Sunday, October 25, 2009

Where Should I Go Have Some Real Korean Food?

Fry flying rice, didn’t I go to a cooking class for fry rice! But when I come home and tried it nothing like that, cucumbers and carrots were not crunch but soggy, as well as the rice hee hee! Wonder what was wrong with me about cooking food! I tell you what why I failed to learn to cook Korean food. Start with of course I don’t like cooking. When I was a child cooking was beyond of my imagination and kitchen was a dangerous place for a child, which was forbidden to enter! But that doesn’t make me to learn basic cooking skill for my survival! No I don’t have that basic skill of preparing Korean food. The thing is I think Korean food need more than basic skill as so complicated; looking at this making Kimchi, it is difference than what I saw at my house. They didn’t chopped whole cabbage into pieces but four pieces in my memory, probably difference way of making kimchi. Instant kimchi and long-term kimchi different. All these ingredient and vegetable make them as synthesize into a blender and chided chiseled all mixed, these vegetable difference way chopping chopping which I didn’t know.

In old day in Korea, cooking was part of women’s in-house education; you have to learn from step step by your mother or grandmother, which is unique for each household. So if a woman who possess a such good cooking skill is cherished assets for the family. For an example, how to make special, soybean pastes, that secretes skills are part of their duty to inherit to a next generation to generation so on. When I was a little I saw my grandmamma yearly ritual was preparing all these basic food savories; chill paste, soybean paste and sauce and fermented seafood and fermented vegetables with like a grand field marshal. She was an incontestable field marshal! The process in my memory like this; you must choose the best quality of beans and certain way of cooking; about right way, not so much or not so less, the just about right, - not like my rice cooking- sometimes so much water bit of like a bird’s pot in a rainy day or so not enough water so dry that fury rice in my tongue. After long period prepared ingredients, several huge black pots are burning all around house with pine logs cracked smell at chimneys tops wind blow lips, plop plop..., sack of bean are washed and drained and put them into pots and keep firing pine logs for a day. The scales so huge very dangerous so I was forbidded to around these area, a little electric or gas cooking pots are useless these cooking. And stone beat them( few men helped to do this) and made cake (soybean malt) kind of thing and put them into a dark stuffy fermenting room covered with coarsely wrought garments and until the fermenting, when a strong smell around house then we know the soybean malts are fermenting, melts are breeding for beneficial bacteria, that was why the stinky smell from the soy melts, right and my grandmamma went to the room turned them around and you could see the beneficial multi colored fungus on them which is basically rotten for breeding edible fungi you know! and then hanging them out a cool storage house shade like asymmetrical key boards dangle dangle all seasons, and resting there for sometimes( I don’t know how long) in state of unfathomable silence, and then put them into a huge black or dark brown (very dangerously huge! see the above picture) ceramic jars – like in a warm sunny day, drying crops in a field, lazy flowery seed sun baking, the sky so blue comes with distant tides at seashore autumn! Don’t run my child, hungry? Change and wash your hands and come to the bench I will give you something! She would say when I ran breathlessly into the house after school. I think autumn days, along with permanent helpers and also lots of village ladies come to help or see the process. I think she made a kind of a ritual that day, always special food prepared for the day. After that I don’t know how to become a soy sauce or soybean paste which beyond my imagination. I think the process take the whole year! Then become tasty savory in our food, yarm yarm all credited her grand scheme of household management. The utter dominant in her position, that made her so the indispensible tenor of clan, the demeanor of the village, repository of the complacency and superiority all that which made her bit of maverick in her day.

Although she could buy them from shops which much easy and costless, but she knew all of these uniquely hers which cannot buy from shops only for hers which belong to her clan. I might someday go through her belongs that she might be written her secrete somewhere in a scripted note book, She knew that her generation was the last generation of true authentic Korean food which she took with her graces as well. She could give me bit of her grace though! I wonder today she would teach me her precious secretes.

Anyway Korean village life – where a lots people gathered house like ours, kitchens are not children friendly place. As also I brought up and was told that “you will not have to learn all of these cooking your own food, your generation will be different than mine!” that is right take away hee hehehe she was right I don’t cook my own food because I don’t how to cook except basics hybrid; take away, tin foods made my heavenly banquet! I forget set up a dinner table at the dinner!