Three Meals a Day in Gochang Ep 1:
Our threesome move out of Manjae Island, away from the sea and the small shack they’d been calling home at Three Meals a Day and this time, they’re back, but without HaeJin . Aw.
Chajumma’s so worried that he fusses around during his meeting with Na PD and insists that “everything was possible only because there was Mr HaeJin”. Chajumma can’t be without his handyman husband, hee.
The empty seat that’s prepared for the newcomer is filled by Nam JooHyuk, he of the fame of Who are You – School 2015. First there’s a Kim JooHyuk in 1 Night 2 Days and now there’s a Nam JooHyuk in 3 Meals a Day. All the JuHyeok’s to remember, ha. Na PD asks him what he usually eats and JooHyuk lists all sorts of unhealthy food. Also, he doesn’t really eat vegetables and he jokes that he’s here to fix his diet. This show is perfect for you then.
The day of the cast’s meeting comes and JooHyuk arrives at the café first, followed by HoJunnie. There’s a full 10 year difference between them, though I really don’t see that age gap. HoJunnie’s skin is so nice and he really acts like a kid so many times that I really have trouble remembering that he’s upwards of 30, heh.
JooHyuk tells HoJun to treat him as he wishes and choding-Na PD encourages HoJun to do so, commenting that he’d suffered when he’d first joined too, hahah! HoJun doesn’t share that sentiment, saying that it was all learning.
JooHyuk runs off to get the coffee, feeling a little awkward and HoJun laughs that he’d usually be the one getting it.
Once he’s out of earshot though, the previous maknae of this group says, “Awh, it’s more comfortable now that there’s a Dongsaeng.” Heh
The show then goes into this series of JooHyuk-HoJun bromancy clips, where even though he’s new and is a little clumsy, JooHyuk is totally the eager-to-please kid and HoJun is his doting, guiding elder brother.
“I would probably become JooHyuk’s hope/leading light,” says HoJun in a solo interview, hee.
The clips continue to show JooHyuk as a farmer, a kitchen helper, a guy who prepares the wood, the guy who makes the fire, the guy who cleans up after meals and the guy who wrings rags well, ha. He sleeps well, wakes up early, eats well and a lot, bringing the Hyungs laughter. Heh, the background music kills me. “You’re caught, you’re caught, you’re caught~!”
In the present, Chajumma arrives at the café and the second thing he asks (after “have they all arrived?”) is whether the kids have eaten like a real mom would.
HoJun stands to greet him and someone points out his posture. Ha, his famous hands behind his back in a gesture of obedience makes Cha SeungWon look like he’s a bad guy. He’s not! He’s just the ahjumma who cooks really well and nags really well, heh.
Na PD tells then that they’re at Gochang here and SeungWon cracks an old joke that makes the boys force out laughter. Haa, that makes him miss HaeJin, who would have taken all his 70s jokes well.
He ribs HoJun for not saying anything and HoJun promises to work on that.
Na PD tells them that Gochang is an area with high agricultural activity and focus and it was once said that “In Gochang, even if you plant a stone there, you’ll get potatoes.”
There’s even a beach and mudflat at Gochang, filled with tiny little (edible) creatures and whatever you may need, Gochang has it.
The guys load their luggage onto the truck and are impressed by how spacious it is. JooHyuk drives them while they all wow at everything. They like the farmland, they like the road and they even like the supermart.
The truck winds through all the greenery and stops at a quaint little traditional blue tiled house in the middle of nowhere. There’s a greenhouse filled with sprouting vegetables and the breeze and sunlight fill the place as they please.
Chajumma is especially happy to see the refrigerator and the main chef checks out everything. The water at the sink is wonderful, the kitchen is wonderful, the rooms are wonderful and basically, they love everything. It’s all so wonderful that SeungWon wonders if it’s okay to stay at such a place, worried that they’ll have to move someplace else later. Na PD doesn’t think much of it but Chajumma calls it a penthouse. Oh! HoJun even finds a menu of food for delivery in the house!
HoJun exclaims to find an incubator filled with eggs and a fast forward into time shows us that they’re fertilised ducks eggs, set to hatch in a few days/weeks.
HoJun offers SeungWon the largest room, the one with the TV but he gives it up for the smaller room, letting the boys take the larger room because they have to share one room. Chajumma later takes a walk around the plots of growing vegetables and I think it’s an understatement to say that he’s terribly pleased.
He asks HoJun what he wants to eat and JooHyuk and HoJun love the idea of Bibimguksu. HoJun teaches JooHyuk how to pick the lettuce and soon, there’s this very familiar pattern of JooHyuk doing all the work and HoJun simply praising him, haha. Hojunnie suddenly exclaims and stands up… because there was a worm. Are you serious? HAHAHAHHA. He lost all his cool-hyung cred.
JooHyuk washes the vegetables while HoJun watches over him. Even when he goes to get the eggs, he insists on showing him how to get those eggs from the hens, hahha.
Chajumma can’t be bothered with their antics, busy chopping, grating, mixing the sauce and basically cooking. A tip for those who want to cook Bibimguksu – cider would be a nice addition!
HoJun offers to mince the garlic and the electric blender brings joy to both, when just last year, they were made to make do with a mortar and pestle.
Chajumma busts out his famous headband and remarks that it’s perfect for all seasons – winter and summer!
HoJun shows JooHyuk how to light a fire and in the middle of it, JooHyuk remarks that there’s a snack he’s craving. Haha. In his solo interview, HoJun says that just like in the army when it was difficult to get close to the seniors, he just led in doing whatever needed to be done, figuring out that JooHyuk will learn by watching. Chajumma lets out a warm laugh to see the two young-uns get along well and soon enough, it’s JooHyuk who’s the one fanning the fire alone, hee. He’s also the one who goes to get the water for the pot.
When Chajumma shouts for HoJun to get him a cucumber from the garden, a tilt of HoJun’s head has JooHyuk running to get that vegetable. Heehee. One hour later, when the fire burns strong, HoJun sets up the fire in the other brick stove the guys put in the eggs to boil. HoJun brushes the ashes away from JooHyuk’s hair while Chajumma cooks the noodles.
Another cooking tip! To cook noodles, put the noodles in boiling water under high heat and when the water foams, douse it with a dash of cold water. Do that twice and the noodles should be cooked just right. After that, wash the noodles in cold water and drain.
Chajumma mixes the noodles and the bibim sauce and plates them.
It’s lunch time and the boys gather round to eat.
Heh, even though it took an hour for him just to set the fire, JooHyuk is already all done with his bowl in three swallows. HAHA!
SeungWon says that it’s like that here: it takes forever to cook. And JooHyuk completes it with, “but the food’s all eaten in an instant”.
After lunch, SeungWon wonders if there isn’t something round nearby and when he’s asked what he’s making, he replies that it’s a stand for the kitchen roll. He just hammers a huge nail into a flat wooden plank and covers it with a bamboo piece and calls it a day. Uh, that probably works but it’s probably also a safety hazard. He’s super proud of it though, hee.
JooHyuk goes to wash the dishes without even being told to and HoJun comes along to teach him again, advising him to use a sponge. JooHyuk washes a bowl and then rinses it clean, but because of the rubber hose, his bowl ends up dipping in soapy water again and HoJun just removes the hose wordlessly, laughing as he remembers himself doing that exact same thing.
Crisis number two comes in the form of not knowing where to put the washed bowls and Sunbae HoJun instructs him to wash the largest dish first. The other clean dishes then go on top of it.
Soon after, they’re wondering what to eat for dinner and SeungWon suggests that they go to the mart. Na PD scoffs, saying that they have everything they need in the garden and SeungWon retorts, telling him to send them back to the sea, ha!
Na PD relents and tells them to name a number, since they’re going to need money at the supermarket. Chajumma turns into Goldilocks as he calls for nothing too high or nothing too low and requests for 50 bucks. Heh, loan shark Na YeongSeok asks if they’ll be putting that sum under HoJun’s name and when he gulps, Chajumma puts it under his own name, joking that he saw it wrong, thinking that it was a leave-home-account.
Na PD informs them that they’ll be returning the money through labour and still their innocent selves, they wonder what to eat before they decide what to buy at the supermart. It comes down to chicken and HoJun worries whether 50 bucks is enough to last them this trip.
Chajumma takes a walk around the garden and declares that everything’s too young to eat yet.
He then tells the others that he wants to buy a portable gas range and has to go into a persuasive spell to get the boys to agree. Hahaha, the sound effects are hilarious.
HoJoon gets sucked into his explanation and is fully supportive and later when SeungWon moves on to Kimchi, he asks if they’re going to buy it too. At a farm, in Gochang, on the programme known as Three Meals a Day where the entire concept is cooking your own food. HA! Chajumma laughs at him and Na PD says that Kimchi cannot be bought!
They head off to the mart, with JooHyuk driving. A stand of hair is blown off his perfectly coiffed fringe and the cuteness makes HoJun smile. Chajumma’s only interested in dinner and asks if they prefer their stew sweet or spicy.
Chajumma is most impressed and excited by the supermart at Gochang, remembering the time back at Manjae where there was just a small stall that only opened whenever the owner feels like it.
He wanders around the supermarket, pleased by the cheap chicken and gets everything he needs. In a solo interview, he reveals that he’s the type to only buy what he needs, zooming in and out of the supermarket within minutes. However, that day, having only 50 dollars for groceries made his heart pound even while just buying the chicken, ha.
However, when JooHyuk lightly caresses a bottle of milk, he buys a bottle for him. While SeungWon pays for the groceries, HoJun and JooHyuk crowd around the ice cream display freezer.
Their groceries come up to $50.89 and SeungWon just reduces the quantity of a certain grocery that they’re buying. On the way out, SeungWon’s steps grow heavy and mutters that he shouldn’t have bought the spring onions and sacrificed their ice cream. He asks HoJun if he really wants the ice cream and HoJun’s face says it all.
He relents and lets him take the spring onion to return, but laughs when they actually run off to do just that.
HoJun and JooHyuk pick out an ice cream each and a can of coffee for SeungWon. There’s still 83 cents after they do that and HoJun asks if JooHyuk would like a sausage that costs 90 cents. I can’t believe that he decides to borrow that additional 7 cents to buy it even after a staff repeatedly asks if he really wants to do that. It’s not even a German sausage!
Heh, that’s how HoJun’s name ends up on the black book of debt while outside Chajumma mutters that there should be at least 10 cents left after buying whatever they wanted.
SeungWon burst into a huge smile when they present him with the coffee, shyly grumping that it’s expensive.
Preparation for dinner starts and Chajumma takes the lead as usual. Na PD points out that they’ve used more than 50 dollars today and SeungWon stands straight right away, rejecting that claim. HoJun comes clean then and JooHyuk presents the sausage that caused it all.
*Sigh* “Just eat the sausage. For now,” goes SeungWon. Ha ha.
The chicken are set to soak in cold water to drain them of their blood and Chajumma works on the vegetables in the meantime. After getting all the vegetables and having nothing to do, HoJun and JooHyuk stand watch over him, waiting for his next command.
They’re soon off, with JooHyuk washing the dishes and even setting the fire. HoJun comes along to check and declares it good… then tells JooHyuk to work harder at it, because it’s ultimately too small, hee.
A neighbouring dog comes to visit and he’s so skinny that the guys offer it food. JooHyuk even throws the sausage in. The dog hesitantly takes a few bites of the sausage (only) and then runs off. Later in the evening, he returns to finish it all though.
HoJun’s in charge of making the rice and nods in satisfaction when JooHyuk practically has an inferno going in the brick stoves.
The chicken and all the other ingredients go into the pot under Chajumma’s watch and he even adds in a packet of rice-cakes just because JooHyuk had said that he’d liked them earlier in the day. Aw.
HoJun takes a sip of the stew and requests for it to be sweeter. A heck lot of sugar goes into the stew and Na PD comments that HoJun has got the taste buds of a kindergartener.
The chicken stew takes a long time to boil down, so SeungWon jokes that there’s a special recipe to making it. First, boil it. Then wait until you’re tired. Thirdly, hold all those curses that are right next to your lips back and then finally realise heaven when you eat the stew with rice at that moment, hee.
While they wait, SeungWon finds it a pity that there’s no seaweed and when Na PD remarks that they could have bought that seaweed if they hadn’t bought the sausage, SeungWon quips that seaweed is nothing! There’s nothing to it!
The chicken stew is finally done and it’s transferred to a much smaller pot and put on the portable gas range that SeungWon actually bought. JooHyuk’s expression of pure bliss and joy captures the attention of the other guys and it’s just too cute.
They eat and eat and eat and siiiiiiiiiiiigh…. I’ve already eaten though…. JooHyuk’s sighs of content are not helping this craving whatsoever.
SeungWon is asked whether fish or meat is better and his answer is, “what is fish?” Ha!
JooHyuk really relishes his dinner and tells SeungWon that the stew tastes exactly the same as the stew at a restaurant that he goes to whose chicken stew he really likes. SeungWon mutters that seasoning ingredients are just all the same – soy sauce, gochujang, chilli flakes and sugar. HoJun mutters under his breath that if SeungWon ever opens a restaurant, he’ll eat there every day. Once they’re done with the stew, they throw in the remaining rice and turns it into “watery” fried rice. I don’t know where they got it from, but they also add in seaweed.
SeungWon laughs in satisfaction at the end product, even though he was the one who made it.
Right after dinner, Na PD remarks that just watching them eat made he and his crew full and asks if it was delicious. HoJun replies that his tunny hurts, because he ate too much and that draws a laugh from SeungWon the chef.
Dinner done, it’s time to check the debt books and SeungWon asks what-for, when there’re just two items listed.
JooHyuk reads out the payment methods and it’s: less than $50, labour. More than $50, tenant farming. HAAAAA!!!!
Na PD explains that he understands them using $50 for a 3 day 2 night stay but anything more makes him feel like they need to work more than 5 hours for it. In other words, he’d sold them all to the land owner who owns a farm. What? Pfft.
They’re therefore supposed to wake up early tomorrow to farm at a paddy field and SeungWon starts worrying about ruining another person’s farm and practices planting rice right there and then.
Na PD explains to them the organic way of farming here in Gochang. First, they use freshwater snails to clear the weeds. They also use ducks to do that and that’s the reason why they have a tray of duck eggs sitting in an incubator in their room. SeungWon’s thinking of making Beijing Duck though. Oh no! He even talks about crispy skin and offers to make the sauce. Nooo!!!! Not the yellow fluff of cuteness!
Na PD guesses that the ducklings will come out after 2 to 3 weeks and informs them that they’re animals that imprint. That means that they follow whatever they see first upon hatching. SeungWon exclaims that they should sleep more then, hur.
As the night deepens, the three guys gather in SeungWon’s room. When he learns that there’s a 10 year difference between HoJun and JooHyuk, he pauses for a bit, then jokes that there’s a 12 year difference between him and JooHyuk, which means that there’s a mere 2 year difference between him and HoJun. Wot.
He asks if JooHyuk is still awkward with them, JooHyuk admits that he is and SeungWon understands, saying that he’s not one who makes others comfortable quickly either. He says that age differences don’t really matter to him. He doesn’t think that just because he’s older he should get priority nor does he demand excessive respect just because he’s older. And then the show shows us clips of when SeungWon notes JooHyuk’s preferences, asks about what he likes and basically dotes on him. In a solo interview, he shares that he’s reminded of his younger self when he sees JooHyuk and in the present with all the boys, he wishes that there’ll come a day when they don’t feel the age gap.
And then when SeungWon learns that JooHyuk has something for free, he whines for the kid to do it for him too. I think he means putting on some sort of cosmetic cream. Pwahahaha.
In the same room, their next mission ends up being to teach Chajumma how to use a wireless portable boom box. First, download the app that connects one to all the music one could ever want and SeungWon fiddles with the registration page, asking if he has to use his real name. He’s worried about security and JooHyuk replies that it’s okay to use his real name, since many people use the app. “How many people use it?” asks SeungWon. Haha! JooHyuk replies that almost everyone who listens to music uses it.
They’re on to registering payment and he mutters when there’s no other option more than $5.50. Heh. He then asks HoJun to tell him his own mobile number, HA! After that is agreeing to the terms and conditions and SeungWon grumbles when JooHyuk checks it even before he’s seen anything.
Finally, he’s at the password-making stage and JooHyuk tells him that he can’t put three same characters together, like !!!, and SeungWon asks if he’d seen his password, hehe. And now, it’s time to press okay… but something goes wrong. Hahahahha.
SeungWon is so annoyed that he puts it off for 40 minutes and finally under JooHyuk’s encouragement (“once you finish this, you can listen to music forever”), he completes the last part and music from his phone wafts out of the portable speaker. 1 minute later, they’re off to bed.
JooHyuk and HoJun stick pain relief patches on each other’s backs and then it’s good night.
Day comes and the guys are still sleeping. A certain man’s voice breaks the morning silence and eeeeee!!!!! It’s HaeJin! I don’t need to see his face. I can tell just from his back.
Yoo HaeJin: “People need to lose something before they realise that something is precious. Ajaes (Charming Ajusshis) should play with Ahjaes.”
He laughs that SeungWon needs him, because his jokes definitely don’t gell well with the younger boys and reveals that he’d only slept for 2 hours.
He walks and walks and walks but a while later, he’d only walked the distance between two households. Heh.
He reaches the house of the area’s leader and borrows his gear.
He says to himself that he looks like a guy who does hip-hop and goes around saying, “Yo Key man”, because Key Man is what’s written on his hat. Lol.
Na PD comes up with strategies to make his arrival more interesting and HaeJin suggests that he work in the field. That looks a bit weird to Na PD though. Plan B is to go in fighting and HaeJin says that one needs a wife in order to fight. HAHA, and then he goes on to enact an imaginary quarrel between Chajumma and him and the conclusion is that Chajumma leaves. Heh.
However, HaeJin says that no matter what, he’ll be immediately recognised, since his voice is so distinctive.
Plan C is for him to just water plants and Na PD is super excited for some reason.
Chajumma wakes up first and the captions point out his suave, charming ways, from checking that he’s not robbed, to washing up while half-naked, preening in front of a cabinet that’s shorter than him to him talking about buying tofu. Heh.
Chajumma takes the truck out to town. He inspects the tofu gotten from a super mart and grabs a ham stick since the younger boys like it. Are you just buying everything since you’re way over $50 in debt already?
HoJun wakes up to his phone alarm and is shocked when he’s told that SeungWon had gone to town. He’s surprised when a crew member’s car comes along, heh, thinking that it was SeungWon’s.
At the same time, happy baby bird JooHyuk finishes up getting ready for the morning and HoJun comes along to tell him that they better start work on collecting those freshwater snails they’d agreed on for breakfast. Better get them before he arrives.
Ha, they’ve only gotten their boots but are told that SeungWon is already on his way back.
They run off into the paddies and see SeungWon’s truck. Hee, SeungWon smiles to see that the boys are not home, assuming that they’ve gone off to collect those snails.
The boys waddle in the paddy field and pick those snails, squelching back in their boots when they’ve decided to that they’ve gotten enough.
SeungWon immediately puts the guys to work – JooHyuk to wash and clean the vegetables and HoJun to deal with the freshwater snails. HoJun eyes his portable stove, not wanting to make a fire and go through all that hassle but SeungWon says that he was intending to use it to pan fry something.
That something turns out to be the stick ham he’d bought for them and while he cooks them, HoJun and JooHyuk stand around and look at it longingly. HoJun says that it’s wonderful to have SeungWon here and SeungWon replies that he was only born for this. He asks JooHyuk if he doesn’t look like someone who’s done this a lot and then confesses that this is his first time doing something like this. He says that he was brought up sheltered, lol. JooHyuk asks how he’s doing so well then and he remarks that it’s true, “how am I so capable?” HAAAA!!!!
SeungWon jokes that he should return to his original job since he’s getting confused as to what he really is now.
Once he’s done, HoJun walks off while JooHyuk stays a while longer. He even checks to see that SeungWon is occupied with someone else and stares at the sausages… but he doesn’t sneak a bite, just choosing to fan the flames.
SeungWon calls them over to eat and they all perk up and go obediently. It’s not the sausages they’re offered though, but the remaining eggs leftover from frying the sausages.
HoJun feeds JooHyuk and a particularly hot piece of egg sends him into a silent dance of “HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT!” So. Cute. He makes HoJun and SeungWon laugh and Chajumma nags that he should just eat hot things himself rather than feed it to others and make them suffer.
Somewhere else, HaeJin eats cup noodles with Na PD, predicting that SeungWon and kids will be having scorched rice for breakfast. (I.e.: Leftovers from dinner) Nooooooope.
Chajumma checks HoJun’s work with the snails and declares that they’re well done. They’re on to deshelling those snails and cleaning them free from their poop.
JooHyuk sees that it’s about to rain and they rush breakfast. SeungWon brings the tofu out and HoJun remarks in amazement that it’s the first time he’s seeing tofu in his stew while doing the show. Newcomer JooHyuk doesn’t understand and HoJun explains that when they were at Manjae island, they couldn’t get tofu.
Something goes wrong with the rice and though it’s nothing really severe since there’s more in the house, Chajumma is reminded of HaeJin, remembering back when they were on Manjae island and had to eat gruel. The rain doesn’t help as it brings back memories of when they had to rush to put the canvas up whenever it rained. The kids kickback and enjoy the rain while Chajumma prepares the steamed eggs in loneliness. Or maybe that’s not what he’s thinking but Devil PD has edited it that way, heh.
He puts on music with his new app and pretty soon, their 4-dish breakfast feast is all done.
HaeJin who had been waiting for them to just finish their breakfast is still obsessed with trying to surprise them and goes around looking for props. He grabs a farmer’s hat and practices his walk, sure that no one will recognise him. HAHAHHAAAAA! It’s so over the top, you just have to see it for yourself.
In the peaceful home, SeungWon breaks something but it’s no biggie and soon, they’re off to go work their debt off.
HaeJin waits and waits and waits, even getting nervous, as they head towards the place he’s at.
Chajumma sees his back first and he greets him, addressing him as the area’s Leader. HaeJin continues with his “I’m too busy wait a minute” skit and Chajumma just continues greeting him.
Cha SeungWon: “Hello. Hello. Hello, aren’t you Yoo HaeJin?”
HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! All that preparation for nothing!
HaeJin stuffs his head into a roll of aluminium sponge and hits SeungWon with it. Hee, the two older men are overjoyed to see each other and HoJun only lets out a loud “OH!” while JooHyuk doesn’t even say anything.
HaeJin demands to know how he’d recognised him and of course it’s his unique groan and his refusal to even flash them a smile that sold him out.
HoJun’s really surprised to see him there, not having even suspected that he would come, only thinking that the Area Leader was a bit off an odd duck while Chajumma goes through his thought processes and HaeJin laments that he shouldn’t have said anything.
SeungWon agrees with HaeJin that the kids don’t get his humour and sighs that they “only just ate”.
Na PD reintroduces JooHyuk to HaeJin and then goes on to explain that Yoo HaeJin really wasn’t supposed to come onto Three Meals a Day since he was so busy but HaeJin shares that he just couldn’t be left out and so did some magic with his agency to shift the schedules around so that he could join. It was really a last minute decision that even the crew of Three Meals didn’t even know about.
In his solo interview, SeungWon is asked how he’d felt when he first saw HaeJin and he breaks into a smile, saying that he was really happy. When he’d learnt that HaeJin was the one who’d switched his schedules up himself without being pushed by anybody, he was really happy. He really liked that the camaraderie between him and HaeJin and HoJun had been reconfirmed too.
HaeJin himself shares that it hurt to be the only one not to be able to come on the show since he’d made really precious memories the last time. Even just yesterday, it was his mother’s memorial, which was why he couldn’t make it.
In the present, Chajumma complains about the kids like a real wife does to her husband, HAAAA. Finally, the full team has gathered.
On the way back, HaeJin and SeungWon encourage JooHyuk to be comfortable with them, even telling him to just whine and throw a fuss whenever he has too, ha.
SeungWon introduces the new place to HaeJin and though he admits that everything is much more convenient than when it had been at Manjae Island, it’s still uncomfortable.