Sunday, December 11, 2011

When My Name Was Keoko

Our Five in a Row group read When My Name Was Keoko for November. It is a fantastic book by an author our group was familiar with already because we read A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park a few years ago (and loved it as well).

We had an extra special day to go along with Keoko. One of the families has a friend who is Korean and has stories from his childhood that very much went along with what we read. He agreed to meet us at a Japanese/Korean restaurant and guide us through choosing some Korean foods as we shared lunch together.

I've gotta tell you, after seeing the menu and being completely unfamiliar with which menu items would be Japanese and which would be Korean, I was plenty worried. I'm a far more adventurous eater than when I was younger but when I saw squid, eel, octopus (which I actually have eaten once, years ago), fish roe, and the like on the menu, I wasn't sure it was going to be a fun time.

We started with miso soup. Safe enough so far, and quite delicious, too.

Next came edamame, which I enjoy, and potstickers. Then they brought salad with a wonderful ginger dressing I'd love to have the recipe for. I was feeling better about the experience already.

I think this dish is called Bibimbob

We all shared the dishes he ordered. I enjoyed every.single.thing!

This, I believe, is called Chapchae

He shared a lot of family memories with us and it was amazing how much his stories corresponded with the story line of the book. We found it incredibly interesting to listen to him.

We finished the meal with a choice between green tea ice cream or red bean ice cream. I only had a taste-I was actually full!-but the girls enjoyed it a lot.

We intended pay for lunch for him and his wife, to thank him for sharing his time and tales with us, but he wouldn't let us. Instead, he paid for our whole group-such generosity!

This book, and our day together, will not be quickly forgotten.

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  1. What a special day! That food sounds good...

  2. That sounds like such a great way to try something new, guided by someone who knows what's best! I admit though, when I saw your headline I thought you mispelled Keeka;>)


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