Vegan's Chronicles + [Vegan]

Hiking + baking = happy me

So, Vegan MoFo has gotten off to a bit of a late start for me... I didn't get to post yesterday (on World Vegan Day!), cuz I was running around Seoul like a mad woman, getting things done. But better late than never, eh? Well, before I get to some food-talk, I wanna share some nature pictures. It got so cold last week, I had to make a trip down to Cheonan to pick up my winter coats in storage. I could only stay for one day, but my parents and I made the most of it by going on a wonderful drive around the mountains by Cheonan and a little hike.

Fall hiking in Cheonan

I'm not even sure which mountain area we were in, but the views, foliage and autumn colors were lovely. While driving around, we found this secluded spot that was apparently where some of the first European Christian missionaries lived in hiding. When these first missionaries came to Korea, many were killed by the natives who had never seen 'white' people before and felt threatened by their strangeness, so they sometimes had to hide in these woods.

Fall hiking in Cheonan

Here's a grave site at the end of one of the trails, where some of the martyrs were buried. No gravestones, just grassy mounds of earth.

Fall hiking in Cheonan
Fall hiking in Cheonan

We were the only people there, so the area was so serene and also slightly eery.

Fall hiking in Cheonan

The site is somewhat hidden from the road, and you have to go down some steps and a trail to get there.

Fall hiking in Cheonan

Anyway, here are some more fall photos from our drive around the mountains and countryside of Cheonan.

Fall hiking in Cheonan
Fall hiking in Cheonan
Fall hiking in Cheonan

These white fuzzy plants were everywhere along the roadside, capturing the sunlight so beautifully.

Fall hiking in Cheonan

We also stopped by this Yoo Sung farm. (Their website doesn't seem to be working.)

Fall hiking in Cheonan

In the fall, they allow people to come and participate in harvesting chestnuts. It would've been fun to try it out, but the season has already passed and they've ended the program for the year! Just another sign that it's winter already.

Fall hiking in Cheonan

However, they still had a ton of chestnuts for sale in their shop, which we stocked up on- 4kgs worth! I never used to be a big fan of chestnuts, but they're growing on me~ :)

Fall hiking in Cheonan

A carpet of yellow ginko leaves.

In addition to enjoying the good ol' outdoors, I also got to bake some cookies with my umma.

oatmeal rock cakes

We used this Banana Coconut Cookie recipe from Vegweb.com, and 'healthified' it a little by subbing half the oil with applesauce. I've never put both bananas and applesauce in cookies, so I wasn't sure how this would turn out. The result was actually pretty good!

oatmeal rock cakes

For the first batch, we just dropped spoonfuls of batter onto the cookie sheet and didn't bother to flatten them. They spread out a little, but still maintained their round shape.

oatmeal rock cakes

They're so round and cute. I thought about naming them them 'rock cakes', but that wouldn't be right because there was nothing rock-like about them! They were soft, moist, and almost spongy, like a muffin. The oats and coconut shreds added some nice chewiness too. :)

oatmeal rock cakes

For the second batch, we made them a little smaller and flattened the dough a bit with our fingers, so that they would look more like typical cookies.

oatmeal rock cakes
oatmeal rock cakes

Banana, oats, and coconut bits- what's not to love? :) They were yummy and did their job of satisfying the mid-afternoon munchies.

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