“Waiter, I’ll begin with
a house salad, but I don’t want the regular dressing. I’ll have the
Balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the Salmon with
the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce, on the side.
On the side is a very big thing for you.”
Because no one can have enough lisping Rich on their blog.
(Also… This takes place after Rich has come out, and after he and Jake are both over the fire thing.)
-Rich is really insecure about his lisp
-It’s one of the main reasons he got his squip to begin with
-He used to have this talent of avoiding as many words with ’s’ in them as possible
-Everyone would be amazed at how good his vocabulary was and wow Rich, you must really love reading
-He just really hated his lisp
-When he got the squip, it helped him get over it
-Now that the squip is gone though, so is his ability to say ’s’
-It’s back to thquare one
-Rich slowly builds back up his ’s’ avoiding talent
-No one notices
-Except for Jake
-Who tries not to let on how much it upsets him
-He always thought Rich was a pretty cute guy
-And when he found out Rich had a lisp, he thought it was the most adorable thing he’d ever heard
-He thinks Rich’s insecurity about it is ridiculous and saddening
-He decides to help him get over it
-Whenever they hang out, Jake tries to get him to say ’s’ as much as possible
- ‘Hey, Jake, what d'you want me to order for you?’
‘And a caesar salad, a strawberry slushie, and some soy sauce on the side, please.’
-Rich thinks Jake is screwing with him
-He never even finishes all the plates ordered for him
-He starts avoiding Jake
-Jake, confused, tries talking to him about it
-Rich just shrugs him off
- ‘Rich, hey, wanna hang out this weekend?’
'Got paraphernalia to do.’
'What’s that mean?
'A thing or two.’
'Ohh, right, haha. Next weekend?’
-Jake becomes more and more confused
-Rich becomes more and more convinced Jake is mocking him
-Finally one day he snaps
- 'For god'th thake, Jake! Thtop being an athhole about my lithp, and I might actually think about chilling with you again thometime!!’
-He uses six ’s’ words and hopelessly butchers them all
-Humiliated and angry, he turns to go
-Jake grabs his hand
- 'I like it when you lisp.’
-Rich is confused (and still pretty angry)
-Jake has to explain
-When he’s done, Rich calls him an idiot four times and a jerk twelve
-But is still quietly happy that Jake finds attractive something he’s always thought of as ugly
-They start hanging out again
-Rich becomes a little more comfortable with his lisp
-Jake doesn’t pressure him, but does his best to be supportive
-So when they kiss a few months later and Rich doesn’t say 'I love you’ when Jake does, he’s a little worried
-Until Rich pulls him close, hugs him tightly, and whispers:
For lunch today I baked a bunch of sweet potato fries, and served that with hummus as a dipping sauce and a big side salad.
To make the fries:
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Chop your sweet potatoes length-wise into even-sized wedges. I like to cut mine quite thick, because they do shrink once baked. Spread the fries on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. Drizzle some olive oil and season with dried Italian herbs, paprika, salt and a touch of cinnamon. Give the fries a good toss to coat everything evenly, then place it in the oven. After 15-20 mins, take them out, flip them over and put it back in for another 5-10 mins. The cooking time really depends on your oven strength/heat, so do keep an eye on the fries so they cook evenly and don’t burn.
“I have had passion, Louis. I’ve had great sex.” The restaurant was crowded and Harry cringed slightly when it went quiet after he spoke, but he wasn’t ashamed. Not at all. He sat down across from Louis and looked him straight in the eye. “I have, Louis.”
The waitress brought over their menus along with a couple of glasses of water, and Louis held the menu up in front of his face, probably hiding from a conversation he hadn’t meant to start and didn’t intend to continue.
Harry quickly decided what to order and waited patiently, his hands folded on the table. When the waitress returned to take their order, Louis dropped his menu and asked for the sandwich special. Harry ordered the chef salad. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the side. Bacon only if it was real bacon, not those fake bacon bits. And a slice of cheesecake with raspberry sauce on the side, but only if the sauce was made from real raspberries. None of that artificially flavored syrup, please.
The waitress’ eyes were very focused on her notepad as she scribbled out Harry’s order. Louis watched her writing, his grin getting bigger the longer it took for her to finish. “That was a fantastic order, Harry. Very… passionate.”
“God, you’re an ass.” Harry sipped his water, then leaned across the table. “I have had really good sex.”
Louis crunched on the ice from his soda. “Yeah? Who with?”
Harry shook his head. “It’s with whom. And I’m not going to tell you.”
“I know it’s with whom. I just… I don’t like talking like that. Sounds weird.” Louis popped another piece of ice in his mouth. “So, with whom, then?”
Harry looked around, he couldn’t believe he was entertaining the thought of answering him, but Louis was still looking at him expectantly. “Fine,” Harry huffed. “Bernard Johnson.”
Louis barked a laugh. “Nope. No way. You did not have great sex with Bernard ‘Bernie’ ‘BJ’ Johnson.”
Writing question here! How do you really get to know your characters? I've been having problems getting into some of my characters' heads for my novel and I can't find any useful advice.
I personally like to take my characters out for coffee.
Drag them out of whatever world you have them in, and drop them into a different setting, a cafe in Paris, a busy NYC Starbucks—the coffee kiosk at Wallmart at 2am. What do they order? Is it a shot of espresso with biscotti on the side, the chocolate cake? Hot tea? Or is it three cans of energy drink, a pretzel with extra cheese sauce and a side of anti-acids?
How do they eat it, do they savor it, do they take neat little bites, do they let it melt on their tongue, or do they tear it apart and talk with their mouthful, gesturing wildly as they do.
Do they people watch? Do they listen in to other conversations, or do they keep their headphones in keep their head down. Are they reading, sketching, or just phasing out? If they are listening to music, what are they listening to? What does that music taste tell them about you? Does another character phone them? Do they pick up and engage the call, or do they let it ring out and mull things over.
Are they dealing with issues with other characters? How do they feel about them right now, what’s on their mind? Do they have illnesses or an injury, a condition that affects their day to day life? How does that affect them being able to sit there and enjoy the moment—does it affect them at all until they move to stand up and feel the twinge run through them.
If removing them from their immediate world is too jarring, do it in world. A tavern, space cantina, market food stall watching street performers. Where are they headed to next.
Write them doing something mundane, come at them from another angle devoid of plot, just purely character thoughts and sensory exploration to how they interact with their world. Overall just try to get a feel for what kind of person they’d be, not a character driven by plot, but the person who needs to get groceries and do laundry before the end of the night or they’ll have no clean socks for tomorrow.
Play with them, mess around. There’s utterly no harm in messing with the world you’ve created for funsies if it’ll help you get unstuck.
Hey guys, it’s finally the last (and probably most important) post in my mini-series, which will be on how to order food in Japan! I hope you enjoyed this mini-series and found it useful, I had a lot of fun planning all these posts and wouldn’t mind doing it again! This post will look at the kind of questions you might be asked and how to answer them, as well as some questions that you might have! Also, I’m sorry that this post came last as I’ve recently been travelling and haven’t had a good internet connection!
Vocab: Dessert・デザート Excuse me・すみません Main・メイン Menu・メニュー Sauce・ソース Side dish・
サイドディッシュ Starter・前菜・ぜんさい Thank you for this meal (before)・いただきます Thank you for this meal (after)・ごちそうさまでした Waiter / Waitress・ウェイター Welcome・いらしゃいませ
Expressions: How many people?・何名様ですか。 Two people.・二人です Please sit here.・こちらへどうぞ。 Here’s the menu.・メニューになります。 Do you have an English menu?・英語のメニューはありますか。 Do you have a vegetarian menu?・ベジタリアンメニューはありますか。
What would you like to drink?・お飲み物はいかがいたしますか。 Coke, please.・コーラをお願いします。 Are you ready to order?・ご注文はお決まりですか？ What would you like to order?・何を召し上がりますか。 What would you like?・何になさいますか。
One moment please.・もう少し待ってください。 I don’t know yet.・まだ決めていません。 What’s this?・これは何ですか。 What do you recommend?・お勧めは何ですか？
I’ll have this (while pointing at the menu).・これにします。 I’ll have this one and this one(while pointing at the
menu).・これとこれにします。 The same, please.・同じ物をお願いします。 Two plates of curry, please.・カレーを二つお願いします。
Can I change my order?・注文を変えてもいいですか。 I didn’t order this!・これは注文していません。 Can I have this without cheese?・チーズを抜きにしてもらえますか。
How would you like your steak?・ステーキの焼き加減はどうなさいますか? Medium rare, please.・ミディアムレアでお願いします。
Finished?・食べ終わりましたか？ May I take your plate?・お皿をお下げしてもよろしいですか？ Yes, please.・はい、どうぞ Not yet.・いいえ、まだです。
Can I have the bill, please?・お勘定をお願いします。 How much is it?・(お)いくらですか。 We will pay together.・一緒にお願いします。 We will pay separately.・別々にお願いします。
So. I think Serena’s still going to therapy, every week, and sometimes Bernie drives her there, and sometimes Serena walks, and sometimes she wishes she hadn’t gone at all. But one week, at a session after work, she fidgets on the couch for a while in silence, before shuffling towards the edge, leaning forward, conspiratorial, says I’m worried about Bernie.
Alex manages to make it to the pizza place without tripping over themself, and Maggie manages to make it to the pizza place without bolting out of fear.
Fear that Alex’s arm is too gentle around her shoulder; that Alex is too careful to keep checking in with Maggie to make sure it’s alright that their arm is there; that Alex looks at her too genuinely, makes her laugh too easily.
Fear that she can get lost in Alex’s eyes, in Alex’s smile, in Alex’s body.
God, Alex’s body.
Fear that she can get lost in Alex, and interweave them into the fiber of her being, and when they leave – and why wouldn’t they leave? they only just met, for crying out loud – Maggie will shatter into irreparable pieces.
“So you never said,” Alex breaks an easy silence – a silence that scares Maggie with how comfortable it feels – “if you um… if you’ve only dated girls before. I mean, not that I’m – not that – I mean I know you said this can be a date. That this is a date. But I’m not trying to say that means we’re dating, that’ll be up to you, I mean, I only meant – “
“Whoa, hey, hey, Danvers, breathe. You’re okay. It’s okay.” Maggie leans into their body slightly as they walk, as Alex tugs open the door to the pizza place and steps back for Maggie to walk through.
Maggie arches an eyebrow, purses her lips, tilts her head, and bows her head slightly in thanks.
“Yeah, only girls. But uh…” Maggie looks over her shoulder and Alex melts at her smile. “I have no problem making an exception for someone as charming as you.”
Alex practically giggles. “Lucy says I have about as much charm as a horse’s ass.”
“Lucy must have terrible taste,” Maggie grins, slipping her hand into her jacket pocket for a thin, black wallet. She orders to cheeseless slices and motions for Alex to get whatever they want.
“No, no, you don’t have to pay – “
“I asked you out, I’ll grab it, no problem. If that’s okay? I figure you can, uh…” Maggie glances at Alex’s lips and blushes, suddenly breathless. “I figure you can get next time.”
Alex nearly chokes on air, and Maggie revels in the strength of their reaction to her flirtation.
“So you’ve got an overly demanding mom. Any siblings?” Maggie asks as she hands over cash to the curious-looking boy at the register.
Alex beams suddenly. “One. A little sister. Kara. She’s everything, she’s my… she’s my everything. She’s a genius at physics, but it’s not her thing, she likes painting better. She’s a senior in high school, she wants to come here in the fall, and she – I’m sorry. Rambling about my little sister, I – “
“No, it’s cute,” Maggie laughs genuinely, lowering her eyes.
Lowering her eyes, because god if she keeps looking at Alex, she’ll kiss them.
She’ll kiss them and she’ll beg them to screw the pizza and take her home and make love to her, because god, it doesn’t matter that they just met, they seem perfect, perfect, perfect, and Maggie hasn’t felt like this since…
“Anyway,” she clears her throat. “I asked. About siblings.”
Alex blushes at her generosity and thanks the boy at the register – his name tag says Jessy – for passing them their slices and cans of root beer and seltzer.
“What about you?” Alex asks as they maneuver to a plastic table, grabbing napkins and red pepper flakes and oregano along the way. “Siblings?”
The ghost of agony flits across Maggie’s face, but she wipes it away so quickly Alex thinks for a moment they imagined it.
“Nope. No family, really. I mean, they’re alive, just not… it’s whatever. But I’ve got this kid – I mean, not my kid, just, this friend, who’s younger, he’s a sophomore in high school right now – Adrian, his name is – he’s like my little brother. So actually, I take it back. Yeah. One. A brother. Ade. He’s a total nerd, he…” Her eyes flit down to Alex’s flattened chest, up to their undercut. “I think you two would get along.”
Alex chuckles and lets grease slip off the end of her pizza. “What makes you say that?”
Maggie shrugs. “You two might have a lot to talk about, gender-wise. He uh… he transitioned last year.”
Alex sits up a little straighter. “Is that why you know… about binding and stuff?”
Maggie takes a bite of her slice that leaves sauce on the side of her mouth. Alex grins and holds their hand out, hesitating before touching Maggie’s face. Maggie nods, her eyes wide, her chewing paused, and Alex swipes the sauce into Maggie’s lips with baited breath and eyes like they’re intently studying a work of art. Maggie’s tongue flits out of her mouth and their eyes lock. Alex brings their trembling hand back to their side of the table, bringing their finger to their mouth and absently licking it clean of sauce. Maggie’s breath hitches at the motion.
They both gulp, Maggie painfully, because her pizza was mostly unchewed. They both giggle slightly. Maggie clears her throat.
“Thank you. For… thanks. And yeah, partially. Adrian, I mean. And binding. But also, you know.” She shrugs. “I feel like it’s our job to learn about each other. Look out for each other.”
Her pupils dilate at the statement – Alex just met her, sure, but they’ve already said they want to look out for her; Maggie’s still getting her head around why – and Alex misses their mouth with their pizza.
“Nice to have people looking out for you.”
Maggie shrugs. “I wouldn’t really know.”
“Yeah, you said. What uh… what’s up with that? How could someone not want to look out for you?”
Maggie laughs ruefully. “Easily enough, apparently. But hey, less depressing topic for a hot minute – what classes have you got this term? You said you’re not doing so great – maybe I could uh… help you out with some?”
Alex chuckles. “Not unless you’ve taken biochem and have the patience to deal with my depressed, anxious, perfectionist ass.”
“I have, and I do, actually.”
Their eyes lock, hard, and Maggie suddenly wishes they’d gone back to her dorm room instead of to a pizza place, because Alex’s eyes are suddenly flooded with tears.
“I’m sorry, we just met, I shouldn’t – “
“No, no, no, hey. Maggie. You’re okay, I just… I like this. Spending time with you. Getting to know you.”
“Keep doing it then, Danvers.”
Alex licks their lips and gulps nervously, happily. Hopefully. “If you want me to, I definitely I will.”
In keeping with the theme of quick, healthy meals to fuel me through this hellish exam week, here’s my light lunch from this afternoon. I microwaved a sweet potato and topped it with a generous amount of tahini (thinned out with a splash of water and with a few dashes of smoked paprika to achieve that perfect sauce), and had a nice side salad of baby spinach, chopped tomatoes and steamed courgette. I drizzled some of the tahini sauce over the salad too, and it was absolutely delicious. Tahini and sweet potato could just be one of my favourite combinations ever. If you haven’t tried it yet, I’d highly recommend it!
So I’m the one who posted about the unreasonably angry guest at the mouse theme park that got mad at me for putting his sauce on the side.
So I was working at the same location yesterday (4/28) and it was a nightmare because the Mexican restaurant in the area was closed. These are some of the things that happened:
These 2 blonde soccer moms came up and were honestly the most needy guests of the day. They both took like 10 mins each to order their huge orders. Then they decide they want to pay seperately. Ok no big deal, I’ll just delete everything and start over. Meanwhile the line is enormous. After their transactions were complete, they both disappeared and were nowhere in sight to pick up their food when it was ready. When they finally come back, they angrily say it took too long and walk away. Ok whatever. Throughout the next 20 mins, they keep sending their kids back to my window to bother me for more plates, sauce, cups of water, etc. Finally, they slam their messy ass trays on my counter and say they didn’t like the food and demanded a lead to refund them. My line is huge! I don’t have time for this shit. I had to apologize to all the people in line while I had my lead do their separate refunds. Like can you not do this while we’re super busy?
Then this lady came up with a bunch of kids. I feel like it was a self-run daycare or something. But she just says she wants the chicken. I politely ask her what kind of sauce. She looks at me like I’m stupid and says “teriyaki” as if this was the most obvious answer. Ok whatever. I ring her up. And guess what!? She has to do a separate transaction for each snotty kid! She asks for the chicken again and I read her mind since that’s obviously what she wants me to do and I ask if she wants teriyaki as well. She gets this disgusted look on her face and says “EW NO!” She then goes on and on about how low quality our food and drinks are. THEN WHY ARE YOU HERE!??!?!?!
Hi, I’m Caroline, and as the title states, I’m a female Korean-American teen currently living in a town that’s 80% white. The majority of East Asians living here are Japanese, and over the years, there have been a few sprinklings of new Korean or Chinese families moving in. For the most part, however, my family was the only Korean family in town when we first came here. This heavily impacted my childhood - made me ashamed of my culture and ethnicity - and of course, the racism that I constantly faced from classmates, parents, teachers, and sometimes even friends, was exhausting.
It means so much to me to see Korean-American characters - or any person of color, really - be represented in today’s books, TV shows, movies, etc. For once, I’d like to see fully-fleshed out, complex characters who are people of color - not just the 2D stereotypes that too many forms of media put them out to be. So if a few more writers out there become less ignorant due to this post, I’ll be forever grateful.
So. Let’s do this thing!
Most East Asians represented in today’s media have extremely straight, practically black hair. And while it’s true that straight, black hair is the most common trait regarding hair amongst Koreans, there are (*gasp*) a few of us with curly hair, too. (Moi.) To the Koreans I knew, anyways, my hair was always an object of envy. I’d frequently be asked if I got the perm, and whenever I said I had naturally curly hair, there’d be a lot of “oh, how lucky"s going around. That made me feel pretty special, only it’d last for a short while before the reality of living in a mostly-white neighborhood kicked in, where my curly hair was usually made fun of. (Usually saying that Asians don’t have curly hair. Whatever. On the whole scale of racist comments I’ve been sent, the one about my hair is the least bothersome. When I was a kid, it bothered me a lot, though, and I think to some extent, it still bothers me at least a teeny bit - I actually started to straighten my hair when I went into eighth grade. Yup, give me the Hypocrite of the Year Award. I still need some adjustments.)
Amongst Koreans, there’s also a lot of emphasis on having a small face, long and skinny legs, a fairly short torso…essentially, Koreans thrive for the typical European figure. Koreans, however, have pretty round faces, short and stalky legs, and long torsos for the most part. (With the exception of a few - and of course, the option for plastic surgery is always out there. I shit you not, almost every Korean woman I know have at least either (a) known someone who went through plastic surgery or (b) have been in plastic surgery myself. It’s a big deal in South Korea. My grandma had surgery done to her eyes twice, my mom’s friend had surgery done to her nose and her eyes, and my aunt’s brother is actually a plastic surgeon who does operations a number of times a day.)
Growing up, I wore the typical American clothing - except for on special occasions, like my first birthday or New Year’s. On those days, I’d wear a hanbok, which is a traditional Korean gown with lots of colors and embroidery. The men would wear traditional clothing as well, and it’s customary for Koreans to wear these especially on New Year’s. Now, since my brothers and I have outgrown our hanboks, we just stick to American clothes on New Year’s.
Though I tell all my white friends and classmates that my first language is English, my first language was actually Korean. I don’t say that my first language is Korean anymore because firstly, I don’t want people to think of me as someone who only speaks Korean and secondly, I don’t know how to speak Korean anymore. It’s sad, really, because I can understand Korean much better than my siblings and my cousins, and there are moments when I can almost remember a phrase, but as of now, speaking the language is an extreme difficulty and embarrassment to me, especially when I’m surrounded by elders. (And usually, the only things I can say to them are ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ and ‘goodbye’.) It’s frustrating to speak to older Koreans and know exactly what they’re saying but only being able to respond in English.
That being said, growing up, I often had to translate - more specifically, re-translate - for my mother, who didn’t know English at all when I was a child. She used to feel incredibly lonely for it, and often times, she’d feel frustrated and cry about how all of the white mothers acted like she was an idiot for not knowing English. As an extreme social butterfly, this really hurt my mother, and it hurt her even more when her own children were starting to distance themselves because of the language barrier. I remember having to sit with my mother on the couch and help her learn English - and it was, to be honest, one of the saddest experiences I’ve ever had to go through. She’d grow frustrated with herself, and she’d hate every bit of it, I could tell, but she kept going because she wanted to be there for her kids. (She eventually got her American citizenship, too, but by doing so, she had to give up her Korean citizenship. Most East Asian countries don’t allow dual citizenships.) And though I don’t speak Korean anymore, I actually continue to re-translate things for my mother - in other words, I just have to simplify the English a little bit to get her to understand what someone else is saying. (This method works for anyone else who is struggling with English. Simplify the words, that’s all - but don’t treat the person with disrespect.)
And, of course, there’s the very exhausting series of questions that come with being Korean. The most annoying and frustrating are (but not limited to) -
“Oh, so are you South Korean or North Korean?” (Bruh. If I was North Korean, there’s a VERY slim chance I’d be in America right now. I’d still be stuck in North Korea, wouldn’t I?)
“But what’s your nationality?” (American.) “No, I mean your REAL nationality.“
“What are you? Japanese? Chinese? Vietnamese?” (For some reason, NO ONE GUESSES KOREAN.)
“Wow, your English is great!” (???)
“English is your best subject? Wait, then what about math?” (…)
“I bet you’re super smart!” (…I study hard, yeah, but that has nothing to do with the fact that I’m Korean.)
“Oh, my God, Koreans are SO hot.” (Ew. Times a thousand.)
Dating and Relationships
My parents are pretty strict about my nonexistent love life. If my dad had it his way, I wouldn’t be allowed to date until I’m out of college. But for real talk, my mom’s actually the one who’s much pickier on who I date. She told me since I was a kid that it’d be best for me to date (and marry) another Korean-American. She means this out of the goodness of her heart - mostly that she wants me to marry someone who I can connect with culturally. (“Regular Koreans will be too grounded into Korea. You need someone with similar experiences.”) My dad just doesn’t want me to date anyone Japanese - and while I find this wrong, it’s mostly due to the bad blood between Korea and Japan. (World War II, the Korean War, comfort women, etc.)
And because of this prejudice against Japanese people, my dad always found it difficult to accept that I had a few Japanese friends. He often wanted me to stray away from other Eastern-Asians in general, American or not. (Unless, of course, it was for dating/marrying.) This was because he didn’t want me to become a part of “THAT Asian group”, which, let me just say, is pretty sad, because when there’s a group of white kids hanging around, no one finds it strange. When there’s a big group of x friends of x race, it’s suddenly SUCH an odd sight.
This is where I try to restrain myself for real.
The most common foods you’ll find at a Korean dinner table are rice, kimchi (which is basically spicy pickled cabbage - lots of Koreans eat it, but I personally never did. And I still don’t. Oops), kim (pronounced keem - basically roasted and dried, slightly salted seaweed strips. Which are really good), along with a number of side-dishes and maybe one big, main dish. (Mostly meat.)
Favorite Korean dishes include
seolleongtang, a lightly salted broth with oxtail meat, or sometimes some other kind of meat. There’s usually a sprinkling of scallions, and rice or noodles can be served inside.
kalbi, the famous Korean BBQ. Just imagine meat being prepared directly in front of you served with veggies. Delicious, but be warned - your burps will stink - and I mean stink - afterwards. Its variant, kalbi jim, are slow-cooked short ribs served often with Korean-style steamed potatoes and carrots. Just as good.
tangsuyuk, sweet and sour (mostly sweet, I think, anyways,) pork. The pork is covered with a batter that is fried and then typically dunked in sweet sauce. Some people like to have the sauce on the side so they can dip it in - and still save the crunch. It’s a personal preference.
buchimgae, otherwise known as Kimchi Pancakes. Korean pancakes are not your typical breakfast pancakes. They’re made in a pan, like regular breakfast pancakes, but inside, there’s an assortment of seafood, veggies, and in this version, kimchi. (There are spicy and non-spicy versions).
tteokbokki, spicy rice cakes. Very chewy and again, pretty spicy.
Favorite Korean sweets/desserts/snacks include
tteok, sweet rice cakes. There are many different kinds of rice cake, usually with flavors of classical red bean or green tea. The favorite of many children is the classical rainbow tteok, where the rice cakes are dyed with strips of green, pink, and yellow. The flavor of plain tteok is actually not too sweet, but it’s still a very classic, very traditional and cultural Korean dessert that cannot be skipped over.
yakbap, a very special type of sweet rice cake all on its own. This is a favorite amongst many, and the rice is prepared in a way that it’s sticky and brown. Pine nuts, chestnuts, and jujubes as well as raisins are mixed in.
patbingsu, a frozen dessert. Think of an evolved form of shave ice with toppings like red bean paste, nuts, and fruit. Extremely popular in South Korea, not to mention one of its most iconic desserts.
saeoosnek, shrimp-flavored crackers. Again, a very popular snack that’s exactly what it sounds like. Crackers. With. Shrimp. Flavoring.
choco pie, a popular chocolate-marshmallow cake that looks similar to America’s moon pie. Extremely popular amongst children.
In my family, we never celebrated the direct Korean celebrations, but we always celebrated the Korean New Year the traditional way. Again, usually dressed in hanbok, children (and parents) would bow down to the oldest members of the family and pay their respects with a traditional phrase. They also have to perform a special bow three times while saying this phrase. (There are two different bows - one for men, one for women.) Once doing so, the elder usually gives a blessing to the family members and presents them with an envelope of money, very similar to the traditional Chinese red envelope they receive on their New Year’s celebration.
Another traditional Korean celebration my family - and many other Korean families, I’m sure - celebrate is the 100 Days birthday.
A brief history lesson - back when Korea was suffering due to the economy failing, it was a rare occurrence to ever see a child live past one hundred days. Once one hundred days had passed, then the family would rejoice and throw a large celebration, inviting friends, extended family members. There’d be lots of food and laughter and different rituals all dedicated to the child. Now, of course, Korea’s economic situation is not the same as it was back then, but we still hold these celebrations for tradition and cultural reasons.
One of the most important rituals in the 100 Days birthday is sitting the baby down in front of a variety of items - usually a coin, a pen, a length of twine, a book, food, and sometimes other variants of those items. If the child picks up a coin, then it is to be predicted that this child will live a wealthy life. If the child picks up a pen or a book, then it is to be predicted that this child will grow to become a scholar. If the child picks up food, then it is to be predicted that this child will never go hungry. If the child picks up the length of twine (or sometimes string or a spool of thread), then it is to be predicted that this child will live a long life. Some families believe in this, others don’t, but either way, this ritual is performed because hey, tradition! (And besides, it makes for pretty cute pictures.)
Korean families and Korean home-life, I feel, will always have a different atmosphere from white families. Most Korean parents are very reserved when it comes to public displays of affection for their children, though like all families, this can vary. Independence and learning how to grow an outer shell is very important to the Korean lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that Korean parents don’t love their children - of course they do, and again, all Korean families work differently. However, this pattern and discipline is a common thing to find in most Korean families.
There’s a certain emphasis on studying - and no, not all Korean parents are super strict about grades and threaten to beat their children if they get a B on a report card. (At least, my parents didn’t.) However, education is still considered a top priority. Studying is encouraged, and most Korean parents want to see their children secure a good job (ie doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc). Most of the time, Korean parents just want to see their children live a secured life. That’s it. At least, with my parents, everything they ever taught me or told me had something to do with me learning to survive when I become older. I used to resent this when I was a kid, but now that I’ve grown more mature, I actually find myself appreciating everything my parents have ever taught me.
Another note - when a Korean woman marries, she is cut off from her birth family and is considered to only be a part of her husband’s family. This limits her visits to her own birth family - and though this was a common thing before, I believe many Korean families don’t operate the same way anymore. (Some traditions last longer than others.)
Elders are respected. Period. Even if s/he’s getting on your nerves, you ALWAYS RESPECT THE ELDERS.
Shoes are taken off before entering a house. No exceptions to this rule. If you wanna impress your Korean friend, take off your damn shoes. This will be appreciated.
Things I’d like to see less of.
people thinking that “all Koreans get hot when they’re older”. (FETISHIZATION IS A BIG NO-NO.)
Koreans being seen as submissive and docile creatures. (Note how I said creatures and not humans. Because that’s how some people treat Koreans and other East Asians. Like we’re creatures, rather than actual human beings.)
Koreans being seen as kickass ninjas. (It’s either docile creatures or kickass ninjas. There’s never a line between the two, and it’s exhausting.)
“Koreans are so romantic!” (Sorry, that’s the K-drama binge talking. If anything, Koreans are pretty reserved when it comes to PDA and again, affection in general. Of course, I can’t speak for all Koreans, but at least with my family, PDA was always kept to a minimum. Usually a quick peck on the lips, kisses on the cheek, hand-holding, etc. Never an actual full kiss in public. Forget about make-out sessions.)
Stone-cold Koreans. (Again, there’s either the romantic Korean or the Terminator Korean. Never an in-between. Yes, keep in mind that due to cultural reasons, Koreans don’t typically display affection. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE DON’T DISPLAY EMOTIONS.)
Straight-A Koreans. Typically good at math and science. (While yes, many East Asian countries and families put emphasis on these subjects, not all Koreans happen to be extreme nerds who cry at a B on a report card. Example A - I happen to stink at math. And I know many other Asian-Americans who also stink at math. So.)
Assuming Korean parents are abusive. (While there are many abusive Korean parents out there, people need to stop assuming that right off the bat. Stop. It’s extremely disrespectful, not to mention just wrong?!)
Things i’d like to see more of.
complex, well-rounded Korean characters. (Give me a Korean character who hates math but still tries to do well in class. Give me a Korean character who’s bisexual and surrounded by loving family members. Give me a Korean character who likes roller-skating and getting high in the bathroom stalls and sings Jackson 5 all day. Give me a Korean character who goes out to be homecoming queen and buffs her nails while fighting demons. Give me a Korean character who cries, laughs, talks, breathes, LIVES like an actual human being, and you’ll get the respect of hundreds - maybe thousands - of readers and viewers who’ve been waiting for so long to be properly represented.)
Slice zucchini, place on a plate with soy sauce, coat both sides, heat pan with tiny bit of peanut oil (or whatever oil), plop zucchini in the pan, wait & flip, season with salt and pepper, plate & top with toasted black and white sesame seeds!
Super easy, super delicious, super making this again tomorrow night (but adding some protein)