Sometimes I wish we still have Channel M on our cable subscription, because I’d like to watch Three Meals a Day with English subs! The show knows how to reel viewers in, be it for the lush green landscape of Jeongseon or the blue sea of Manjae Island. It’s hard to tear yourself away from the screen, watching celebrities spending their day(s) preparing meals for themselves, and this week, there’s another reason to stay glued to my (laptop) screen: Ji Sung!
The fixed cast of Three Meals – Taecyeon (TY) and Seojinnie (SJ) – went back to the house two weeks after they filmed the previous episodes with Park Shin-hye, but their Kwang-gyu hyung (KG) won’t be there until later, since he had filming for his drama (Hwajung) on that day. They weren’t over the fact that Shin-hye won’t be joining them this time, and TY was a bit disappointed that he didn’t have her number. Aww~ SJ went to check on Jackson the mummy goat and her two kids: Pearl and Dia(mond), while TY was amazed at their homegrown lettuce patch. The pepper, tomato, and potato plants they planted had grown a bit after two weeks.
Flowers also grew under the bright May sun and there were also winter cabbage blossoms! I have no idea that cabbages can produce those pretty flowers so I can’t blame SJ for being surprised at the sight of those yellow petals on their field. Unfortunately, the intended sunflower bed ended up being conquered by weeds and grass, but SJ got what he asked (or continuously whined hehe): lemon trees! SJ went over to look at them and plucked all the lemons although Na PD told him not to take all the fruits, because those would eventually fall to the ground.
Na PD had another surprise for them as they won the Daesang for Baeksang and SJ whined that they could simply make the special food as their dinner, but Na PD thought that it would only be sufficient for lunch. So..it won’t be the much prized beef; instead, they got…ddeokbokki (rice cakes) and eomuk (fish cakes)! Hahahaha SJ was disappointed, but he managed to ask a coil of ramyun from Na PD.
They started gathering things from their veggie garden and Na PD told them that it would be 30 degrees (Celcius) on that afternoon. Dang, that’s hot! TY had to start the fire for them to cook and it was hot indeed! TY and SJ chose to stand under the tree’s shade to hide from the scorching sun when suddenly, Na PD told them that they’re getting a fridge since it was so hot on that day. OH REALLY?! I share the skeptical look TY had and he wondered if they had to build the said fridge from scratch. SJ was looking forward to it and soon, something on a trolley approached the house. It’s a refrigerator..it’s an ice box..no, it’s a block of ice!
HAHAHAHAHA I knew it, Na PD won’t be that generous, but he did keep his promise of bringing them a ‘fridge’! SJ found it hilarious that the ice block made him think of the ice sculpture they usually had at a big buffet party, and the first thing he did to that ice was to take a piece of ice for a cup of iced coffee. Then, they had to think of a way to store the ice and put it in a big basin before putting it inside the house, away from the heat. Oh, they almost forgot about the strawberries they took from their garden! Those found their place in the new fridge as well.
It’s getting hotter but they still had to cook their lunch, with TY trying to bear the heat in front of the fire. He found the stainless steel bowl too hot to hold after being exposed to the sun. SJ momentarily forgot about it and took another bowl before throwing it to the ground because it’s too hot. LOL! Using the pot lid as their pan, TY started cooking the ddeokbokki sauce with gochujang (red pepper paste), water, and red pepper powder before adding the onion. Instead of using sugar, TY’s using the special honey brought by Shin-hye and he twirled around while cooking. Kekekeke!
SJ’s attempt to peel the hard-boiled eggs ended in vain since the whites were stuck to the shells, which made the end products looked a bit shabby. Heh. Doesn’t matter, it would eventually be added to the cooking dish. Salt, eomuk, ramyun, eggs, and perilla leaves were added before the dish was left to cook, and it’s time to eat! SJ decided to take all the eomuk and leave most of the ddeokbokki on the pan, because he didn’t really like them. Hehehe!
Guest of the day was walking towards the house, and the production team informed TY and SJ about the guest, telling TY that it’s someone he liked. SJ teased that it must be another female celebrity born in 1990, because TY loved it, and wondered who else was born in that year. There were Park Bo-young and Kang So-ra, and even SJ looked content with the possibilities. Well, well, well…they would be getting someone born in 1977, and it’s a man! SJ knew that it was Ji Sung (JS) from one glance, and JS sensed that TY was a bit disappointed seeing him. No worries, Yo-na’s also there to save the day for TY! I’m dead.
JS flaunted the big plastic bag he brought with him and SJ sighed, since it was just ice cream..plus, they’re all of the same brand! I bet JS brought them from the mart nearby, and SJ started to brag about the big feast Shin-hye brought with her last time. OMG, they even showed how different it was the treatment for female and male guests! TY, JS, and SJ just sat in the yard eating ice cream while JS thought that they muse had felt bored there, but SJ corrected him: there were so many things to do and they couldn’t feel bored. For now, they needed to move the lemon trees into the greenhouse and JS gave them the opportunity to order him around, now that he’s there.
JS looked like a Seoul man but SJ corrected the team: JS was from the countryside, and Na PD asked whether they knew each other well. JS and SJ first met during MBC Drama Awards back in 2001, where both of them received the New Actors Award. SJ and JS were close, but they couldn’t meet in the recent years due to their busy schedule. SJ noticed that JS was wearing a ring and thought that it was his wedding ring, but nope, it was just his couple (100-day) ring. JS already started dating his wife when SJ met Lee Bo-young, and JS joked that SJ once told LBY to break up with him since men shouldn’t be trusted at all.
Although he felt sorry to leave LBY by herself to participate in Three Meals, it was her who told JS to go since she’s a fan of the show. He thought that she’d understand if he didn’t call her while he’s there, because he’s received permission to stay overnight for the show. Na PD even congratulated JS for his first overnight stay away after a while! He got more comfortable and started to talk to himself as he changed into the Jeongseon version of JS, which SJ thought resembled KG a bit. Kekekekeke!
JS and TY headed over to the greenhouse to start working on the lemon tree, and they had to dig some holes for the plants inside the greenhouse. The feelings of working under the sun were somehow familiar to JS and he remarked that it was what new recruits in army would do. So he started chanting to himself ‘I’m a new recruit..’ while digging the earth. It’s hard work but JS was soon smiling, thinking that he’s contributing to a show he’s a fan of. He went to fetch some water and told SJ, “Later, when the lemons come out, you have to think of me.” Muahahaha!
They managed to plant the first tree and TY said that it reminded of spending Sikmogil (Arbor Day) with his father. Was it because JS looked like a father? LOL! JS was asked whether he did lots of shoveling in the past and he went,”Please don’t ask about my past” while laughing. Heh, he might had done that a lot in the army. The shoveling monster JS even planted the apple mango trees and he’s faster compared to other younger guests, according to TY. They continued with the small melon plants and TY invited JS to have a taste of the fruits when they came out.
SJ had an argument with the water hose but they eventually got to water the plants and finished the job at the greenhouse. JS said that he’s just giving his all when SJ praised him for adapting to their lifestyle pretty fast. Farmer hat JS then went to the goat pen to meet the goats before greeting Minky. Since they had ice and lemons, it’s time for refreshing shots of lemonade. Welp, can I have some? Those looked so appetizing! Soon, it’s time for them to prepare dinner and they’re given the menu: Banbanmumani.
SJ thought that it sounded like an Indian cuisine but he didn’t have time to joke around (“Just tell me clearly what it is!” Kekekeke). JS guessed that it could be some kind of chicken dish and he’s getting there: the name was derived from ‘banban’ (=half-half, referring to two types of Korean fried chicken: regular and seasoned with spicy sauce or yangnyeom chicken) and ‘mumani’ (=mu manhi, or lots of salted daikons). Heh, Koreans and their love for abbreviations! First, they had to prepare (lots of) the salted daikons, and then it hit JS: so they had to make everything from scratch, not ordering the fried chicken from another place?
He might have forgotten that the program was about cooking and not only working on the fields! They could use someone’s help with the salted daikons recipe, but JS didn’t know LBY’s number. Fear no more, he remembered his mother-in-law’s number, and she’s a great cook! SJ got a bit confused too, thinking that JS was asking him about the mother-in-law’s number, while JS was talking about the recipe. LOL at these two! SJ teased JS that LBY might not be that good in cooking, but JS bragged that she’s wonderful at it, since it suited his taste. Well, that’s true!
JS gave a call to his mother-in-law and she’s quite taken aback that JS was going to make the salted daikons. They would need to dice the daikons and prepare the sauce for the salting process using water, salt, vinegar, and sugar before proceeding with the hardest part: tasting the mixture so that it would suit their taste. SJ got them covered for the seasoned chicken recipe with the tips he got from Lee Hye-jeong, a Korean culinary expert: 3 parts of ketchup mixed with 1 part of gochujang, some onions and a bit of ground peanuts, just like how they did at the chicken place.
They retreated inside and JS was worried about cooking since he didn’t really know much about it, and SJ bragged that he knew nothing! He pointed out that TY was the one who would do most of the preparation and cooking but JS was still uneasy, judging from how he was sitting there while the other two was comfortably lying on the floor. Since he asked to be given a task, SJ told JS to go and cut the daikons into small cubes..
..but JS made large cubes, thinking that they’d eat it like that since they’re all guys. In the end, he followed TY’s suggestion to make it smaller since the one they usually got with their order of fried chicken was small. TY and JS worked together for the daikons, with JS looking at TY once every two seconds to ask for his opinion, although JS was the one who made the call. Oh, it wasn’t easy at all to do the estimation for the amount of ingredients! After the first round of tasting, JS decided to pour more vinegar, but SJ asked if it had to be starch syrup instead of sugar. They decided that it’s good enough to be eaten and left it aside for two hours.
They prepared to go out and SJ found it hilarious that JS looked like he’s stayed there for a long time, looking at how casual he was. Even his slippers were like the old ones! The three of them took the car to the market and JS started the conversation about marriage: is SJ really planning on not getting married? SJ explained that marriage was something that should be done in the late 30s but once someone entered the 40s like him, it’s like a new beginning he didn’t feel like doing it. But then, JS remembered that SJ was a love expert and used to give relationship advice to him. Ahahaha!
They stopped by the district education office for a toilet break and the staff were all used to see SJ and TY around since those two were like the locals, but everything changed when SJ pointed out that JS was also there with them! The female staff were excited and swarmed around JS for handshakes and pictures, while SJ explained later in the interview that he wanted to show JS to the staff. Hehehe! TY even acted like JS’s manager before they continued their journey to their destination: the market.
They went to the butcher shop to buy chicken meat and JS understood why SJ loved going to the town: everyone treated him well! The shop owner really liked SJ and they even had a placard(?) advertising the program and SJ. It’s almost 6 when they returned home and it’s time to start cooking! JS brought the tray laden with ingredients and the production team teased that Yo-na’s coming out, since he looked like a new bride of the house. Dang, now I wish I can see Yo-na and Bingu TY making a scene there!
JS prepared the spicy seasoned sauce with the guide from SJ (by following SJ around like a stalker while mixing the ingredients) and decided that it was still bland, so TY decided to add more starch syrup. JS was worried that it would cause him to gain weight but soon abandoned the weight issue for the sake of tasty food. SJ became the food taster and thought that JS added too much gochujang, but he’s there to save the recipe. When TY put only a little amount of pepper oil, he was cautious so that he didn’t get scolded by his SJ hyung. Kekekeke!
Adding crushed garlic and lots of ground peanuts, the sauce was ready (although with some doubts about how it was supposed to be) and they decided to see if the salted daikons were ready, but the dish seemed to be a bit bland. SJ’s solution: they could pretend that it’s tasty, and the acting skills come handy at that moment! TY prepared the chicken to be marinated with thick soy sauce, black pepper, seasoning salt, sesame oil, and crushed garlic before setting it aside for 30 minutes.
Next was the batter for the chicken: frying powder, baking soda, potato starch, seasoning salt, water, and..some beer? TY took a sip of the beer before adding it into the mixture. Hehe! Beer would make the batter crunchier after being fried, but too much of it would make the batter hard. Since the preparation was done, it’s time to fry the chicken! But not before checking the temperature to make sure it reached 180 degrees C. They tested the first piece and Na PD bet his fingers that the insides would be undercooked…and he got that right. Kekekekeke!
They made the second attempt and TY accidentally fed SJ the undercooked one. Oops! The only thing left was to cook the seasoned spicy sauce before adding the fried chicken in..and they’re ready to be served. SJ was satisfied to see JS being so detailed in terms of cleaning, while JS was in awe with TY’s cooking skills. Dinner time’s here complete with beer, and they dug in with smiles plastered across their faces. The poor daikons stayed bland and JS couldn’t get over it (“Should I put more salt in it?”), so SJ wondered if his blood type was A. He got that right!
SJ soon started laughing at the sight near their stove, because the staff started to huddle around the pot like hungry wolves coming down from the mountains. They proceeded towards the dinner table like flies but chose not to take the daikons with them. Heh. TY went to fetch the Shishito pepper he brought from home to make kkwari gochu myeolchi bokkeum, or stir fried Shishito pepper and anchovies. He learned it from his mother so he’s going to give it a shot there. SJ teased TY that he’s always putting extra effort when younger guests came!
JS offered to help them to do the dishes since it’s the only thing he’s good at, and SJ just went, “Oh, really..?” Yup, JS’s there to challenge the resident dishwasher SJ, and SJ watched JS closely as the challenger scrubbed all the dirt and stains on the utensils. SJ was extremely pleased to see that JS was so detailed, and it’s like finding a successor to his dishwashing career. Thus, Dishwasher Ji Sung was born in Jeongseon! When asked how he came to be so good at it, JS explained that he was only helping to do the dishes at home and he came to enjoy it. Yes, he enjoys washing dishes!
TY was ready to start cooking..and he poured lots of anchovies onto the pan. LOL the staff was skeptical if it’s the right thing to do, and SJ was shocked to see it because the pan was too small for that amount of anchovies! TY was sure that everything would be okay and added the necessary ingredients: soy sauce, plum extract, Shishito peppers, and ground peanuts. He gave it a try and it took a long time to get a response from him, and Na PD teased them: when they would be able to see an amazing dish there? JS was the second taster and he praised it, only with less enthusiasm..and SJ couldn’t say anything in return after trying out the dish. SJ offered to be one complimenting the dish and went, “Yaaaaaa~”
After a session of watching TY channeling his love to Minky and JS visiting the baby goats, they retreated inside for the day and KG arrived there bearing a watermelon. JS and KG met when JS visited IHYV filming location and KG folded his hands politely in front of JS, because he’s talking to a child’s father now. KG was upset that SJ didn’t light up the fire for the night but SJ actually bought a electric heating mattress for KG! When KG thought of giving the mattress to JS since he was their guest, SJ chided him, saying that JS was still young and KG should take care of himself first!
Everyone’s getting ready for bed and Matilda the hen planned for her escape the whole night and made her move early in the morning. Matilda took over Minky’s bed in their petty fight for TY’s affection, and the hen even kicked down the flower pot beside the bed. LOL she’s a rebel! The humans slowly woke up from their sleep and JS called his mother-in-law for another emergency cooking lesson, this time for seaweed soup or miyeokguk. She shared the simplest way to do it: stir fry the sliced meat, add the seaweed and sesame oil, and add water before bringing it to boil and simmer.
JS went outside to wash his face and the staff complimented his sleeping pants, but it’s not..it’s his comfy pants from Laos. TY came out (looking like a village bum hehehe) next and decided to catch the roaming Matilda. JS chose to feed Minky first instead of preparing the food for the hungry humans in front of him! He felt a huge pressure to cook the dish and TY assured him that it’s nothing to be worried about, but TY had his own share of bad experience with seaweed soup. Two months ago, they had to make seaweed soup too, but it ended up being a huge pot of sea water and the demon’s hair aka the seaweed pile.
Someone had to do the cooking and since JS was the one who knew the recipe, he had to do it, but TY eventually helped him with the cooking. The soup was done but they still had lots of seaweed, so TY thought of making miyeok naengguk or cold seaweed soup despite SJ’s protest. TY called his mother to ask about the recipe and got ready to make it. It’s pretty simple: chop the seaweed finely; add salt, sugar, sesame, pepper oil, and crushed garlic into cold water; add the seaweed and some ice. They worked on it and soon realized that they had been adding apple cider vinegar instead of the regular vinegar. Uhhhh that would make everythng so sour!
KG chose to pull out the weeds in the fields while waiting for breakfast to be ready and I’m worried to see him slipping down like that with his aching back! SJ gave his approval to the seaweed soup and they huddled around the table for breakfast. Minky got her share of meat from TY and JS also got his moment with Minky.
Don’t worry, Ji Sung will still be there for the 5th episode! Get ready to see him taking over Seo-jinnie’s dishwashing task and looking like a local, according to his Seo-jinnie hyung. Plus, Taecyeon is fast becoming Ji Sung’s idol..and Matilda’s jealous of it!