When I’m in Atlanta at my mother’s house, I like to pretend to not know how to cook certain Korean dishes just so we can spend time together. I say "pretend" because Maangchi—whom The New York Times once coined "YouTube’s Korean Julia Child"—already has most things written down along with video tutorials, blueprints I’ve always been able to tweak slightly to taste memory.
But this structured, high-quality bonding serves another purpose: to appease my mother. "Other sons call their mothers twice a day" and "A mother never stops thinking of her children" are among the many things she likes to tell me when I’m home. If you knew my mother, then you’d know that there’s nothing more important to her than quality time with her sons. Cooking together is one of the few ways I know to provide this.