kimjang (김장)

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It's late fall! Which also means "kimjang" making season in Korea:) And just last weekend, together with my in-laws, I, once again, befriended tons of cabbages during our kimjang session :)

"Kimjang" is the kimchi people traditionally make to last through the winter (or for others, like Asul's family, to last for one year:)

It was Saturday when my SIL and her husband drove to Buyeo, a county in South Chungcheong province, to harvest the cabbages and other vegetables (yup! they grew those themselves! they just started this year.) we would be using to make kimchi. I wasn't aware that they were actually growing some crops there cos I thought they just go to Buyeo to visit the house they bought. Until last Saturday! Boy, was I surprised to see a small truck load of plastic bags stuffed with veggies!

The pictures below were from last year... my first kimjang session... on my birthday! :)

Normally, there should at least be 100 cabbages to prepare but there can be more depending on the number of family members. In our case, 3 families share the kimjang and SIL prefers them to last for a year, so there should be A LOT. These cabbages were cut, washed and soaked in salted water for like 6-7 hours. They were washed again afterwards.

This was the sauce (made by SIL) which was a mixture of garlic, onion, ginger, scallions, radish, pickled shrimp paste, chili powder, starch syrup, rice powder, soy sauce... etc.. I can't remember now the other things she added and people do have their own recipe anyway. Depending on their taste. By the way, this small basin was just the tip of the iceberg!lol SIL mixed the the sauce in a humongous basin that you can use like a bathtub:)

And now, we had to spread the sauce in EACH leaf of the cabbage! Last weekend, there were a lot of hands to do the job (I didn't even have to pitch in! Two of my SIL's and one of their friends were there) I just helped squeeze the excess water from the cabbage unlike last year when I was all this bloody.LOL

And then, each cabbage was carefully placed in a container.. which would be kept in the kimchi refrigerator. I think we filled more than twenty containers!

We were done within a day! It was faster than I expected. And I admire how the whole family all worked together to finish the job. It was definitely not an easy task and I saw these people's passion and love for what they were doing.

I love being a part of it :)

Baby pic

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Awww, isn't he adorable??? (walang kokontra!lol) This is the very first baby picture of Asul that I've seen. (Not the type that I can use to blackmail him or something!lol) Luckily, I didn't have to dig it somewhere (it would be extremely difficult! Asul didn't have too many pictures when he was young.) cos Brother-in-law just saved it with some other family pictures in my usb when we met last Chuseok:)

Seeing this picture, I can't help imagining how our baby would look like. Okay... for the record, I'm not yet "expecting" if you know what I but, you know... i'm just wondering... (to the extent that even when I was asleep I had babies in my dream... really! REALLY:)

I'd like to post mine, too!!!hahaha But all of my baby pictures are back home. And it's not as if I will ACTUALLY post them. Unlike Asul's, you can use them to make me do ANYTHING. lol Oh,well! I'd just rather keep them :)

Choreob het ta! :)

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We have graduated! :)

The English Teachers Training Program for MultiCultural Families officially ended yesterday, November 2nd (as in literally yesterday! Cos we actually still had to sign the attendance sheet even when we were all dressed to kill and were preparing ourselves emotionally... you know, for the grad tears that might overflow,haha)

After approximately 160 hours of information as well as work overload (and I'm not even kidding... there was a time when I just dozed off for the night... well, it was actually my fault that I always procrastinate:) I can't believe that 2 months is over.

We were given a cerftificate of attendance plus a Nassau umbrella :) And I got another certificate plus English books for being third in the class (okay, so now I'm bragging!haha can I just have this moment please?lol)

But what really marked this occasion was that nice bouquet... which means Asul was there! On a weekday! Specifically Monday! Well, actually, that was with a little push from me. I told him that all of my classmates' families would be there and I would be the only one attending the occasion ALONE ( *wink* i'm just exaggerating, though:) and I still told him something else but I already forgot what I WEll? It pays to threaten your husband from time to time..haha :)

I'm so gonna miss my class... especially the newfound friendship.

I hope it doesn't end here..

What I like about Chuseok

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Okay, so this post is a month late now:) "Chuseok" or Korea's Thanksgiving was last October 3rd. ASul and I were actually on a holiday from October 1st to 5th!haha

It was my second Chuseok and we spent it in Mokpo, MIL's home city- 3hours from Seoul by KTX, with MIL and Asul's older brother's family.

I know how a lot of "myeo neu ri" (daughters-in-law) dread this holiday because of how much work they (we) have to do and it's weird that I was kinda looking forward to it. Why? hmm...

Well? As you can see in the picture... on top of my list would be FOOD!haha This was our breakfast a day before Chuseok (and EVERY meal was like this!:). It's actually a typical Korean "sig sa" or meal. Well, it's not like all Koreans prepare this much every single day but traditionally speaking this is more or less how the dining table should look like. There are several side dishes, fish, kimchii (very basic), "chige" or stew and "guk" or soup. We, the "myeo neu ri", were always the last ones to finish because my SIL was relatively slow when eating and me... errr... just enjoying the food:) kkk

Another thing would be going to the cemetery... okay, okay! I know it's a sacred place and I was aware how some people shot glances at me while I was acting like I was in a tourist spot or something:) But I can't help it. It's soooo neat, isn't it? I already took pictures of this last year but I just had to take some more this time:) Those little 'hills' were tombs but our "halmoni" 's (grandma) urn is stored here...

Inside, we bowed (take note: 2 times and a half. :) and gave our offerings (soju and fruits) to Grandma. Asul's father's urn is kept in a temple near MIL's house.

And of course, the holiday won't be complete without the FNO... as in family's night out,hehe It's not really a tradition in ASul's family. It just so happened that last year, on my first Chuseok, Asul's brother gave us a treat by going to "norebang" (or little karaoke rooms) and by taking a walk in the park after the whole day's work. We didn't sing our hearts out this year though. We just visited the Mokpo Gatbawi Natural Monument. Gatbawi is the name of the two rocks in the picture above. This naturally formed rocks is one of the eight famous spots in Mokpo City.

And this is our Samsung Digital Photo Frame, which, by the way, is still in its box as I'm writing this.haha It's from Asul's company. I wonder when we're going to use it?!haha

The next holiday? Seolal (Korean New Year) :-)