I just finished baking a ton of cupcakes…otherwise known as what the foreign wife brings to lunar New Year’s family dinner.
When I was young, there would always be someone at a party, celebration, or family event who was somehow ‘different.’ And in most cases, these people would bring dishes that seemed so ‘exotic’ in their differentness.
Now I’m the ‘different’ family member, and my cupcakes are the exotic food. 🙂
My nieces still don’t talk to me…actually, they still don’t really look at me…but they’re kind of like that (and at that stage of almost teen-ness), so I don’t take it personally. However, I must confess that in my heart of hearts, I do hope that if I do ever cross their minds, that they think of me as the aunt-who-always-brings-tasty-chocolate-treats and not the aunt-who-brings-things-I’m-too-afraid-to-touch.
So, as my Korean family seems to collectively doubt my ability to make Korean food (despite what was acknowledged as a very successful performance at the family kimchee making event), they’ve taken to asking me to make ‘my country’s dessert.’ I have lots of things I want to make – crème brulee would be at the top of the list – but I also have to work within the cultural norms of Korea. Last Chuseok when I brought zucchini chocolate cake, I also brought plates and forks because my mother-in-law, in true Korean style, lacks individual dishes in favour of plates people communally share. But then when I went to put each piece of cake on a plate, my sister-in-law looked at me very strangely, re-cut the cake into bite-size pieces – and put them on a communal plate to share. Lesson learned. Thankfully I didn’t bring the whip cream and compote I had conceived for the dessert before I ran out of time. So this holiday I think cupcakes – while not the height of sophistication – fit the bill of tasty goodness – bite size no-plates-needed requirements – AND will make the female relatives privately swoon even though they will publically bemoan how triple chocolate with chocolate icing puts their diets in jeopardy.
Happy New Year everyone!
새해 복 많이 받으세요 ♥