In Korea, a child's 100th day of life is celebrated with a party called a Baek-il. One Korean we know told us it was largely an excuse for parents to get together with family and friends to eat and drink while the baby tends to cry or sleep. Since the other major activity for a 100 day old baby is "stare at my fascinating hands or feet", this seems pretty normal. And nothing can be done right in Korea without also eating and drinking, of course, so, we decided to have a Baek-il for Lark and to invite our friends here.

It was a nice chance to get together with people over in our apartment, which at times feels a bit like a Biosphere with the glass walls on one side and the relative isolation that comes with living here.

At 100 days old, Lark was looking quite smashing in her most fabulous outfit:




We served an array of foods, including Korean ones we have come to like a lot (several varieties of seaweed, flying fish roe, peppers and hot pepper dipping sauce to dip them in, etc), even though we almost certainly did not serve them fully appropriately. It is traditional to serve special kinds of rice cake at a Baek-il (they are also used on Chuseok and look like a cross between dumplings and cookies), such as baekseolgi (steamed), bulkunp at gomul (red bean rice cake), ch'alsusu gyongdan, and osaek songp'yeon (5-color moon rice cake). We served the latter kind. There are rice cake bakeries around here so they weren't hard to find.

I made some fresh salsa too, which turned out pretty well. I couldn't find cilantro anywhere after many searches (though I have heard that it is possible to find in Seoul) so I substituted this Korean plant that looks exactly like tall grass. I think it is in the onion family. It has a nice kick and flavor and the salsa turned out quite tasty. If rice cakes symbolize longevity at a Baek-il, salsa could signify a very happy future for the lil Buddha.

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