It is easy to healthfully over here, I will say that. Every day, at our on-campus cafe, there are numerous fresh fruit and vegetable choices, low-sodium soup, the always present sticky white rice, and something with meat, usually with sauce. Thank goodness I am head over heels for the sidekick kimchi – it is a delicious, fermented vegetable/cabbage dish that reminds me of spicy sauerkraut. I eat it quite a bit. All the kids have tried it, too, and by golly, won’t eat another bite. No worries, there is always peanut butter and jelly or toast with butter to enjoy. The staff here in the kitchen aims to please – they’ll make or find anything you ask for, if they can. Brownie night is a big hit, as you can imagine, but not for me. My sweet tooth has yet to find a treat it deems delectable. This is good for the waistline.
Eating out is another story still. Since we have, as of yet, only been to korean barbeque restaurants, the veggies take a supporting role while the meat – center stage. Cuts of pork or beef, or whatever you order, are brought to you and cooked on a hibachi-type grill right in the center of the table. You can imagine the hit this makes with children. Finally, a gimmick at a restaurant that keeps their attention! The waitstaff we’ve had when we’ve been out is generally nowhere to be seen until we do something truly crazy like try to grill our garlic on this hibachi! This is NOT. OKAY. They will smile while you laugh, but they do not find this funny. I know this because they will take your utensil out of your hand and remove your sizzling garlic completely from your table. And they will not bring you more.
It’s hard to see in this picture, but after they take your order and get you started cooking, they will bring you a sidedish. Or 20. There are marinated onions, sprout salads, green shoot something-or-others, bowls of goo, dipping sauces, soups, more onions – only this time they’re sauteed…I can’t tell you the amount of food that arrives at the table. To date, we have not finished what is brought to us, no matter how many people we bring along.
This night, in these photos, we are with the Jolly family, at a restaurant, near their home, that took us in and treated us like we knew just what we were doing. Well, the Jollys did, actually. They’ve been in Korea for 9 years. I liked it there, because though they, too, poopooed my roasted garlic idea, they didn’t take it away from me. That’s gotta be good for business. At least my business.
Here, McKenna, Macyn and Natalie do what all Korean students seem to do – give the peace sign! And here are Guy, Sarah and Scott happily squished on the floor! A very fun experience!
You guys are too cool.