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First Birthday - Dor


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My youngest turned one over the weekend. In Korean it called Dor (note: all spelling is phonetic and my best guess).

We ended up catering the meal which was lunch. We invited our friends and neighbors. For the catering service we use a place that had catered our wedding, my oldest first and 100 day celebrations as well as my wife's 30th birthday. They are very good and only cost $12 per person.

For $12 you get 10 dishes in volumes enough to feed the guests (big eaters) and a few extra. For my son’s event we invited 30 people, mostly white suburbanites/neighbors. We also had family and close friends. Most of the neighbors even though they live within 2 miles of Korea town have not had Korean food. Despite this knowledge I went and chose dishes I wanted and that my family wanted. I should have considered the people a bit more.

I order the following dishes:

Bulgogi - Grilled beef in a soy sauce base that slightly sweet.

Shrimp Tempura

Combination pan fried platter - It had white fished fried in an egg batter, zucchinis fried in the egg batter, and hot peppers stuffed with ground beef fried in egg batter

Fresh made Kim chi - the unfermented version

Chap Chae - Potato noodles with julienne veggies and sliced beef

Hae Pari Nang Chae - Jelly Fish Salad with julienne veggies and shrimp with a sweet and really pungent mustard dressing

Doragi - fern bracken??? dressed with soy, salt, pepper, sesame oil, etc.

Spinach - blanched spinach dressed with soy, salt, pepper, sesame oil, etc.

Pig’s Head cheese and pigs feet - thinly sliced and served with a condiment made of brined shrimp

Nack Gi Bokum - Spicy stir fried baby octopus with veggies

The food again did not disappoint. When my eldest turned one, we had just moved into the neighborhood and we didn’t invite many of our neighbors. Most of the guests were family and friend of family. Let’s just say there were no leftovers. But this time is was the complete opposite. I have so much food left over.

To be fair, my family made a good dent and a couple of my friends did as well. But with a few exceptions, most of the neighbors didn't go for the food that much.

My wife commented that the women stayed away from dishes except for rice, bulgogi and the spinach. As for the men, a few of them were adventurous, meaning I saw them trying everything. I really appreciated the one that decided they like the weird stuff and basically stuffed their face (high praise in my book). One of my neighbors really loved the head cheese and pigs feet and just went to town. The people who seem to like it really chowed down (there were a few) but most were too timid. No one other than the Koreans went for the Jellie fish.

I’m not complaining. The day was for my son and his grandparents. And it was a great party. My sons, family and I had a good time. But I can’t help feel a bit disappointed that people didn’t really appreciate the food that I have so much connection to. Next time, I’m going to just get a bucket of chicken and a tub of potato salad. I don’t think I will be cooking Korean food for any future neighbor events.

BTW, my wife took picture and I will try to post. And my son looked great in his outfit. I got to get a digital camera.

Soup

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I’m not complaining. The day was for my son and his grandparents. And it was a great party. My sons, family and I had a good time. But I can’t help feel a bit disappointed that people didn’t really appreciate the food that I have so much connection to. Next time, I’m going to just get a bucket of chicken and a tub of potato salad. I don’t think I will be cooking Korean food for any future neighbor events.

I feel for you. For my daughter's first birthday we made a lot of food and invited her friends from Gymboree. Biggest waste of time, money, effort and love on a bunch of people I wouldn't be 'friends' with were it not for my daughter's baby classes. I should have ordered from Panda Express. There was no next time with these people.

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Happy first birthday to your son, Soup! I love Korean food, so many varied tastes and textures. You ordered and served some amazing dishes for the party!

I've had similar experiences with parties, though sometimes the opposite occurred. Sometime ago, while I was back in the DC area, I prepared a huge spread of appetizers and finger food based on some American recipes, that I spent a lot of time on. To sort of round out the buffet table, I also set out some Indonesian treats, both savory and sweet. Not too many, since I wasn't sure how they would be received.

Well, to my surprise most of the guests (non-Asian neighbors and friends) really went for the simple Indonesian snacks, and those were gone just as fast as the elaborate American finger foods.

Sometimes introducing a new cuisine can be overwhelming and you come away with mixed results. My suggestion would be to incorporate some exciting Korean tasty tidbits along with some more familiar foods you could plan to serve. Gradually adding more dishes to subsequent events. Don't give up, Korean food is still new to some, it's worth a try! :wink:

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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Yay happy tol, manseh!

Soup and touregsand, I know exactly how you two feel. For the most part, I am reluctant to share my Korean heritage with folks who I am not sure will appreciate it.

I realize that being Korean isn't the biggest part of my life, but it still hurts when folks reject my food or culture, because it feels like they're rejecting a part of me.

And jeez, the food you two picked had enough variety in it that everyone could try and enjoy a little something. Honestly, Korean food isn't all that weird. Most of the things you need to make Korean food can be found in your local supermarket with the exception of ggochujang or ggochugaru.

Oh and what did your littlest one pick up at toljabi?

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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Wow, Soup, that spread sounds really good! Congrats on your lil' one.

Where did you get such a good deal on the food?

Sorry to hear alot of people didn't touch the food - it sucks when you try to be hospitable & it doesn't go as planned. Unfortunately, it sounds like you would've been better off with the standard party fare instead of the Korean food. It's a shame that people aren't going to try new things. Hello, it's food - not the end of the world to try something new, ya know?

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I just have to interject here, that I've made or offered things that have been similiarly rejected at public gatherings (pearls before swine as the saying goes... a crowd was once convinced the nasturiums I added to a salad would poison them) and it sucks. But don't just blame the Cacausians...this female one would have been really happy to chow down at your party, and I've been at parties where everyone but me was ethnic Chinese and anything that wasn't Chinese was treated with deep suspicion. You find non-sophisticated or non-adventurous eaters of all ethnic backgrounds, don't let them get you down! And enjoy the leftovers...my stomach growled reading the list.

regards,

trillium (always wanted to get invited to a traditional dor)

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Thanks for the comments.

Ellencho,

My son didn't pick but did point to his mother if that is any sign. He did look very nice in the Hanbok. We actually took it off before giving him his first taste of cake (BTW, it was also his very first wheat product). He loved it. Smiled the whole time as he preceeded to smear butter creme all over himself.

Gastro888,

I used a korean caterer in Northern Virginia called DongAh. Very good and will continue to use them.

As for the food, my family is really enjoying the leftovers. I especially love the head cheese. YUM!!!

Thanks

Soup

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How about a 34th birthday?

Today at my friend Andy's house, his mother prepared a Korean feast for his 34th birthday. This is just a sampling of the stuff that Halmeoni (Grandmother) made today

i10510.jpg

Mungbean Sprout, Galbi (Short Rib), Pajun (Korean Pancake), fried shrimp (Saewoo)

i10511.jpg

Ojinga Bokeum (Squid in spicy sauce)

i10512.jpg

Galbi (Beef Short Ribs)

i10513.jpg

Table spread with different kinds of kimchi

Oh -- and Ellen -- And I ate ALL of it. Halmeoni was very proud of me.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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But don't just blame the Cacausians...

Why would you assume we're talking about Caucasians? :raz:

Perhaps trillium read this part of Soup's initial post:

For $12 you get 10 dishes in volumes enough to feed the guests (big eaters) and a few extra. For my son’s event we invited 30 people, mostly white suburbanites/neighbors. We also had family and close friends. Most of the neighbors even though they live within 2 miles of Korea town have not had Korean food. Despite this knowledge I went and chose dishes I wanted and that my family wanted. I should have considered the people a bit more.

BTW, nice pictures of your daughter! Do you have one of your husband in Korean attire? :raz:

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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^

^Oh my, yes - what a cutie! touaregsand, would you please describe the scrumptious looking treats on the platters in front of your daughter?

I'd love to see chefzadi in Korean attire, too!

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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Most of the dishes are various rice cakes which I do not know the names of off the top of my head. I will find out and post later. I actually do not like to eat rice cakes unless I'm on some long hike. There are also plastic rice cake and cookie towers. Why plastic? I suspect it's because they are traditional foods that no one really likes to eat anymore so it's more cost effective to have fake ones. At least it gives the appearance of tradition. I have no idea what those are called, neither does my father much to my surprise. But I will email the photos to some cultural organizations who would certainly know.

As for Farid in hanbok I will PM you a photo. He's not shy about being in public, but I don't like to show my face much. All the photos of him in a hanbok have me standing or sitting right next to him.

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Thanks for the comments.

...Gastro888,

I used a korean caterer in Northern Virginia called DongAh.  Very good and will continue to use them. 

...

Thanks, Soup! I live in MD but I am willing to drive to Annadale for some good food. I love Korean food and am always looking to find a good catering for parties (just in case, ya know?)

Hopefully for the next party you'll have more appreciative guests!

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Ellencho,

My son didn't pick but did point to his mother if that is any sign. He did look very nice in the Hanbok. We actually took it off before giving him his first taste of cake (BTW, it was also his very first wheat product). He loved it. Smiled the whole time as he preceeded to smear butter creme all over himself.

Hmm pointed to mommy? Maybe he'll end up a dairy farmer, a time honored Korean tradition :raz: Just kidding. Or, perhaps since he smeared butter creme all over himself he'll become a dermatologist :wink:

Oh -- and Ellen -- And I ate ALL of it. Halmeoni was very proud of me.

Awesome, you probably made that old lady's day :biggrin: I'm always amazed by how much energy halmeonis can have - that's quite a feast she put together. And I love those square serving plates.

And touaregsand it's too cute how teeny your daughter looks next to those giant beh.

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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Hey, what's toljabi?  Please explain, thanks!

Toljabi is a ceremony where you set a bunch of stuff in front of your 1-year old and you let the child pick an item. Usually the parents will put out a caligraphy brush, a sword (a pretend one for a baby), money, rice cakes, and some other stuff, I can't remember what else. Whatever the baby picks is supposed to predict her/his future occupation. The caligraphy brush means s/he'll become a scholar, sword - a soldier, money - wealth, I can't remember what everything else meant. Anyone else?

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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Thanks for the comments.

...Gastro888,

I used a korean caterer in Northern Virginia called DongAh.  Very good and will continue to use them. 

...

Thanks, Soup! I live in MD but I am willing to drive to Annadale for some good food. I love Korean food and am always looking to find a good catering for parties (just in case, ya know?)

Hopefully for the next party you'll have more appreciative guests!

Try them out for catering. If you're looking for good korean places there are some really good ones. Let me know and I can send you name and directions to these places.

As for the next party for us, it will be the annual summer bash. We usually do the grilled meat thing but I hope to do a pig roast someday. May be this will be the year. I've heard about these "chinese box" for roasting pigs. Actually invented by couple of guys from miami. anyone use it?

Soup

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Hey, what's toljabi?  Please explain, thanks!

Toljabi is a ceremony where you set a bunch of stuff in front of your 1-year old and you let the child pick an item. Usually the parents will put out a caligraphy brush, a sword (a pretend one for a baby), money, rice cakes, and some other stuff, I can't remember what else. Whatever the baby picks is supposed to predict her/his future occupation. The caligraphy brush means s/he'll become a scholar, sword - a soldier, money - wealth, I can't remember what everything else meant. Anyone else?

Bowl of uncooked rice- Treasure/ wealth

Thick string (the kind used to sew the covers on traditional Korean blankets)- long life

Spoon- A life of good eating

Caligraphy brush- Scholar

I've never heard of the sword though. Maybe regional.

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I have a friend that's Thai, and I've been to her parent's house several times. Her mother ALWAYS makes some Thai dishes (and some Americans for her....uneducated...friends <g>). Every time I dutifully tried a bit of everything, mostly to be polite. It was ok, but not my favorite.

Then two years ago, on the day before her wedding they had a traditional Buddhist blessing ceremony. There was a TON of food (part of the ceremony involves providing a meal to the monks). Nothing Americanized this time. Again, I started trying a bit of everything...and LOVED it. This was the first time I truly enjoyed all of the Thai dishes, heat and all. :) I'm not sure what changed, but I still continue to enjoy it all.

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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