As a first-generation immigrant growing up in the Midwest, the thing I wanted most as a child was a normal lunch. I used to watch my friends unpack their Scooby Doo or Wonder Woman lunch boxes and eagerly dig into their PBJ sandwiches and Oreo cookies. I reached into my plastic Safeway bag and covertly ate my kimbop with pickled turnips.
I am currently writing a book. Good Bye Joe is a collection of stories about my parents surviving war, famine and abuse; my childhood with my sisters and as a Korean immigrant family adjusting to life in 1970s mid-America, and who I am now after a brain tumor, EF5 tornado, and a crushing divorce. It also has recipes I grew up with and new ones that seem to punctuate some of the chapters of my life, like a question mark after the divorce, an exclamation bringing in the New Year in New Zealand, and now... ellipses.
The EF5 tornado that hit May 3, 1999, left a trail of destruction from Texas to Tennessee and destroyed our childhood home. It was a brutal reminder of how things can be taken away in a blink of an eye. I'm hoping to preserve those stories and memories with Goodbye Joe and the family recipes passed down from generation to generation.
I'm blogging at www.yobodish.blogspot.com. Come say hi and check out the recipes.