Our Cooking Class in Canaan: Sharing Cultures

Women in Canaan are eager to vary the menus they can offer their families.  They have wood or charcoal fires for cooking in their homes, but we used the newly installed electric stove in Canaan’s health clinic kitchen for a cross-cultural cooking class. Ji Hwang selected 2 dishes with ingredients to which the Haitian women would have access, one actually passed down from her grandma.    

The Haitian women gathered excitedly from around the area, having heard about the class from friends, poised with pencils and paper.  Ji discussed the recipe ingredients and demonstrated the methods with someone translating into Creole. We combined the ingredients, tasted the delicious, sweet red bean paste, kneaded the dough for the buns, placed the mixture in the middle of each piece of dough, carefully wrapped them up, and arranged them in the large steamer we had devised from the available cookware.

The women learned about the second recipe as they waited for the steaming process to do its work.  The pancake recipe involved finely chopping up vegetables to put into an egg mixture. Hannah and Jina Hwang and I had done some chopping prior to the class to shorten the time needed for accomplishing this step.  We fried the pancakes, prepared the dipping sauce and waited eagerly for both dishes to be ready. 

Finally, we relished eating the yummy pancake wedges served warm with the dipping sauce. It was satisfying seeing the women bite into their hot, red bean steamed buns, smiling as they enjoyed both dishes.  We hope the women might include these recipes later in their cooking repertoire along with the chocolate chip cookie recipe that Hannah and Jina taught later. Sharing these experiences enriched all our lives. 

You can find the details of making these two recipes here: 

Korean steamed buns https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1P7PH5vLrI 

Korean pancakes https://www.aspicyperspective.com/korean-pancakes-pajun-pajeon/