As children, my sister and I would sit in the back of the car for what seemed like eternity, but really only an hour and a half. The trip was as important as a vacation...each month my family of four would load up in our Toyota Previa and hit to road for some shopping.
This shopping was not for clothes, not for general house items, but rather for my mom's opportunity to go to Korea...or at least as close as she can get from VT.
I took for granted soooo much when I was younger, in fact I feel rather guilty now about the resistance and annoyance I put upon my parents. Today is different...and I can't get enough!
These days, with food at the forefront of my passion in life, I have an urge to cook. Not just dinner, but as a career. I want to own a restaurant, or a food processing company, or even a seasonal Korean BBQ stand. While I would take any of the above and can't pinpoint what exact opportunity I want....all I do know is that I have this urging need for one or the other to truly be fulfilled!
For me it is about sharing with my somewhat sheltered community the true notion of a family dinner...I want to capture the love and care that goes into the preparation of every element...I want more than anything to quit the BD dungeon I am stuck in now and gamble it all away for one chance...just one opportunity to be me!
As a young woman at 27, I know this is the time. I have the energy, the passion and soon enough the talent to make this happen...what holds me back? The insecurity of not knowing and the $$ I'd have to ask my hard working husband to sacrifice.
The canned mackerel above is near and dear to my heart. As a baby I am told I was fed this with rice...as a child, teen and occasionally now I indulge in the spicy version. So salty, so fishy (in a good way)...it's me!
Now this is the curry I grew up with! A meaty stew type brown curry that tastes of my childhood. I have seen this occasionally in the Asian isle of my grocery store...but at the prices here, I can't resist and have to add some of the hot stuff to my cart.
Ah, yes one of the key staples to Korean goodness...hot pepper powder! There are so many different brands, textures, etc the store has an entire isle dedicated to this fiery being.
The meats here are different. I don't quite understand where they come from or how they end up at this little Korean store in MA...but their authentic. You have to purchase them frozen (and of course I brought a cooler). Today, we are luck cause it's only $3.99/lb!
Rice for Koreans is more important than anything I can pinpoint in a traditional American repertoire! My mother without her rice becomes sick...literally ill. This trip she kindly insists upon purchasing a large bag for the hubs and me.
We're not getting the usual stuff either...nope, this time she's treating us to the new harvest! Based on her explanation, rice is usually harvested, mixed and stored. The type we are getting this trip is the freshest! It was harvested in Korea just this fall!
Before leaving the store my dad reminds me of one of the odder things I've heard of Koreans (and thus my mother) loving to eat.
That's right Chrysalis! I've never dared to try these myself, but I am told they are to Koreans what peanuts and bar mix are to us. You can walk into a karaoke bar to find bowls of these creatures waiting for you...this one will take a little time as they remain in the bizarre category to me!
At this point we are now into Korean Store #2. Here are the fresh produce. The napa is amazing, the diakon fabulous, the long green peppers so unique, etc...never do you find this stuff in your typical grocery store!
The isles here are just as packed with Korean goodness!
Other than the typical shitake, I have never attempted the dried mushrooms. Next trip I do think this is in the cards though :O)
I hope you have enjoyed your sneak peak at a truly unique experience. I am sure I'll be bringing you all back to these roots many a times as this blog progresses.
Love you Mom, Dad & Lil' Sis!!