Mother won’t let me cook (yet), and she’s afraid I don’t know how to use the subway and will get lost/die/be kidnapped/gorge myself of Dweji Bars if I leave the house alone, so all I’ve been eating is Korean food. For all of my bitching about Mother bitching about what (when, why, how, how much) I eat, she is trying to be accommodating. Of course, we only got there after Mother lectured me on how fabulous Korean food is and how I should eat it all the time.
I sighed and said, slowly, “Mother, in America we had one American meal. And then we had Thai food with rice. And then we had Korean food. In America, you ate more Korean food than American food. Right?” Mother admitted I was right. “I don’t only want American food. I want it sometimes.”
I said, “But usually, in America, we don’t eat salads for breakfast.”
I thought for a moment and finally settled on “it’s a different country.”
“What do you eat?”
“Cereal or oatmeal or bread [Korea’s idea of bread is nothing like America’s, but I don’t go into it], fruit, maybe bacon or eggs, juice, coffee… Sometimes we eat rice with milk and cinnamon.”
“Rice with milk?” Sister asked.
“[Good Man] hates it.”
Mother asked, “Fruit? What kind of fruit?”
“Apples, bananas, kiwis, strawberries…”
Mother disappeared for a moment and comes back with two bananas in her hand. She sliced the bananas over our salads. Then I watched with disbelief as she rolled her pieces around in the olive oil sauce.
I asked if she has any black pepper. She said we’ll get some at Costco next week.
We had some tofu with our lunch, and it was delicious. I asked for more and the server said they didn’t have any more. Mother pulled the server aside and said quickly and quietly, “My daughter-in-law is having a hard time with all of the Korean food and doesn’t really like fish. Can you please get some more tofu?”
Five minutes later, I got a huge plate filled with hot slabs of tofu, fresh from the kitchen.