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Mugwort was waiting for me!

By Maangchi

Yesterday I went to my secret place where I can get fresh mugwort! My mugwort was waiting for me. They seem to recognize me, and were wondering “how come Maangchi doesn’t visit us this year?” When they saw me, they seemed to say: “Oh, here she is!”

Last year I foraged mugwort from the same spot, to make soup. The mugwort leaves were a little taller than last years’. I think the beginning of April is the best time to harvest mugwort from that spot. When it grows too tall, the leaves get tough, so the soup will not be so nice. But you still can make rice cake with that mugwort if you blanch it.

Mugwort is an herb used not only food, but also for medicine. While I was picking mugwort, a park ranger stopped by with his car. “What are you doing there?”

I said: “Yes, it’s mugwort.” He didn’t seem to understand what I was saying. Then I continued, “We use this as home remedy.” He seemed to understand perfectly. I didn’t tell him that I will eat it in rice cake or soup because he might give me hard time. : ) He smiled and said something like “Good luck!”

After he left, I had chance to use mugwort as home remedy! I found a small cut on my left hand near my index finger, and it was bleeding. I was so surprised by his voice that I fumbled my small knife that I was using to cut mugwort stems. I got a little cut on my hand with the tip of the knife. “Ok, let’s use my ssuk!” I squeezed some mugwort and put it on my hand and waited a minute. Yes, the bleeding stopped instantly! Awesome awesome!

I harvested for about 1 hour and the amount of mugwort I got was huge! I will go to the same spot a little earlier next year! I blanched all of the mugwort and washed it thoroughly. Then divided it into several portions and froze them for later use.

Even though it looked a little tough, I made soup with blanched mugwort. This time I made it with dried anchovy stock. OMG, so delicious! I felt the pure and strong energy from the ripe spring coming into my body! Am I too excited? I can’t help it, spring is here!

Ssukguk (mugwort soup) is a soup that will really make you feel like it’s springtime. Delicious!

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