Can you believe that Summer is almost over?
I had the most whirlwind of a Summer ever, but I am officially back in Winnipeg ready for another school year..
Or maybe not ready, but present.
I think that it really hit me that Summer was almost over mid-way through my weekly Costco run when I realized that the Halloween AND Christmas items were out.
Let's let that sink in for a moment.
Another thing that happens at the end of Summer?!
This girl's birthday!
To celebrate, I made her come over to my house for shots and Korean BBQ.
Korean BBQ is super easy to pull together. You want some lettuce for the wrap, some freshly steamed rice for the carbs, some sliced vegetables (onion, garlic, mushrooms), and of course the star of the show; usually beef or pork.
For dipping sauces, today we kept it simple.
Some Ssamjang (korean wrap sauce) and salt and pepper with sesame oil.
Birthday girl is clearly super excited.
Korean BBQ - like hotpot [which I've blogged about HERE] - is an eat as you cook experience and also great for bonding.
A meal can be drawn out over hours as friends mingle and drink as the food slowly cooks at the perfect pace. It's basically a meal and an activity in one!
Putting the birthday girl to work and making her cook our meal, I went snap happy.
Very quickly, the smell of BBQ fills the area as the sizzling sounds tingle the other senses.
Because the meat is so thinly sliced, everything cooks quickly and before we knew it, our food was perfectly crispy on the outside.
Taking our first piece, we dipped it in the sesame oil mixture, before gently placing it on the fresh leaf of lettuce.
The great thing about KBBQ is that you can make it whatever you want to be, and you can eat it however you want.
Pure with just a hint of salt
Wrapped in lettuce stuffed to the brim with rice, garlic, onions, and the tiniest dab of ssamjang.
or however you please.
It's basically like DIY food.
Then comes the tricky part which requires a seasoned kbbq eater to accomplish gracefully.
I call this one-shot.
You'll soon see why.
Once you've filled your lettuce wrap to the brim, the next thing you need to do is to attempt to roll it into a bite-sized ball.
Easier said than done, especially when ... you've overestimated the amount of food you can consume and REALLY stuffed your wrap (which is what usually happens to me)
I'll let the birthday girl show you how it's expertly done.
See how she's successfully rolled it into a ball (albeit not very bite sized).
Because every good birthday situation needs to have some sort of shot involved, the next step is called one shot.
This is where you're supposed to stuff the ENTIRE wrap into your mouth at once.
(you didn't think I was referring to alcohol when I was talking about shorts earlier, did you?)
If your friends are particularly devilish (like me), they'll chant "one shot! one shot!" and stare at you awkwardly while you try to stuff the entire thing into your mouth.
After a few moments of struggling, she finally manages to complete the one-shot challenge.
She will then learn her lesson and also realize that all following wraps should be less stuffed, but will probably make the same mistake (of overstuffing) again - and again.
There you have it. Birthday girl has officially completed her first celebration shot of the day.
We continued the rest of the meal basically in silence -because one-shots take a lot of patience and focus- and in between mouthfuls, reminisced about how we had met each other 2 years ago around this time of the year.
I don't get to see her nearly as much as I'd like to, but whenever we do meet up, its full of fun moments like this.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HERA!
Wishing you a year filled with fun adventures and many many more shots.