She put the boiling pot of doenjang soup on the table. She also put the tofu which was being braised in a gochujang-based sauce onto a plate. Rice made from soaked rice as well as hand-made food. Cooking had become a luxury that she could only do when she had the time. She took a photo of the well-made food on the table and sent it to her mother. She didn’t get a reply back as it seemed that her mother was still working.
She put on a youtube video on her laptop and picked up her spoon. The woman on the monitor was eating fried chicken with a happy face. Foods made by frying in oil started a process inside her head. She tasted them in her imagination before eating the rice and doenjang soup. The rice was half-cooked and the soup was bland. The price of challenging cooking when she was just a beginner was quite big. She had no choice but to put the rice in the microwave and cook a fried egg. She wanted to put some salt or soy sauce into the doenjang soup, but from her experience, adding something would always make the outcome worse. She had to prevent the catastrophe of the edible becoming inedible.
She put the fried egg on top of the rice that had become caked all over and put some sesame seeds and sesame oil. With some simple ingredients, she created food that didn’t lose out to food at a three-star Michelin restaurant. Gaeul put the fried egg and rice in her mouth while thinking that it was fried chicken. When she ate about half of the rice, she suddenly found herself feeling quite curious as to why she knew the recipe for this in the first place. She did eat it a few times during primary school when her mother made it for her, but she never ate it after that. A quarter-spoon of soy sauce, a little more sesame oil than that, and as many sesame seeds as she wanted. She couldn’t remember the source of the recipe that she could remember like she did a mathematical formula. She tilted her head before continuing to move her spoon. Who cares? If it’s good, then that was all that she needed.
She washed the dishes that she had emptied. The woman on the laptop started boiling some ramyun as though she wasn’t satisfied with just the fried chicken. She was so thin despite eating all that. Gaeul found herself admiring that woman due to all the exercise she must be doing after shooting that video.
She washed the dishes that had soap bubbles on them and did some squats. The late-night snacks that she ate with the excuse that she should keep herself energized and as a last guilty pleasure before she started her piece had turned into a.s.sa.s.sins, hiding in various corners of her body. Thanks to the diet she did to the death, she didn’t gain any weight, but she couldn’t feel at ease as she felt like she had lost a lot of stamina. The TV screen was a ruthless device that put people on their sides after all.
She picked up her phone when she heard the Kakaotalk notification bell. There was a photo of her mother sm
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