Thursday, July 05, 2007

No Wax Fourth

Since Wednesday was the 4th of July, a distinctly American holiday not celebrated in Korea, I decided to bring a little bit of the 4th to Seoul. I began by shopping at Costco this week, stocking up on hot dogs (actually Brats - thanks to The Stumbling brother-in-law for introducing them to me), hamburger (Australian), cheese, buns, watermelon, etc. On Tuesday night I downloaded a recipe from the internet on how to cook potato salad (are cookbooks obsolete?). Then I peeled, cut and cooked my potatoes and eggs, putting them in the refrigerator overnight (the recipe said the potatoes needed to be cold). So CH and I had our own very small 4th lunch party. Of course, I cooked too much food, so I'll be having leftovers for a few more days.

When shopping, I saw a small cheap charcoal grill, and was tempted to get it. However, two problems - I didn't see any charcoal for sale, and also I don't know where I could set up a grill since I live in an apartment. Maybe I could go down to the sidewalk or park and cook, but I think that would draw a lot of attention. So, the meats were cooked in the skillet. Also, I added minced garlic to the hamburger meat before cooking. That came out really good - I've heard of doing that before in the USA, so I can't claim that as my own idea.

Since I was shopping at Costco, the meat packages were pretty large, and I need to freeze some of the extra. Which brings me to the final part of the story - the lack of wax paper here in Korea. I asked many people about it, and went to two large stores, and just couldn't find any. At the last store, in broken Korean I explained to the two clerks trying to help me "you put wax paper between the hamburger patties or chicken breasts before you put them in the freezer". Once I established that they didn't have a clue what wax paper was, I told them "okay, I give up. We use wax paper in the USA for this purpose, what do you use in Korea"? They told me that they either use plastic wrap or foil. Well, I remember from my childhood (one of my jobs often was making and freezing hamburger patties) that plastic wrap will stick to the creases in the hamburger patty. But, I thought foil would not have that problem. As I was just beginning to pack up my extra meats for freezing, I realized that foil would be a bad idea. If you need a little help separating the meats, you can't put it in the microwave oven if foil is used as a separating layer. So, for now I just gave up and used ordinary printer paper, which is probably full of bad chemicals. I guess I'll keep on my search for wax paper in Korea.

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