11.300 Smoked Salmon Romaine Wraps


31 (Sat) October 2020

Smoked Salmon Romaine Wraps


by me

at home

-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-


In addition to smoked salmon and romaine, the wraps included sliced onion, capers, horseradish and grain mustard sauce, sriracha sauce, lemon juice, and cracked black pepper.

Sean Connery died today.  I am a fan, a lifelong Connery-Bonder (until Daniel Craig came along).  While “Bond, James Bond” is an enduring cliché of the film series, the best rendition is the very first one (see clip of Dr No), the only one that makes sense as a response to someone who introduces herself in that manner.  I would argue that Connery’s best work as an actor came later in his career, such as in The Untouchables, The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and one of my personal favorites Finding Forrester (despite the white savior aspect of the story, I enjoyed the literary interplay of the characters).

I am more of a diehard James Bond fanatic, generally the movies but especially the original novels, all of which I’ve read multiple times.

When we moved to Korea in 1985, Anglo-American pop culture was hard to come by.  My primary source of English books was a small used bookstore in Itaewon.  At the time, the US Army HQ was still based in Yongsan, adjacent to Itaewon (that’s why it became an expat neighborhood), so much of the store’s books were purchased from American soldiers, who tended to read a lot of spy/military titles.  On one visit, I was literally jumping for joy to find paperbacks of 2nd generation Bond novels by author John Gardner, including License Renewed (1981), For Special Services (1982), and Icebreaker (1983).  The store was also where I picked up Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October (1984).  Back then, before internet, before globalization, before YouTube, before Amazon, the consumption of art typically required the acquisition of a physical representation thereof, precariously dependent on circumstances and good fortune, as still sadly remains the case for the vast majority of the planet today.  

The store is still in business, different location, same owner.  And wouldn’t you know it, he now buys books from our company.  By sheer coincidence, I (re)met him last week when he came to the warehouse, and I told him about the Bond novels.

Goldfinger, the 3rd Bond film starring Connery, is arguably the best of the classics (until Craig’s Skyfall, in many ways an homage to Goldfinger).
The villain’s chief henchman is Oddjob, described in the book as a Korean who likes to eat cats; when I asked my mother whether Koreans do eat cats – this was when I was a 6th grader in California – she was very offended.

(For more details re food, see WHAT)

(For more details re venue, see WHERE IN KOREA)

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