thoughts and stories about life, faith, family, colliding cultures, and little homecomings on the adventure home.
one big, fat, korean radish
wintertime grocery shopping in the suburban midwest is not kind to a korean hapa who happens to be craving muk-guk. muk-guk is a korean soup my mom made for me growing up. along with the ever-classic chicken noodle, this one was a staple when anyone in our family was sick or had an unsettled tummy. but i loved having this simple soup all the time and requested it of my mom, often.
i've really been craving it since it's been so cold and snowy here and since it's so simple to make, i thought it was time. i went to super target to get all the groceries on my list, forgetting that the main, necessary ingredient in muk-guk is one big, fat, korean radish. so, i got everything i needed otherwise, at target. good and faithful super target. i do love target but it doesn't know a thing about being hapa. just sayin'.
so after having bundled my little toddler up into an immovable fluff and having made it through the grocery list without a meltdown, we drove to the town next door to go to asia mart, the chinese-owned grocery store where i can find most things needed for an asian meal. asher was excited about riding in their pretty much doll-sized shopping cart for a whopping 2 seconds, but that was all we needed to go and get our radish and make a stop at the rather murky looking display of fresh tilapia for sale. asher always wants to say "hi" to the "fishies" there, as he calls it...lovely.
all in all, it was a buck 25, an extra drive, another shopping cart and stop to see mr. murky waters tilapia and friends. no biggie, right? but really, when it comes to being hapa + craving food + having a toddler + being on a budget + trying to be healthy, there are times when i think i might lose my mind. is it really worth it to make the meals i want to make? it's not like i don't like good ol' chicken noodle. but that's the thing - it doesn't replace and never will, and vice versa. i don't want to cook just asian food all the time and i don't want to become an asian american version of betty crocker. yikes. sometimes, for a simple lunch, i want a pb & j and sometimes i want kimchi and rice.
there are harder things in life than having to drive around indy to make a simple meal i grew up eating, i know. but more than the gas, extra planning, time and exertion, is the feeling and work of things in the world being separate and separated when they are anything but, inside of me.
nevertheless, we will keep making numerous trips and lists whenever we have to and i will risk my hair turning whiter at a faster pace as long as i have to....but for now, i'm going to just choose to be thankful for the big, fat, and oh-so-cherished, korean radish sitting on my kitchen counter as i type.