Auntie's Seaweed for Kim
Arrived in Pusan today, and finally had the chance to meet my cousin Bong Tae's mother, our Great Auntie. Some fifty years earlier, when Halmoni was busy with her business interests in Honolulu, she had sent my mother-- then a baby of only eighteen months-- and my mother's brother John to Korea where they were brought up by this kind, now elderly woman. Great Auntie was the sister of another picture bride whom Halmoni had met on the boat to Hawaii. There they became fast and close friends, and they cemented this friendship by arranging for Halmoni's brother to meet Halmoni's friend's sister. As hoped for, the couple eventually married.
Great Auntie, who was enchanted with our little son Guy, her great nephew, gave Kim three packets of best quality Pusan seaweed, to be made, she instructed, into miyok guk-- seaweed soup-- the traditional mainstay of nursing mothers.
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