Korean food fans

Kristi J. Shaffer

Here is my interview with Kristi and the photos of her happy family and Korean dishes that she made. She has a beautiful blog where she writes about her family and herself. You’ll be absorbed while reading her lovely stories. She is an amazing lady! You will see how busy her life is: she is teaching, taking care of her 3 young children, and her smart husband in law school. She makes dosirak (Korean lunchbox) for herself and her husband. The couple met in Korea on Valentines Day and they have been married for several years.

Check out the beautiful mujigaeddeok that she made for her son’s birthday. The children will remember their mom’s cooking when they grow up, and they will make their own Korean food forever because they are raised with Korean palate. I love the first photo in this page the most. All 5 members in this family look adorable and full of happiness!

1. What is your name and where do you live?
My name is Kristi and I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I’m originally from Michigan, but love traveling and learning about other cultures and languages.  I met my husband while I was teaching English in South Korea. We met 10 years ago, on Valentine’s Day of 2001. We were married 7 years ago on Valentine’s Day, 2004.

“Me with my kids: Iseul, Taeyang, and Haneul”

2. What do you do and how many family members do you have ?
I am a high school Spanish Teacher and a busy Mom. My husband is a law school student. We are a family of 5: my husband Seungho, myself, my twin daughters, Haneul and Iseul, and my son, Taeyang. My daughters will be 4 soon and my son just turned 2.

“Taeyang with the mujigae ddeok I made for his 2nd birthday. The sun is made of lemon peel.”

“Haneul with mujigae ddeok (thinking “When is my birthday?!)”

“Haneul is showing her daddy  that she wants a big piece. Side note: The hardest thing about making mujigae ddeok is keeping your husband from eating it before the party! (I quote: “It tastes best fresh. We should eat it now!”)

3. How often do you cook Korean food following my recipes?
I cook Korean food using several of your recipes at least once a week, but usually more often than that. I make a lot of side dishes so that my husband and I can have Korean lunch boxes every day. My kids all love Korean food too, so I try to make lots of side dishes on the weekend to last us through the week and then just cook a simple soup for dinner or fry some eggs or dubu. I am very proud that I made mujigae ddeok for my baby’s 2nd birthday this past weekend.

yeolmu mulkimchi (young summer radish water kimchi)

Taeyang eating doenjang guk*. We also had kosari namul (fernbrake), uhmook bokkeum (fish cake)*, paechu kimchi*, kong jorim (soybean side dish)*, and parae muchim (seasoned seaweed). * denotes items I made with your recipes.

4. What are your favorite Korean dishes? Choose 3, please!
I love gamjatang (pork bone soup), dolsot bibimbap, and soondubu jjigae. For panchan I love doraji muchim, kosari namul, and of course kimchi of all kinds. It is too hard to just choose 3 favorite dishes because Korean food is amazingly delicious!

my first mak kimchi

5. What’s your best Korean dish, the one that everybody compliments you on when you make it?
Everything I have made from this site? My husband has been very impressed by the leaps and bounds I have made in Korean cooking while using your recipes. My kids love kong jorim, yeolmu mulkimchi, and miyuk guk among many others. My husband really appreciates my kimchi making skills now and he goes crazy for oi naengguk (cold cucumber soup side dish). He has been so happy with my efforts that he has made several dishes from your site himself.

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