Spring Table: Water Parsley Pancakes, 2017

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Korean name for water parsley is “mi-na-ri.” Minari is a sign of spring. When you see dishes made of minari on the table, you know that spring has come.

New school year starts in March in South Korea. Forsythia starts bloom everywhere. Everything feels spring even if the weather is still a bit chilly. I went home, South Korea, this year in March. Taking advantage of the fact that I’d left my regular office job past November, I went for a whole month. I got to see spring flowers bloom, people put their heavy winter coats away, and surely ate lots of dishes made of minari.

Water parsley pancakes (minari jun) taste like spring. Fresh, light, a little airy, and juicy. It’s not that it’s especially yummy, but just the fact that it’s on the table makes you think, “Oh, it’s spring…finally!”

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Breakfast with Mama, 2016

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Things didn’t go quite as I had planned, but I stuck to my original schedule and went to Korea. I arrived on Monday evening, and three weeks later, I left on Sunday morning. It was the most relaxing and happy time I had in a very long time. Partly because I was under a lot of stress, it really comforted me to be with my family who loved me unconditionally and it cheered me greatly to reunite with friends who were always there for me. It was the priceless trip during which I rested thoroughly and this would support me throughout my life as some of the previous trips had.

Most of all, having breakfast each morning with my mom sitting at the kitchen table was my favorite time. Most of days, our breakfast was consisted with a homemade toast (mighty bread machine), a perfectly boiled egg (mom had her system), butter and homemade fig jam, couple of fresh strawberries, and a cup of instant coffee. The simplest, the heartiest, the most delicious. Having this delicious breakfast with mom while the sunshine sipped through the window was the food for my body and soul that I would never forget.