam (front)

Orange You Glad?

It’s the Lunar New Year, or 설날 in Korean, and my company gifted everyone with a 3 kilogram box of oranges (hallabongs) from Jeju island. These are special oranges that taste amazing.

Hallabong from Jeju

The only problem with receiving such a gift, is that there only two people in my household and 3 kg of oranges is A LOT. Actually it was ten oranges, but we couldn’t eat nearly that many. So, I sought out recipes. I usually begin my searches on AllRecipes or JoyOfBaking, but they didn’t give me any solid leads aside from orange smoothies, orange marmalade, and orange chicken (more on these later). So I went to my backup, YouTube.

I found an awesome poster who submitted this great recipe. I didn’t have a cake pan, so I improvised and the result was one and a half dozen cupcakes (we still have 6 left) and they are SUPER tasty. I especially loved how I made the entire batter in my food processor. A fantastic WIN.

But, what to do with the rest? Over the last week, we ate all but four oranges and with those oranges… jam. Last year, I made strawberry jam with just the berries and sugar. Today, I simply substituted the strawberries with oranges. It was actually quite simple.

Not wanting to waste any part of my orange, I used my box cheese grater to get the zest of all the oranges, which I then set to dry in my oven at about 100C (just over 200F). I can use the dried zest later in a variety of recipes.

I sliced up the oranges (with a bit of their peel still on) and mixed them with the sugar over medium-low heat for nearly an hour, until the orange/sugar mixture reduced. The end result was just about 600 grams of orange jam.

Jam is nice to make because you don’t need preservatives (like pectin which is something I am not even going to attempt to look for in Korea), and if you’re canning, all you need is a hot water bath (ie place your jam-filled jar in boiling water, let the water return to a boil, then remove) this site is lovely. Jason and I also have a few books on the topic, purchased happily from Amazon.  

This jar in the picture is actually 400 grams worth, so the rest is sitting in a plastic container. I plan on making this tomorrow night for dinner and will use the jam in place of marmalade since the jam was made with some of the orange peel. I will let you know how it turned out.

A Book Club

Upon the request of my sister, LeAnna, I have created a blog for our newly formed book club. She asked that I create a space for people who don’t have Facebook, but who love to read and want to participate in book discussions and conversations. The Facebook link is here and we’ve just begun 100 Years of Solitude.

100 Years of Solitude

Our International Book Club currently has members in three countries, including Mexico, the US (California, Nevada, and New Mexico), and South Korea.