Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Chuseok!

Hello and Happy Chuseok!

Chuseok (Chew-Sock) is the Korean Thanksgiving and is the 2nd most important holiday in Korea, behind the Lunar New Year. I spent a lot of time this past week talking with my students about it trying to gain a better understanding of this holiday.  It’s the day where they celebrate the year’s harvest, as well as pay respects to their ancestors. It seems to be the one day a year when the children can be successfully pried away from their computer games.  They often travel to their grandparents house and while the ladies spend all day in the kitchen, the gentlemen play card games and similar activities.  The children sing songs, play traditional games, and they eat a ton food just like we do.  Children love Chuseok.  Oh, and they also receive gifts of “pocket money” from their elders.

My favorite part of Chuseok? I get a long weekend.  And I think that’s just wonderful. 

This blog will not be about the history and traditions of Chuseok.  If you are interested in that information you can read about it here.  My blog is more about the gifts given for Chuseok.  (hehehe)

My director asked me to stop by school on Saturday evening to receive my gift.  My friend Kate was in town from Gwangju so she came with me to pick it up and she got to see my school briefly. I already had a pretty good idea of the types of gifts given but I must say… I am in love with my gift.  Are you ready for this???


It came in it’s own carrying case!


This is much larger than it appears in the picture.  Almost poster board size. What’s that it says??


Premium Richam Gift Set???  Whatever could that be?


Is that really???


SPAM!!!  You know you want some.


That’s right, Buckwheat.  A year supply of SPAM!


I happened to know ahead of time that this is a very popular gift to give during the holidays.  SPAM (and Korean SPAM-like products) are really popular here.  While SPAM costs about $1 a can at home (I’m assuming this, I can truly say that I’ve never bought a can of SPAM), this gift set cost about $60. It’s a big deal.  In my next blog I will provide picture evidence of other fantastic gift ideas for those who wish to celebrate Chuseok.

In my uber-brief research with the ever trusty Wikipedia, I found this:

In contemporary Seoul, South Korea, Spam is considered a delicacy and can be seen in store windows alongside imported European luxury goods such as wine, exotic mushrooms and Swiss chocolates.

It’s true, yo.  And…I have been inspired.  hehehe.

I don’t cook.  Everyone reading this blog should know this by now.  I can cook.  I can actually cook quite well, if so inclined.  However, I opt not to.  Cooking for one just seems like an awful lot of unnecessary drama. BUT seeing as how I have now received a year’s worth of canned meat, and taking into consideration that there are dozens of websites dedicated to the concept of making gourmet meals combined with the cost efficiency of SPAM, I plan to start making a weekly meal with this meat like product.  And then I plan to make my friends eat it.  Yum!!!!!  And you dear readers will get to read about it on my blog.  Aren’t you excited??  I am!!!

I’ve never eaten SPAM.  I’ve actually never seem SPAM outside of a grocery store.  This is going to be fun!  I spent part of my evening surfing through various websites looking for the perfect recipe to kick-off my SPAM-tastic food marathon.  Let me know if you have any suggestions.


  1. I kind of like Spam, Amy. That's a lot of Spam, though.

    I usually just fry the Spam up in a skillet and stick it on a sandwich.

    Spam musubi is basically a spam sushi - grilled/fried spam, on rice, wrapped in seaweed. President Obama likes it, so it must be good.

    These recipes are the best, though: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1866043-1,00.html

  2. Great! Spam is awesome, and I'm glad your school loves you that much.

    I usually cook spam with vegetables that can be chopped down to that size - corn, celery, carrots, peas, etc., beat some eggs and mix it with rice for Golden Fried Rice. Add raisins for a slightly sour flavor.

    Maybe top it off with orange juice to boot, too. =)