Korean Christmas Souffle Recipe
- a sprinkle of snow
- 3 teaspoons of gingerbread men cookies
- a generous dose (roughly 1 cup) of a family substitute
- a touch (5 grams) of Santa Claus
- 4 tablespoons of holiday food
- 1pack (250 grams) of skyping with friends and family
Step 1: sprinkle a touch of snow (or more to your liking) in a medium sized mixing bowl.
With perfect seasonal timing, we experienced our first snow in Daejeon about 2 weeks ago. Korea doesn't see much snow (no more than a few centimeters at a time and mostly melted by midday), but even the smallest amount seems to coax holiday songs from my lips. What was that? "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!" or "Dashing through the snow on a one horse open sleigh.."
Admittedly, I was just as excited for the first snowfall as the kids were. During the 10 minute breaks between classes you could find (me and) dozens of the kids playing outside in the snow-- the girls were delicately crafting small snowmen while the boys taunted them with their increasing larger balls of snow with aims of either A) driving them away screaming, leaving no trace that a snow figure was ever there at all or B) provoking the girls to retaliate with their own equally large snow ball. I was there to capture evidence.
Jella (my main co-teacher) and I held a party for class 5-8. (They've been our observation class for 2 open classes and have put in a lot of extra practice and hard work this semester). With it being close to Christmas, I was dying to make gingerbread cookies for the party. Some of the women in the subject teachers office wanted to help make them. Pictures as follows:
|From the left: Jella, Ms. Ahn, the Science subject teacher (I'm not sure on her name), Mrs. Kim, and Shi On. They are all leaving next year (Korean teachers rotate schools every 5 years. Sometimes more frequently than that.) I will miss them so much.|
|Note: I did Mrs. Kim's hair (back right). Sometimes we have hair shop in the office. We joke that we're going to open a hair and bakery shop. "hair -10 dolla'! cookie- 2 dolla!'"|
|None of them were familiar with gingerbread cookies prior to this, but they were all eager to cut the shapes and decorate them. It made me smile.|
|This is class 5-8s party. The next two photos are pictures of the presentation they made for Jella and I. It consisted of singing and dancing. I couldn't tell you what it was about though.|
|The girls from class 5-8|
Step 3: Add a generous dose (or roughly 1 cup) of a family substitute with whom to spend Christmas to your snow/gingerbread mixture. Beat with an electric mixer until light, fluffy peaks form.
You can't spend Christmas alone and this year I spent it with a really wonderful group of EPIK teachers. We went to dinner on Christmas Eve at a traditional Korean restaurant (the kind where you sit on the floor and cook the food on burners on the table in front of you.) We went back to Megan and John's apartment, the couple that hosted the party, drank wine, played games, and eventually passed at around 4 in the morning. Megan, our expert chef, woke up early on Christmas to make everyone breakfast. I eased out of a comatose state with the sounds of a hushed conversation from the kitchen, a sizzling and popping sound and with the smell of bacon in the air.
Step 4: In a separate bowl add a touch (or roughly 5 grams) of Santa Claus.
Santa made it to Korea! We had planned to do a secret Santa gift exchange and stockings for Christmas. Everyone brought their own stocking and bought a gift for another person and 11 small items to be stuffed into all of the stockings. After breakfast everyone broke into their gifts from Santa.
Step 5: Mix 4 tablespoons of holiday food into the Santa bowl. Fold Holiday and Santa mixture into the snow/gingerbread/family substitute mixture. Start on the outside and fold inwards.
We had a really delicious Christmas meal around midday. Our master chef provided us with all of the holiday essentials: ham, stuffing, cooked carrots, corn pudding, cooked cabbage, and roasted potatoes.
Step 6: Pour the souffle mixture into a pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. While the souffle is baking, melt a pack (250 grams) of Skyping family and friends in a medium sauce pan. Once the souffle has cooled, drizzle over the top.
I got to call my family on Christmas Eve and skype them on Christmas day. They weren't expecting the call on Christmas Eve. My dad answered the phone. "Hey Dad" pause "Hey baby!" Then came my tears. I can be a pretty emotional person (I've always been this way, I accept it now), but something about that man can melt my heart and make me cry more than any person I know. He's aware that it embarrasses me when I have these spells. We have an unspoken agreement that he doesn't draw attention to it. My mom and sister jumped on the other phone lines and we talked for a good hour. (I'll be curious to see that phone bill. yikes!)
The next day for them (that evening for me) they skyped me in for presenting "opening." Why is "opening" in quotes you ask? Isn't that what you do with presents? You open them. Well, yes, for most families, that is what you do; but mine, bless them, is special. Non-traditionalists, non-conformists, .. call them what you will. They explained that not one of them actually wrapped anything this year. They put the presents on the kitchen table (because they didn't put up the tree) and threw a blanket over the top. Then when it was time for gift giving, like a magician ripping a table cloth off a set table, surprise! There are the presents! I'd be lying if I said that I didn't love them for this quark. I've already threatened them with a very festive Christmas next year to make up for the one this year.
Step 7: Cut into the Korean Christmas Souffle and enjoy. Repeat.