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Nov 12, 2010 05:42 PM

A Seoulful Thanksgiving

36 years ago, Deb and I were living in a house not too far from Yongsan Army Base in Seoul, Korea. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to host a turkey dinner for a bunch of GIs. Only problem was that we didn't have a real stove/oven.

To make a long story short, I bought an electric range, contracted with a local electrician to hook things up and left country for some some (Army) business in Tokyo. I got hung up in Japan for a few days. When I returned, I found the electrician had nailed the power lines to the stunning lapstrake-like walls that led to my second-floor apartment. Further, electricity wasn't so hot back then so we had to coordinate consumption with our downstairs neighbor (stove-top yes, oven no and so on).

Anyhow, my very young bride pulled off the meal: 20-plus GIs had a home-cooked meal, all was bliss. I fell asleep on the living room couch. Most of our guests crashed on the floor, the balcony, wherever. No one wanted to go back to the base.

I'm thankful for that meal. It was pretty cool.

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  1. That sounds wonderful and I'm sure your guests were truly Thankful they didn't have to eat in the mess hall. It kind of reminds me when my ex went into the Air Force in October of '86; we went to his first duty station and of course, couldn't get on base housing because he'd just gotten in so, until we found a place to live, we stayed in the base hotel which had a kitchenette. We soon tired of eating out at the same places everyday so I decided to go to the BX and I came back with a roast beef...only one oven, just a microwave and stove top but hey, the microwave came with a cookbook and I was determined to cook that meal.

    No one told me you really couldn't cook in a microwave even if the cookbook said you could so needless to say, the meat came out as tough as shoe leather. And what did I do? Cut it up into chunks and braised it like beef stew on the stovetop until it was tender enough to choke down. I learned a lesson that day and I was thankful that we found a place to live before the next month which was Thanksgiving so we could have a real meal on that day. I'll never forget that time...

    1 Reply
    1. I'm thankful for the c-rat chicken, eaten cold on recon in N. Viet Nam in '67 and that I'm here to be thankful and pray for my buds. that ain't.
      Carpe chow!
      My kid in Seoul has no oven.

      2 Replies