And My Mom’s Favorite Seattle Seahawks Player Is…

Feb 01

And My Mom’s Favorite Seattle Seahawks Player Is…

Surprisingly, my little Korean mom has a favorite Seattle Seahawks player. Who does she prefer to root for? In her words, “Quarter big mouth ha ha.”

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Yes, My Mom Knits Her Own Pants

Mar 11

Yes, My Mom Knits Her Own Pants

One of the many things I didn’t know about my mom until recently is that she likes to knit. She’s knitted hats and headbands for my nieces and recently whipped up a Michigan Wolverines-colored scarf for my brother so he’d stay warm after his hip surgery. I’ve previously had conversations with her where she had said she was sitting at home knitting pants, but I’ve never actually been able to catch a glimpse of these bad boys… …until now. My brother texted me this picture of my mom modeling her latest creation:   Yes, those are maroon-colored pants with a built-in belt. And yes, my mother has paired her hand-knitted pants with a furry gray vest and black and white striped socks. If this ensemble doesn’t scream Korean Whoville, I don’t know what...

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Pre-Surgery Pampering from Mom

Feb 20

Pre-Surgery Pampering from Mom

My brother has had surgery numerous times (for bad knees and a bum hip), and every time he’s scheduled to go in, my mom treats him like a death row inmate on his last hurrah. On Monday John had a hip replacement surgery, which means on Sunday my mom came to his house with enough food to feed an army, plus some extra goodies to pamper him before he went under the knife. According to John, here’s what my mom made for dinner Sunday night, which fed two adults, two children, and a 100-lb Asian woman: Steak Ribs Mashed potatoes Salads Asparagus Bulgogi Rice Homemade chicken soup She also, quite amusingly, made my brother a “pre-surgery scarf.” Mom: “It keep you warm and you feel better. I make Meechygan color.” Here’s a picture of John enthusiastically modeling Mom’s handiwork (it is indeed maize and blue–go Wolverines!):   So with a belly full of food (hopefully outside the “Don’t eat 8 hours before your surgery” window) and a warm neck, my brother underwent surgery Monday afternoon. When he woke up, my mom was there to visit and smuggled in sweet and sour chicken, fried rice, and a donut tucked into a Ziplock bag, because nothing hits the spot after getting your hip bone hacked out like Chinese takeout and fried dough. That’s my mom, offering help and relief the only way she knows how: with knitted goods and insane quantities of...

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Mom’s Relationship with Food

Dec 13

I’ve talked about my mom’s cooking before but feel that I need to devote another post to it so you can truly understand how her cooking has impacted my life. Mom loves to feed people. My siblings and I all likely share the same earliest memory, which is our mother chasing us around the house with “just one more bite!” of whatever food she’s made for us. It’s a sexist cliche, I know, but I honestly will never see her happier than when she’s in the kitchen whipping up a meal for us. In addition to being an ace Korean food chef, my mom also cooks many delicious ‘western’ meals. At family gatherings, her dishes were always quick to empty while jealous Caucasian women watched in the background, begrudgingly eating while their own bland dishes sat untouched and collected a glossy, filmy sheen. If you visited our house and she was home, you didn’t leave hungry. Eventually our friends caught on and would “randomly” show up around dinner time to catch a good meal. Mom was more than happy to have guests over, though. Even if she didn’t know you, she’d still make you eat. (Case in point: one time Mom fed leftover spaghetti to some delivery guys who were dropping off a package, and they happily ate it.) Naturally, my mom went ridiculously out of her way to make meals just the way her kids liked them. She’d sooner die than let any of us go underfed, so as a result I got away with being a little asshole when I was younger because I was a picky eater. Since she worked nights at the Ford Motor Plant, a regular sight for me whenever I’d come home from school would be a separate plate covered in saran wrap that was labeled with the following message: “Rebecca. Eat. Good. No onons.” (The word “onions” was always misspelled.) She made my school lunch for me every day through my senior year of high school. My friends were insanely jealous – one was always quick to point out that I had “the best lunches” out of anyone else. When my brother John got the stomach flu and told her he couldn’t eat anything, she still showed...

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Mom’s Enthusiastic Endorsement of CJ’s Bibigo Foods

Feb 09

Mom’s Enthusiastic Endorsement of CJ’s Bibigo Foods

Quite randomly, I received an email from a PR rep who was promoting Korean food maker CJ‘s new line of pantry items. Called “CJ Bibigo,” they include sauces, pastes, seasonings, and snacks. It’s not the first time I’ve been offered free goodies for blogging–my boyfriend and I used to write for a food site and scored free samples of See’s Candies for an obscenely long time period. However, I was especially geeked out to get a bunch of sample Korean food because 1. I love Korean food, obviously, and 2. I wanted to hear how my mom would react. The problem was that my mom still doesn’t know about this blog, so I was going to have to figure out how to explain that I got a bunch of free Korean food samples without spilling the beans about MKM (not that I think she’d be upset or angry if she found out; I just think it’s more amusing that she doesn’t know about it for now). I received my package of free goodies and called my mom to share the good news. Me: “So you know how I do a lot of writing for work?” Mom: “Yeah.” Me: “Well, I got contacted by a Korean food company because, uh, I’m Korean and I write…so, uh, they sent me a bunch of free samples.” Mom: “Oh yeah?” Me: “Yeah, it’s pretty cool, I got a lot of stuff.” Mom: “Ohhh…” [laughing] ‘Wowwww!” She was incredulous. “What kind?” Me: “CJ Bibigo.” Mom: ” Ohhhh, CJ is good! CJ is best quality food company!” I started laughing really hard. Me: “Really?” Mom: “Yeah, best brand. Other brands okay but CJ is top. Man, I wish I were there!” A note to CJ foods: you couldn’t have asked for a more singing, unprompted endorsement than the one my mom gave over the phone. Me: “So you could sample the food with me?” Mom: “Yeah. How you get again? How they send to you?” Me: “Uh…you know, because I write. They saw some of my writing.” Mom: “Where they see?” Me: “Online…” Quick, change the subject! “You wanna hear what I got?” Mom: “Yeah, what’d you get?” I ran through the list of products....

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Mom’s Forceful Clothing Donations

Jan 09

Mom’s Forceful Clothing Donations

One of the things my mom likes to do every time I come to visit (other than stuff me full of food) is to pluck something out of her closet and try to give it to me (since she loves to give people clothes, whether or not they actually fit the recipient). She always has something that’s either newly purchased or bought but never worn that sits in her room awaiting my next visit. When I flew to Michigan in October, she tried to pawn a few things onto me. Mom: “You wear skuht [skirt]?” Me: “Uh, well, I guess if I’m going somewhere nice maybe I’ll wear–” Mom: “Good! Now you lost weight, I have skuht for you.” She disappeared into her bedroom, my boyfriend laughing at the backhanded remark. I sighed and assumed that my mom has been itching to gift this incredible piece of clothing to me but was forced to wait until I lost 15 pounds. She emerged with a black poly-nylon knee-length skirt. The front had some sort of jeweled gathering. It looked very much unlike something I’d wear (I work from home, so “dressing up” for me is putting on jeans and a sweater). Mom: “See? Nice, right?” Me: “Uh, I guess I’ll try it on.” I went into the bathroom and yanked on the skirt. It smelled like a Korean lady blend of sweet-scented perfume and vague spices and had a Korean label I couldn’t read. I checked myself out in the mirror to see how it looked and was dismayed to see that the fit of the skirt resulted in the complete disappearance of my ass. I didn’t think it was possible for an article of clothing to actually give you the Asian No-Butt look, but this skirt managed to succeed. I trotted out, looking like Ralphie in the pink bunny suit. Mom: “You look nice!” Me: “I dunno know, it fits kind of weird…” Mom: “Noooo, it’s supposed to look like that! Very nice.” Me: “Uh, well…Jas?” I looked over at Jason, desperate for some help here. Jason, uneasy: “It’s…not something you generally wear.” He had also noted the Flat Butt Syndrome. Mom: “Okay, I have other things.” She disappeared...

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