To Love a Rose: An Ethiopian Adoption Journal

Monday, August 13, 2012

Foodstuffs: Bibimbap and Gluten-Free Living

No word today on the adoption front. *insert sad face here*  This is supposedly "our week".  It has been taking nearly 7 months from HSTK (home study to Korea) to receive a referral in Holt's standard program.  Our HSTK was Valentine's Day; so tomorrow is our 7-month mark.  I am hoping against hope that we get a phone call tomorrow, but I'm also trying to remain calm and patient in case we don't hear anything tomorrow or even this week.

I know God has a plan for Baby C, and I want it to be perfect; so, if I have to wait a little bit longer to know who s/he is, that's fine.  I just want everything to be exactly as it should be in God's perfect plan.

In the meantime, Mr. C and I have been delving into South Korean culture as much as possible.  We listen to a K-Pop station on our car's satellite radio that has been full of amazing information on not only pop music in Korea, but also current culture and trends in our child's home country (everything from clothing trends to what Koreans like to eat during the summertime and thoughts on the 2012 summer Olympics in London).  It has been so fun, and many of the DJ's late at night do their shows entirely in English; which is obviously incredibly helpful.

To top things off, last week I met an amazing couple here at the CTCA.  The husband, who will receive a stem cell transplant soon, is a war veteran and former Green Beret who is married to a South Korean immigrant.  She graciously spoke to Mr. C and I for about an hour, and she gave us some great insight into South Korean family life and how children are raised and taught in schools.  She pointed out that there is a Korean market nearby the hospital that has tons of "foodstuffs" and Korean goodies for kids and adults alike.

I found most of it fascinating.  There were a few things that were difficult to understand (like her obsession with weight, which seems to be an ongoing undercurrent in Korean culture - THIN is definitely "in") and her idea that boys are inherently "bad" and "prone to misbehaving" (thus needing more strict rules and regulations in family life and school); but overall, I thought she was full of good advice and really got me excited about getting back into trying to make Korean dishes again.

I had already made bulgogi and attempted to make kimchi months ago.  The bulgogi turned out fabulously; the kimchi?  Not so much.  I adore kimchi, but mine was way too salty (unbearable so).  Ah well, maybe next time, right?

Recently, I bought Baby C this:

A book on one of Korea's most popular dishes.

Bibimbap translates to "mixed meal" or "mixed rice" and is one of Korea's staple dishes.  It's so popular, there is even a kid's song that people sing about making it for dinner. (I tried to find a really good vid of it online, but couldn't find one I liked well enough; so, that might be in this blog's future, haha!)  Mostly, it consists of a bed of rice with all sorts of julienne, stir fried vegetables, topped off with a large dollop of red chili sauce and a raw egg yolk.  In short, it looks DELICIOUS.  I had never even tasted it, and somehow I was craving it!

I was also excited to try this recipe, because I have been going gluten-free lately.  After years upon years of dealing with daily sinus issues, I had had it.  I was over feeling constant sinus pressure and pain and being unable to breathe normally every, single day.  My sister, M, is gluten-free; but her allergy presents itself through digestive issues.  However, after doing a lot of research, I realized that gluten allergies can present themselves through sinus problems just like mine.  Making bibimbap gave me an opportunity to create a dish from my child's birth country AND eat a tasty and nutritious gluten-free meal. 

So, I dove in.  It was a little time consuming to shred all of the veggies just so, because we're still here at the apartment near the CTCA where mom is recovering from her stem cell transplant.  This, of course, means that I don't have any of my nice cooking equipment; but it was alright.  Here's the end result:

This is what it looked like simmering away in the pan.
This is what it looked like "bi bimmed" or "mixed up".  DELISH!
Keeping with my gluten-free trend, I made a couple more recipes lately that turned out really well both of which were from the Gluten Free Goddess blog; which is just fantastic!  I highly recommend you checking it out if you are interested in going gluten-free.

Lemon infused gluten-free pasta salad with fresh herbs and asparagus. (Yes, that is vegan mayo you see; I was careful to check ALL the ingredients.  Gluten can hide in the most unassuming of places!)
Gluten-free cherry crisp.
AND, we found out that one of our favorite pizza places near the apartment makes a gluten-free crust!

Half garlic, half pepperoni gluten-free pizza from Jimano's PIzzeria.

My adventures in the world of gluten-free baking and cooking have only just begun.  Yes, it is a little more difficult - you definitely have to be more diligent and mindful; but it is worth it to feel so much better.  I'm sure I will be blogging about fun and tasty gluten-free recipes with you all in the future.

I'm so incredibly tired right now; I feel as though I'm in a daze.  Thanks for hanging in there with me, because I'm sure this post has been scattered, and I apologize for that.  Between the adoption, my sister having several seizures the past few weeks, and being at the hospital for hours at a time with my mom every day, I sometimes feel as though I'm losing my mind.  But, I know God is giving me strength and keeping us all on the right path toward restoration and a new life of happiness, health, hope, love, and JOY.

Take care, wherever you may be in this world.  Be well, be blessed, be LOVE.


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