Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I know that I've filled Facebook with a gazillion photos of yummy food but I thought I should tell a little bit about what we are eating over here.   We are eating out way more than we do at home for two reasons. 1. The girls get to eat out for lunch everyday that they have school. 2. Healthy Korean food is dirt cheap at restaurants (I think meat is cheaper at restaurants as it is very pricey at the grocery store) 3. We love Korean food and want to try all the food that is harder to get back home.

Ok.  For breakfast and dinner, we eat the same thing.  This is super Asian.  Breakfast food is no different than what they eat the rest of the day unless you look at more westernized options.  We could buy cereal, eggs, doughnuts, etc... here but we are sticking to the do as the Romans plan.  Every meal includes rice.  If we don't eat rice (or even enough rice), we get in trouble with Halmoni.  We also pull out all of the banchans (or side dishes) that are already prepared and in the fridge.  This includes things like kimchi, Korean bean sprouts, a cucumber salad of sorts, fried anchovies, kimchi jeon, and so forth.  Sometimes, I fry up eggs to go with it. We always have kim (seaweed) as the girls like to crumble over their rice or put rice in it and roll it up.  For dinner, we also might have soup or a meat but normally we don't.  Halmoni is the queen of turning nothing into a delicious soup and I'm determined to learn her art.  When she makes the bean sprouts, instead of dumping the water, she leaves some bean sprouts in at turns it into soup.  I guess you learn skills like that when you live in leaner times.

Treats here include a lot of the little yogurt drinks (they sell them at Costco in America), banana milk and Popsicles.  There is a little mom and pop shop a quick walk away that sells a huge variety of Popsicles for 400 won a piece. (Not super cheap but reasonable-about 40 cents)  Its cheap enough that the girls like grabbing a Popsicle when they go buy me bean sprouts or cucumbers.   Fruit is expensive at the grocery store but cheap if bought on the street.   The vendors have a bunch of fruit stacked in a bowl and the price is for the bowl, not per pound.  It is very reasonably priced.  We always keep some fruit on hand for snacks but it requires me to cut it and set it out on a tray, complete with mini fruit utensils. ...unlike at home where I say "grab an apple." I get scoffed at for not peeling the girls' fruit but I remind myself that they haven't got the memo that the skin has a lot of nutrients!

We love street food.  The food carts here are less flashy but cheap and delicious.  Hotteok is a sugar filled pancake. They are generally about 1000 won. ($1)  Kimbap, ddeokbogi (spicy rice cakes) and fish cakes on a stick can be found on just about any corner and several places in between.  The fish cake is called "o-dang" so we enjoy commenting on it everytime we see it.  Hannah is especially fond of the broth they cook the o-dang with.  Some of the stalls have cups so you can drink it more easily, which helps Hannah maintain some of her dignity.  (Don't get odang to go.  Hannah will find a way, no matter how ridiculous it may look, to slurp up all of the broth!)

The biggest struggle here with food has just been limiting ourselves while people are trying to show their hospitality by stuffing us full of food! Don't tell Halmoni, but when she isn't here for breakfast, we eat half as much rice as when she's here.  If we serve up less rice with her here, she adds more to everyones' bowl. The girls were all lecturing Elise about serving up too many anchovies for herself at the beginning of a meal.  What they didn't see was that Halmoni was adding anchovies to her bowl throughout the whole meal!  Our goal? Not to have to buy extra seats on the way home.

1 comment:

Linda Tunnell said...

so interesting and funny!