Making Holiday Foods: Skewered Beef and Vegetables

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After the harsh labor on Lunar New Year’s Day I passed out and slept through most of the day on February 20th.  Now I understand why there is such thing called myoung-jeol who-yoo-jeung (명절후유증: holiday aftereffects) in Korea.  In the past, holiday celebrations were held in much larger scale and women who were in charge from prep to cleanup must have suffered physically and emotionally throughout the holidays.  Well, lucky me that nowadays at our family the traditions are kept minimal.

I would like to share one of the holiday foods that I made from scratch (for the first time!).  Sanjeok Kochi (산적꼬치: skewered & pan-fried marinated beef and vegetables) found a place on my menu as the recipe looked easy at first.  I soon realized that skewering takes time and skills but in the end I was glad that I chose to make this for my first charae-sang.  The mini skewers looked nice and tasted great as well making a wonderful holiday addition.

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Korean Lunar New Year at Our Home

For our family, the morning of February 19, 2015 has actually started few days before.  The preparation for Lunar New Year takes great deal of time and energy.  The house needed to be fresh and clean for the guests and so many kinds of food needed to be made for traditional Lunar New Year meal.  Because my mother is suffering from a cold I took charge for the first time and coordinated everything that needed to be done for greeting another new year.

In Korea, Lunar New Year is one of the biggest holidays and many families celebrate the day in traditional way.  Relatives gather at home of the eldest son and commemorate the ancestors through a ritual called charae (차례: a traditional Korean ceremony where you prepare the foods for ancestors and bow to show gratitude).   Because my father is the eldest of six, my aunts and uncle’s family came to Daejeon all the way from Seoul to celebrate the new year with us.

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