Love of Food

When I came to Norway, my relation to food was complicated. I was very sick and malnourished, and looked far younger than my two years and in fact I could easily have been taken for a one-year-old. I’ve been told that I stuffed food into my mouth as fast as I could, that I was nervous and afraid that if I didn’t eat fast enough, the food would be taken away. Even after I had emptied it, I would cry if anyone took my plate away.

In the beginning, because of being undernourished, I was fed mostly mashed kohlrabi … doctor’s orders, since I needed lots of vitamins and minerals, and this stuff would be good for me. I simply loved it, and I still do to this day.

Looking back now, I can understand my eating habits a lot better: I came from an orphanage in Korea, I was sick and tiny, not to mention a girl, so I wasn’t exactly the one getting the most food. Traditionally, in Korea, boys were always considered a blessing, whereas girls were nothing but a huge expense for the family. This view lives even today, especially in the rural areas.

Today, as an adult, I tend to cook rather large meals. I’m always a little afraid that it won’t be enough, and I definitely don’t want it to be too little. I’ve recently come to realize that there is a connection between this, and my experiences with food as a little girl; my subconscious remembers the time when I got very little or no food at all. I’ve always enjoyed almost any kind of food and I guess I had no opportunity to be picky, since I couldn’t take for granted that there would even be enough.

These days I sometimes prefer more sophisticated meals, whenever I have time, occasion and money, but I also quite enjoy simple traditional dishes. Then there’s hot or cold standing buffets, pastries, buns, waffles, pancakes, nut cake, cheese cake, chocolate cake, marzipan-covered cream cake, a few traditional Norwegian cakes that I don’t know any English names for, sandwiches with all kinds of stuff in them, all sorts of cheese – except very moldy ones – with salty biscuits, chunks of apple, orange or red and green grapes, and paprika of various colours, to eat with hot tea or cold cider. That’s what I call refreshment.

Unfortunately I have diabetes, so I have to mind what I eat, especially sugar, and not put on too much weight. This isn’t easy, with so many temptations. Now that summer is closing in fast, it’s nearly barbecue season with all kinds of grilled meats, seafood and salads, and marshmallows on a stick over the charcoals. It brings out the gourmet in me, loving all things good to eat, with a glass of Bailey’s or Amarula, or a cup of tea.

Cheers! Gan bae! Skål, everyone!

~ Khara

2 thoughts on “Love of Food

  1. Cheers to you too, so glad you can enjoy your food relish it even. I too had food related issues it has taken a long time to get to grips with.
    I love to cook, like you always cook for an army and it’s joked about within the family circle.It had it’s uses when there were many teens around! A good diet of fresh locally produced food is a pleasure and a daily delight.

  2. Chal mo go simnida:) means thanks for the meal. It was so nice to hear my issue is very common then about food. It just struck me one day, that of course my childhood and my life now is important when it comes to my relationship towards food. I just had not been thinking about this before now.Thanks for commenting on this one, then I know I am very normal in life:)

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