Here’s what happened at the June 20th meetup last Saturday:
It was a great success even though the weather was rainy.
I was surprised to see many people appeared on time, around 12:00 pm at the Sony Plaza in Manhattan. As I said, nothing could stop us from meeting!
As usual, I didn’t have to worry about finding people because they recognized me first!
My answer was:
“Yayee!” : )
We hugged each other just like old friends.
At about 12:30 pm, we started eating and toasted with rice wine I made! Home made rice wine, called “makkoli” in Korean, was my surprise gift for all of us. Someone whispered to me, “We shouldn’t say this is rice wine, because we may get in trouble if a security guard hears this. Having alcohol in public place is illegal,” so we called the rice wine “rice milk.” Isn’t it funny?
“Are you going to get some more rice milk?” I poured it into someone’s empty cup.
We had white rice, multi-grain rice, LA style beef ribs, tangsuyuk (by Joon, guest star of my tangsuyuk video), japchae, omelet rice, 3 kinds of kimchi (geotjeolee, stuffed cucumber kimchi, and young radish kimchi), sigeumchi namul (spinach side dish), kimbap, gyungdan (rice cake balls rolled in roasted black sesame seeds), fruit cake (pear), and hwajeon (flower pancake).
After lunch, we voted for the best dish. The first, second, and the third place received some prizes I brought, mostly Korean ingredients.
The first place went to Michael and Sujin who brought japchae, a spinach side dish and cake! They got a package of dried anchovies, a bottle of sesame oil, and a box of hot pepper paste. They live outside of New York, and said ”we were going to stop by a Korean store to buy these things on the way home back.”
They even brought roasted sesame seeds to sprinkle on the sigeumchi namul just before serving so that the sesame seeds would be crispy!
Also a nice surprise was that the Korean Cultural Service in New York sent me a big box of Korean books and CDs to give to my viewers. Everybody got at least one gift, which was pretty cool.
All the dishes looked fantastic! Beautiful hwajeon made with real fresh flowers, gyungdan rolled in black sesame seeds, omelette rice for lunch box, sweet, sour, and crispy tangsuyuk, tuna kimbap… amazing! All the dishes looked very familiar! Why? Because a lot of them followed my recipes!!!
I had a great time! It was so wonderful to meet so many of my viewers and readers. It went so fast, I wish I had more time for longer conversations.
I will definitely have another meetup in the future. I hope you’ll all come back and do it again!