Love & Dong Dong Ju

I believe in love and dong dong ju…

Mash it up

Mash it up

and that’s in spite of Valentine’s Day…

I have mixed emotions when it comes to Valentine’s Day.  I think Hallmark makes it into a bigger deal than it needs to be.  I’ve spent many a V-Day as a single lady and lived to tell the tale!

Whatchu lookin' at?

Nobody’s Fool

When I think about it, V-Day is just like any other day and single people should not feel compelled to crawl under a rock because Kay Jewelers wants you to buy a blood diamond for the special lady and man who seems to be absent from your life at the moment.  Should childless women jump off cliffs every time Mother’s Day rolls around?

But I digress!

Last year I vowed to make my own dong dong ju and though it took me a year, I finally brewed it myself (read about it here).  And as it so happened, my friend Clare’s birthday weekend getaway (coincidentally during a V-Day weekend) was coming up so I knew I had to bring some with.

Shutterfly, February 2008

Shutterfly, February 9, 2008

I met Clare in Korea through my beloved Seoul hiking club when I lived there between 2002-2005.  We shared some good times in Korea.  She has since moved to New York City where I see her even less than when we were expats living in Seoul!  But what a bosom friend she is.  And I mean that she is a kindred spirit, y’all.

The decanting hour

The decanting hour

The tide will abide

The tide will abide

Finished product

All your ducks in a row

As coinkidinks go, our friend Chris, a former hiking club member, also landed in New York City where he fell in love and settled down in Astoria (of course, I NEVER see him!)  What’s cool about this story, y’all, is that us three hiking members were together, along with other friends and loved ones, to toast Clare with home brewed dong dong ju and to bring our voices together to sing OH DONG DONG JU, a song that Chris and Clare concocted during one of our hikes:

OH DONG DONG JU (In the tune of OH TANNENBAUM)

Oh dong dong ju oh dong dong ju

Oh how I’ll drink you, dong dong ju

I’ll drink you high, I’ll drink you low

I’ll drink you in your little bowl

Oh dong dong ju oh dong dong ju

Oh how we love thy flavor

We’ll drink you hot, we’ll drink you cold

Wei’ll drink you in the winter snow

Oh dong dong ju oh dong dong ju

Oh how we love thy flavor!

The Reunion

The Reunion

I found a site that describes quite a different process for making dong dong ju.  It was interesting to learn about a more traditional way of doing it.  Maybe I’ll make a go of it next year…read about it at 함양블루베리.

Incidentally, did you know Koreans have a counterbalance for Valentine’s Day called Black Day?  A day where single people eat jajangmyun (짜장면), one of the best noodle dishes in the world, as either acts of rebellion or desperation.  Of course, you don’t really need a reason to eat 짜장면.  Just eat it.

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