We celebrated Chuseok (Korean: 추석) this weekend. As I said in my previous post, Chuseok is known as “Korean Thanksgiving” since it’s Korea’s autumn harvest festival that also commemorates the ancestors with the gathering of family and the consumption of large quantities of traditional foods.
This year, Thanksgiving was November 26 and Chuseok was September 27. I already planned to visit Seoul for the Fulbright Thanksgiving dinner. I also wanted to bring some American Thanksgiving spirit to the table and introduce my host family and extended family to some typical Thanksgiving desserts. Usually, while my mom and my aunts cook the food, I am in charge of preparing the desserts. That has always been my role, and it felt weird to celebrate “Thanksgiving” without these home-baked dishes. Also, it was a great excuse to do some baking!
First time kneading homemade bread…
Baking in South Korea is fucking hard!!! As many friends living here with me can attest to, not all ingredients are readily available, or they are labeled other things, or you have to pay extra to get it imported (or mailed to you) from the USA. In my local supermarket, the flour is located besides the cake mix, across from the bread and the ramen noodles. Sugar and cinnamon is with the coffee. I found vanilla tucked away in a corner of an aisle underneath the yeast. You need anything more specific than these ingredients, then you’ll need to head over to a specialty store or make a trip to Costco’s or Seoul.
Given these restrictions, and the bountiful amount of apples available, I decided to do my typical apple pie and apple crisp. I also wanted to try something new. After seeing a video of braided Nutella bread on Facebook, I was inspired to give it a try. View full post »