By now you can tell that our blog is eclectic. We are learning how to blog and we are learning what we want to blog about. If you stay on our ride, I am hoping in a year we will not even recognize this place! JoAnne mentioned cooking and we both LOVE to cook. Okay maybe I really just love to eat and cooking is a way to get that done. Either way, she and I really enjoy cooking together when we can. One of the things I am so proud of is how she tackles different cooking styles. When we lived together I cooked Korean FOR us but when our lives separated us geographically she decided it was time to learn how to do it herself. There has been a huge K wave in the US in the last 10 years. Thanks BTS (Yes, oh yes I am in the Army) Traditional Korean food is very healthy (our street food not so much but oh so yummy). My mother was actually not a good cook. I learned how to cook from my Korean Grandmother and then after moving to the US – cookbooks. I have bought almost 30 cookbooks. I began with Korean cookbooks that I had to translate, then translated to English ones which turned out to be terrible due to incorrect verbiage and measurements. They use metric and we use imperial so you can understand the confusion.
Quick story – when I first immigrated in 1975, I had learned the metric system for 5 years in South Korea. I painfully adjusted to imperial in the US only to have the school systems say that the US was converting to metric. Of course that was a disaster so just a year later they changed to imperial again. As a result I have to look everything up because my brain is mush when it comes to weight and measurements. Luckily for my past lovers I could not tell how many inches anything was (ba dum tss!). We warned you we would rather laugh – don’t roll those eyes!
I want to tell you about my two favorite Korean cookbooks. No, they do not give us any money for doing this. I just want to share so you don’t have to buy a ton of them like I did. My utmost go to Korean cooking book is Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen by Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall. It was by pure chance I found this cookbook so many years ago. I loved that her daughter was like me – half Korean – and eager to learn how to cook. So they decided to make a cookbook together. It is not glossy and pretty to look at but the information is fantastic and the recipes are genuine and authentic. I loved mine so much I gifted JoAnne with a copy and she uses it too. Ms Hepinstall uses nuts a lot in her recipes and I leave them out in most of my recipes because I grew up on the coast and other than pine nuts we rarely used nuts in our food.
As I became a fan of Youtube I found many Koreans doing cooking channels and they were all entertaining and helpful but none as much as Maangchi. She is so sweet and so excited about Korean cooking. I got her second book as a gift a couple of years ago. It is glossy, pretty to look at and very helpful. She was very thoughtful in her photos which makes sense since she is Youtube celebrity. I enjoy using her videos when I try out recipes because she is entertaining and it feels like I have a Ajumma (Korean: 아줌마) in my kitchen with me. It feels like she is my auntie and I admire her very much. So if you are a first time cook, start with Maangchi and then as you progress graduate to Ms. Hepinstall. I promise to share some of my favorite recipes with you in the future. Thanks for coming for the ride and don’t forget to laugh!