Ancestor memorial service is held on the day my ancestor passed away, which is tonight. Whenever big holidays and ancestor memorial-service come around, I cook my special homemade Yaksik. So I prepared it last night with big help from Jack because I had to go Seoul for my personal rehab class. He doesn't know how to cook and normally never tries to do it. But this became a very good opportunity for him to learn how to cook!
First, I gave him very precise instructions on how to prepare the ingrediants. His task was following: soak glutinous rice in water for an exact amount of time, cut chestnuts into 4 pieces and finally, extract seeds from dates and cut them into 3 pieces. Sounds easy? but as you may already know, Jack doesn't know even where the rice and chestnuts are. So I explained where everything is, how to take them out, when the exact process should be done and how to manage all these things. Surely, he made it in the end!
Getting off the subject for a while, Yaksik is a kind of rice cake, but it isn't exactly the same as other rice cakes. A rice cake is normally make of moist rice that grounded, but Yaksik is mainly made of glutinous rice. So it keeps its rice form due to its natural stickiness. That's why the lump of glutinous rice just looks like a rice cake.
Yaksik is a health food composed of chestnuts, dates, pine nuts, and glutinous rice, and some spices like soy sauce, black sugar, sesame oil and cinammon powder. Its cooking process is not so complicated. The most important thing is how long you soak the glutinous rice in water for softening, and at what ratio each spice should be added.
I really felt good at his first attempt to cook though he didn't do everything by himself. And I am sure he felt proud of himself, too, because he kept saying over and over that the Yaksik tasted so good even though he never ate it before for years. It's amazing how asking him to makes him eat what he doesn't like. :) I am very pleased~!!!
Yaksik made by Jack & Jin
Table of Ancestor memorial-service