While this was a normal school week for us, I have to admit that we spent most of the week looking forward to the start of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics and our first experience with Korean food. We did manage to work that into school, though, so at least we kept busy while we waited!
In addition to learning a bit about the history of Korea, and some of the current challenges that peninsula faces, I also came up with a reading list to help us learn about Korea. We especially enjoyed reading some Korean folk tales this week…you can learn a lot about a country by seeing how they tried to explain things! We also made shield kites, after learning about what an anticipated event kite-flying is in Korea, especially for the Lunar New Year, which occurs next week. They’re not exactly sky-worthy, but they look really cool. And we identified all of the different cities who have hosted the Winter Olympics since they began in 1924. Trying to label that many European cities on a fairly small map was quite a challenge!
We did all of our regular schoolwork, too, but nothing was particularly notable. Next week, though, we’re celebrating our “official” 100th day of school!
The Opening Ceremonies of any Olympics are always reason for a feast!
I have been so excited all week, because I have been planning a Korean dinner to celebrate PyeongChang 2018. I spent a lot of time looking through the Korean cookbook I purchased just for this occasion, and choosing the things I wanted to cook for our Korean feast. When I finally came up with the menu, I realized there were quite a few ingredients in the meal that were new to us:
I had fun cooking all of the various components of our dinner…especially those that required me to work on my wok skills:
We had sweet potato starch noodles with stir-fried vegetables and beef (japchae), panfried tofu with spicy seasoning sauce (dububuchim-yangnyeomjang), and kimchi. I made everything except the kimchi, and originally, I had planned to make that, too, but I think I’ve watched too much Food Network, and it scared me a little!
It was a delicious dinner, and to my surprise, everyone enjoyed the tofu, which was probably the most foreign item on the menu!
For dessert, I had planned to make panfried sweet rice cakes with edible flowers (hwajeon) to go with the pear punch (baesuk) that has been steeping in the fridge all week. When I couldn’t find the necessary edible flowers, I bought a package of Korean rice cookies instead. But then Ladybug and I decided that mint leaves might work instead of the flowers, and you know what? They were delicious!
We had a really fun time trying out some very new-to-us Korean foods, and not only did I love cooking some new foods, I was pleased with how much everyone enjoyed the things I made. We have a few other fun foods to try during the Olympics…I hope they’re as popular as tonight’s dinner!
Chickadee has really been enjoying all the Korean folk tales we’ve been reading this week in anticipation of the start of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics!
Some of the books we’ll be using to learn about South Korea during this year’s Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang have already been covered in our “Learning About Asia” book list. I looked for some new titles (many by Linda Sue Park, who is of Korean heritage), with good reviews though, (to be honest, however, we don’t have them all at home, and I don’t know yet if we’ll be able to get them from the library), and also found a new cookbook, so we’ll be trying some Korean cuisine, as well!