Mother’s Hands, 손맛

Mother arrived last Wednesday. She left yesterday. During that time, I didn’t have to cook a single thing. Even when Mother and Good Man went to Philadelphia for three days, Mother left enough food in the fridge to cover me. “Amanda, you work so hard. I made you food.”

맛 means “flavor” or “taste.” 맛있다 means “to be delicious.” 단맛 and 쓴맛 mean “sweet” and “bitter” respectively. 밥맛 is “rice” and “flavor,” which becomes “appetite.”

손맛 is “hand” and “taste.” And as I’ve seen it used, I’ve always thought of it as meaning “home cooking.”

Watching Mother cook for more than a week made me realize that it really does mean “hand taste.”

When Mother cooks, she rarely uses mixing spoons or spatulas. She dons thin plastic gloves and uses her hands (or chopsticks in the case of hot foods) to cook.

She chops everything by hand.

She mixes food with her hands.

She serves with her hands.