Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Eating 팥죽 on 동지날

I am now safe for the winter: I went to eat 팥죽 on 동지날 with my colleagues. 팥죽 (patjuk) is red bean soup with glutinous rice balls and 동지날 (dongjinal) is a traditional Korean holiday which falls on winter solstice, the 22nd of December.

Eating red bean soup on this day is an important traditional Korean ritual: it is believed to prevent evil spirits, and protect the people who make it (and eat it) from bad luck and epidemic diseases.

So some of the teachers at my high school invited me to come with them to a small temple near our school where we had red bean soup for lunch. It was delicious! I really like beans and the soup had a lovely rich, earthy flavour. It had rice balls in it, which are called "birds eggs" in Korean. The monks at the temple also brought us kimchi: this was honestly amongst the best kimchi I have tasted. I am not a huge fan of the stuff, but this was rather tasty. Since they are buddhists they don't eat meat and so instead of using fish sauce as the base of the kimchi sauce, they had used pumpkin and persimmon pulp: so much better!

P.S. The picture is straight off the internet. This was another one of those 'surprise' occasions on which I wish I had had my camera, but didn't.

I am really enjoying being at the high school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I started conversation classes for all the teachers about 2 months ago and it has made the teachers so much more open and friendly towards me. I really feel almost 'part of the family' - more so than I ever expected.


Bradpetehoops said...

Masida!!! / Oishi!!!

EEbEE said...

here's to another epidemic free year of neutral/good luck!

seasons greeting Yess!