Saturday, 6 October 2012

Our Chuseok Meal - Korean Thanks Giving Day

Today ( 30th of September,2012) is one of the biggest holiday in Korea,  celebrating new harvest season and ceremony to our ancestors. All family travel to the head of family's house,( I know very well, being a daughter of very long line of head of family, the Cho) usually the traffic on the motorway is stand still, takes 3-5 times longer than usual.
I miss the this kind of Korean festival day most. All family get together and have a jolly good big party, food and conversation goes hand in hand.
The day starts with ceremony for the ancestors, On the big rectangle low table, put all kind of food, but not to be spicy, and all male members of family offer the food with rice wine to ancestor and pray and offering these newly harvested food, ask to all ancestors for their protection and prosperity to all family, kneeling down with big bow, traditionally, female members are not participate this ceremony , we, female members stay in the kitchen to make sure all foods are cooked properly. I miss not only taste of the food also the smell of burning incense sticks !!
After the ceremony we all sit down have a feast, I love this ceremonial and ritual food, even not spicy, I love slightly salty, steamed fish with bibimbab and special soup ( Tangsuyuk).
One thing I can not have here in England this festival food , salty yellow fish, soup, even I make this soup but tastes all different.
 Bibimbab is eaten without chilli paste sauce, put light soy sauce but still I can not match like home in Korea. Well, my sister told me, our ancestor in Korea did not visit my house in England and therefor not blessed by the ancestor, What a lovely story!!! I use to tell my children , told them we have to open the doors to our ghost of ancestors get in and have a nice meal. My children loved this fairy tale !!

After all ceremony we all have mid morning feast, non spicy bibimbab is strangely delicious with salty steamed( on the hay) fish is my all time favourite. I or any one in Korea do not eat non spicy bibimbab but this festival season and memorial day of ancestors , we do eat non spicy food.
according to my parents the ghost of ancestors does not like red colour or spicy food, I love this story as well.
After the feast we talk and drink all day and evening we play Korean card game or go to the hill to see full moon. How I miss this occasion!!

Well, well,  I can not beat all this but we do have mix and match special meal for the Chuseok, always.

This year our special Chuseok :
Lunch : Mandu - steamed Korean dumpling with dipping sauce
            Bossam - slow cooked belly pork wrapped in lettuce with oyster and ssamjang( sauce)
Dinner: Pan fried scallops and spicy squid with black pudding sauce.
             Slow roast lamb shoulder with roast potatoes

Scallops and chilli squid

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