My One Tooth Aunt

As we made our way through the chaotic maze of small makeshift stands, we saw her. She was waving her gnarled-up hand at us. Her 4’9” body moved crookedly as she hopped up and down, alternating from left to right foot. She looked like she needed to go to the bathroom....more

Umma's Korean Rice Cake Soup (Tteok Guk)

Rice cake soup (tteok guk) on New Year's day for Koreans is like turkey on Thanksgiving for Americans. Without tteok guk on our New Year's menu, it's not a New Year's feast... although traditionally, we celebrate the Lunar New Year. That's beside the point. ...more

Wonder Woman Envy

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....more


Good Bye Super

There was a constant flurry of activity during the last few days of our life in Korea. Mom was feverishly sorting through every item we had accumulated as a family and the keepsakes she acquired from her life before a husband and four kids. Whatever she decided to take for our new life in the United States had to fit in one of the large, multicolor plastic bags or the five over-sized suitcases. Everything else we had to leave behind, including our dogs Super and her pup Gome. ...more