In a very crazy and strange turn of events, the house that Family has been renting for the past almost-4 years, suddenly became available for Husband and me to buy. The landlord wanted to sell to us, without realtors, our home, as a private sale. Husband and I were pretty taken aback as we hadn't really thought about buying, but decided to slowly review the option and pray about the opportunity to buy a home.
After much discussion and prayer, we decided that it would be at least worth a try. We would stay within a fixed budget of what we could afford to spend, talk to banks about loans and get a sense of how we could afford the home that we were currently living in. After a few weeks of Husband running various scenarios of numbers, we decided to go ahead and make a low-ball offer. The landlord countered, and then we gave another offer...and then the email came. "Thank you for your offer. I accept it."
There was one single emotion that flooded from that single email - God is so good to me. I felt abundant love, not because I thought I deserved the house and that He blessed our family with it, but more so because I felt as if I didn't deserve it and yet He STILL gave our family this home. I cried reading the email over and over again and thanked God for His wonderful grace, because He gave me something I simply didn't deserve.
The weeks that followed with various inspections, appraisals, contractors giving estimates, and papers to sign with the bank caused me to be busier and more distracted than usual. Even then, God really kept me together, kept me cool, and kept on letting me know that He was still in control. From date of signing the original contract, to the actual date of close - was 11 days. Those 11 days were some of the more pressure filled days I've felt in a while as I was required to run from here to there, but I know we closed so quickly because God was right in the middle of it all. There was even a moment, where Husband and I were discussing the most cost and time efficient way to put our deposit on the house and we kept on flip-flopping back and forth between wiring money and a cashiers check. Husband finally decided on a cashier's check, so I had to run to the bank and get it. Upon requesting the check, I asked, "How much is the fee for a cashier's check?" and the teller who responded said, "It's usually $10. But I'm going to waive it for you." Why waive it for me at all? I'm not a big slinging money holder at the bank, nor am I a frequent banker, nor does the teller know me. But that was just more of God's grace, letting me know that yes, He was showing me favor and blessing.
The house has officially closed, officially been recorded with whomever it needs to be recorded that Husband and I are owners of a lovely house for our family. Now comes the more entertaining part...redoing and redecorating parts or all of the house. The house is a state of the art 1969 home in mostly original condition. The first thing I want to do is really get some new landscaping, as the house's current gardens and grounds (and we are talking TINY garden and grounds) don't quite suit my taste. I want to have a small vegetable garden in the back, and I'd like to grow a few things in it, one of them being these Korean perilla leaves. (can order seeds here or find it at your local Korean market.)
Friend JEL grows them in her yard, and gave me a bunch of leaves. As Son and Daughter LOVE this "leaf" Korean sidedish (반찬) I decided to make it today, as a small celebration of the great things that will come. (including a new garden in our new home.)
Pickled Korean Perilla Leaves (Kaetnip Jang Aht Jji 깻잎장아찌)
Makes between 24-30 leaves
24 to 30 Korean perilla leaves (깻잎 - not be confused with Japanese Shiso)
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce (I like Kikoman low sodium)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 to 3 teaspoons Korean red chili powder (gochugaru 고추가루) (my version I used the entire 3 teaspoons. If you’re worried about spice, start with 1 teaspoon.)
1 teaspoon ground toasted sesame seed
With a steamer basket, in a large pot, arrange leaves around the basket so that all the leaves can receive some steam. Cover pot and place over high heat. Watch the pot carefully, and as soon as you see steam coming out of the pot, open the lid, and remove basket from heat. Set aside to allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
While leaves are cooling, mix together in a small bowl, green onion, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili powder, and toasted sesame seed.
Get a container to store the pickled leaves, your sauce and your leaves all in one area. On the bottom of the container, spread a ½ a teaspoon of sauce. Taking TWO leaves at a time (this helps prevent overly salty leaves), lay it on top of the sauce. Spread another ½ teaspoon of sauce and layer another TWO leaves on top. Repeat until all leaves are used up. If you find yourself running out of sauce, around the container, excess sauce will begin to collect as you continue stacking the leaves, so use that as well and spread it on top of the leaves. Making more sauce just makes it saltier, so try and use everything that you have up.
Cover and refrigerate. As with all Korean pickled food, depending on how long it is pickled for changes the taste. After 24 hours, it has a fresh vibrant taste. After 1 month, it will have a more intense fermented taste. Both are delicious with steaming hot rice.
picture with leaf and rice coming soon.
deluxe way to grind toasted sesame seeds...tempted to buy.
Very similar to what I use now. (from Japanese market - less than $5.)