We Had a Baby! – Mee-yuk Gook

mee-yuk gook - korean seaweed soup
A baby! A baby! We had a baby!

Good gracious no, it isn’t my baby. It’s my sister’s baby. My sister and her husband had a little baby girl on Monday.

No no, not the sister who just got married. I have two sisters; they are identical twins. One has been married now for almost three years, and had the baby. The other sister just recently got married, and her bridal shower, eight months of planning, and wedding were the subject of many a post here at the Delicious Life. I suspect that baby-related food subjects will make their way into my Delicious Life now as well.

delicious little niece
only her jaw, just like her aunt

Okay, so technically, we, as in “including Sarah,” didn’t have a baby, but it sure feels like we, all of us, my whole family, had the baby. Together.

I am going to call her Bunny. In her teeny tiny newborn outfit, she looks like a little pink bunny rabbit. And this is the only picture of my Bunny I’ll post, I promise. I’m not going to be one of those overzealously proud aunts who picture-messages, emails, IMs and carries everywhere her newborn niece’s picture. Wanna see Bunny when she’s three days old? Four days old? Here she is when she’s one week old! That won’t be me, I promise. Well, just for the first month, then I swear I’ll stop. ;)

Now, to keep this post within the confines of The Delicious Life as a food blog, let’s go through some of the food I experienced on the day that Bunny was born. Bunny was born about 10 am on Monday morning. I got to the hospital by about 2:45 pm to visit the Happy Family in recovery. (What is Happy Family in a Chinese restaurant anyway?)

Hawaiian Bread. My brother-in-law, my sister’s husband, the Baby’s Daddy, was also the Coach during labor. He was instructed to bring snacks and drinks with him to the hospital to keep close at hand because there would not be time for him to wander off to the hospital cafeteria for a snack, not that he’d even want to eat that *ahem* crap (as you will read later), let alone rush off to In n Out to grab a Double-Double, Animal-style. When I got to their recovery room, there was a three-quarters eaten loaf of King’s Hawaiian bread. So while normal people who go pick up “snacks” will go and buy chips, or if they’re healthy, trail mix and granola bars, my brother-in-law had gone and bought two loaves of Hawaiian bread. I have no idea why a loaf of Hawaiian bread as a snack is so hilarious to me, but it is.

Turkey and Prime Rib. The nurse brought a turkey sandwich for lunch, but my sister couldn’t eat it because the anesthesia was still pulsing through her body, making her very nauseous. *shrugs* I hadn’t eaten lunch yet either, so I took a bite. *blech* Good thing my sister’s nausea kept her from eating the sandwich. There were two slices of turkey on cold, chewy bread, and though the lettuce and tomato came separately, the bread was soggy. Hospital food is about as good as Airplane Food. Actually, I think Hospital Food is worse because at least on airplanes, you can choose to not buy the food.

We stayed at the hospital all afternoon and through the evening in the recovery room with my sister, her husband, and the Bunny. Clearly, I didn’t learn my lesson from the turkey sandwich because when dinner time came around and the orderly wheeled in a cart with prime rib…Let’s just say that Hospital Prime Rib is definitely not Lawry’s. In fact, it’s not even Arby’s.

Now I get to wax on about why the Delicious family women are Incredible with a capital “I,” just like the movie. For obvious reasons, my sister-the-new-mommy is pretty effin’ incredible because she carried around the equivalent of a very large turkey on her body for nine months, eight of which she spent working as a badass in her own wildly successful business. All the while, she still maintained her supermodel appearance. I could exhibit some serious sibling jealousy here I suppose, but I can honestly say that when it comes to my sisters, I am nothing but awestruck and incredibly proud of them.

Congratulatory Snacks. My other sister-just-married is incredible because she, too, is a badass businesswoman, pretty much runnning the show at a giant hospital conglomerate (I have no idea actually if it’s a comglomerate per se, but it’s a giant health care provider that has hospitals all over the place). She finished her big meeting on the day the Bunny was born, then snuck out to come visit, still in her professional pantsuit, still lugging her giantlatop. She called us from the road to find out what we needed and heard about the turkey sandwich. She stopped off at the market and picked up Fritos. LOL! It may sound totally stupid, but she picked up our sister’s favorite snacks – Fritos, Chex Mix, SoBe Lizard Fuel drinks, Gatorade (which was actually for the Coach to go with his Hawaiian bread), and gum. It was exactly what she wanted. She should know – twins are weirdly connected like that.

Mee-yuk Gook. Mom is incredibly – there is no other way to say it – incredibly incredible. For months, she cooked at home in the OC and took food to my sister while she was pregnant. She mad
e my sister’s favorite things, always heeding her weird cravings and new dislikes-due-to-hormones. In the early stages of her pregnancy, my sister craved baked potatoes and naeng-myun, Korean cold buckwheat noodles. In Korean culture, a craving for naeng-myun is a good sign that the baby is a girl. Isn’t that crazy accurate? I wish I knew the science behind that one.

We learned a little bit about Korean culture from Mom throughout the duration of the pregnancy. She made pots and pots of mee-yuk gook, simmering chicken on the bone with onions and garlic for hours until the meat is hanging onto the bones by mere tendrils, then adding mee-yuk at the very end with a little bit of soy sauce and sesame oil. As she explained to us, in the Korean culture, pregnant women are supposed to eat a lot of mee-yuk gook. Of course, like many traditions, there is some real science behind the culture. Mee-yuk is seaweed, which is super-rich in essential vitamins and minerals, especially iron, for a pregnant woman and a developing baby.

I love Korean soups, and mee-yuk gook is one of my favorites. When Mom made the soup for my sister, she always made a little extra to drop off to me. When I called Mom to let her know that the Bunny had been born, first she practically blew my eardrum out screaming that she was a grandmother, then second, she told me she’d be at the hospital as soon as she could. When she got to the hospital, she plopped down a vase of three dozen congratulatory roses, pulled out a long silver thermos from her purse, took out a bowl and spoon from the Nordstrom shopping bag she had been carrying, and poured my sister a bowl of mee-yuk gook to eat right there on the hospital bed. Incredible. Mom brought hot mee-yuk gook to my sister in a thermos.

Then she took off with the Daddy’s parents, the other set of grandparents, to go eat sushi. LOL!

My Mom is incredible. My whole family is… pretty incredible. We had a baby!

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  • LACheesemonger

    Now was that last Monday, Nov. 21, or 2days ago Nov 28th?

    Come on Delicious Sarah, you know you want to post more pictures, you know you want to be a dorky dolting auntie ;). Maybe you can get Susan to send me a e-mail pic then, I have to see if the eyes are beauties, like yours, lol?

    Sarah said: only her jaw, just like her aunt.

    Alright Sarah fess up before I have to Photoshop enhance that pix. She also has your lips, I can tell! Look closely, yes it is, Sarah’s already got her wearing the same color lipgloss ;)

    So what’s the bowl of ‘soup’? Did you cook it up, and can I have a taste?

  • Stephanie

    She is adorable!

    And please tell me what’s wrong with over-posting cute pictures of cute kids???!

  • BoLA

    Absolutely precious!

  • Sylvie

    Congratulations Sarah. You are featured as one of L.A.’s most interesting food blogs in the L.A. times Calendar Weekend Edition today. That is so great. It is so fulfilling to see that we food bloggers are recognized.

  • Jennifer Maiser

    Sarah – that picture of “Bunny” is fantastic. I love it – great vantage point. And congrats on the LA times thing! I will check it out today. (As much as I hate the LAT online site – ugh)

  • djjewelz

    congrats on becoming an auntie!

  • sarah

    thank you thank you, all!

    i can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it is to be an eemo (Korean word for “aunt” on the mother’s side).

    the bunny is a little too small right now to play with. all she does is eat and sleep, but i swear i could stare for hours at her sleeping!

    and thanks, sylvie and jennifer on letting me know about the la times! i didnt even know! how fun!

  • Kirk

    Congrads on you “Aunt-hood” Sarah! Nothing bad with cute baby pictures….

  • e d b m

    Sarah, congrats. I can tell you this, the cambodian kid adopted by Angelina Jolie is one lucky kid b/c he’ll be exposed to a life of affluence and not know any better. With you as the auntie, Bunny will be spoiled with LA’s best eats. She’ll be eating foie gras and duck confit while kids her age are snacking on PB&J’s haha.

  • LACheesemonger

    LA Times link (it’s just a listing of 3 food blogs at the bottom of a long list highlighted with grey background in a righthand column…no comments).

    Blogging LA

  • Anonymous

    The Korean soup thing sound great, but back to the Kings Hawaiian Sweet Bread. It’s GREAT as French toast! BTW a late congrats to your sister and all your family.

  • Melissa CookingDiva

    Your little niece is so beautiful! Happy Holidays from Panama :)

  • sarah

    awww…again, thank you ALL for the congratulations! and yes, kirk and stephanie, you are right – there is NOTHING wrong with posting cute baby pictures! lol! i think i just remember when some of my friends had their first baby, they emailed pictures to me EVERY DAY. the baby looked exactly the same for a month, but we got new pictures EVERY DAY. LOL!

    thanks for putting the link up, la cheesemonger!

    and i just might have to give that hawaiian bread a try for french toast…

  • plau

    :)

    Thought I put this up already, but congrats.. Enjoy this time! :)

    Somethings are even better than food..

  • hermz

    Such a great entry. I loved reading it. ^___^

  • LACheesemonger

    12/24/06

    Oh my, a year later and only one at the Ritz-Marina Del Rey; we need more pix of the ‘cuttest baby neice in the universe’. Nobody could get tired of seeing Sarah’s niece (that is until Sarah has her own cuttest baby in the world)

    One question I always had, but forgot to ask, of the few (and that is a grand total of 3, btw) Korean dramas I watched most of the episodes on last fall/early spring (few dozen others just 1 or 2 for a few minutes switching channels), all of the subtitled references to food items/dishes/meals seem to be spelled differently from the way Sarah spells most of her Korean dishes in English…wonder why? Two different standardized naming systems in English?

  • Anonymous

    Ahh, i think that is so typically sweet of a Korean mom, sigh. :]

    man, i wish I had a korean mom!

    =P

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