Cycle 5 – Item 70
16 (Sun) March 2014
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
3rd Home Visit (Day 2)
In Korea on a weekender, no particular reason, unless visiting with family is a reason.
My mother makes exquisite kimchi, northern-style (1). And I’m not just saying that because it’s the kimchi that I grew up on (2). Objectively, it could win awards. Alas, she doesn’t make kimchi very often anymore (3). I can’t even recall the last time, maybe years ago. Last week, for whatever reason, she suddenly whipped up a batch, which turned out perfectly (4). When we dropped by my parents’ place yesterday after dinner, she was so proud of the result that she insisted we take some home, even though I’ll be flying back to Manila on Monday morning and W will be going back to her parents’ place with the boys (5).
If not for the boys, I wouldn’t have bothered. The In-Laws, being hard-core born-and-bred southerners, don’t much like norther-style kimchi. Same with W. On the other hand, for obvious reasons, kids generally tend to like it.
At home, earlier this afternoon, I realized that I hadn’t cooked a single dish for the boys all year, not since I’ve been in Manila, which hit me right in the heart. I’d raised them to have diverse palates, but they’ve been eating nothing but rice and soup and kimchi for the past few months, living with the In-Laws. I made curry and tomato sauce, and stored them in glass containers, which could be reheated later and served. By evening, rather than going out for MNM, as per pre-flight SOP, the only place that I wanted to be was in our living room, watching Frozen on TV with my family, eating curry rice that I’d made for them, along with Mom’s kimchi. It was the first time that I’ve felt homesick, even though I was at home.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)