It’s the run up to Chuseok. Gift sets are piled high in the supermarkets. Many of them include Spam and it’s likely that you’ll end up with some. You are just one person. What are you going to do with all that mystery meat? Here are a few suggestions.

LEARN TO COOK SOME SPAM-FILLED KOREAN DISHES

If you haven’t yet learned how to cook Korean food, you now have the perfect opportunity. Not only do you have a key ingredient in your possession, you also have three days in which to perfect your cooking technique. Budae jjigae or ‘army base stew’ is a dish that was created using leftover US army rations not long after the Korean War. This recipe remains popular today and is great for lovers of Spam – here’s a recipe. There are a variety of other meals you can create using Spam, such as Spam and Kimchi fried rice (recipe at the bottom), Korean style omerice and Spam Kimbab, to name but a few. If you don’t like Spam, you could hold a dinner party for friends or bring your newly-made dishes to work to share with your coworkers.

GET CRAFTY

If you’re just looking for something to do with your empty Spam cans, the internet is full of suggestions. You can make flower pots, pencil pots, and napkin holders seen here, make some drawers for the world’s most terrifying doll here, or check out a variety of other can craft options on this pinterest page. There is also a tutorial here on how to create that Spam can pyramid you’ve always wanted.

SELL IT ON EBAY

Korea is courting a lot of international interest recently with the rise of K-pop, Korean dramas and Korean cuisine. Given that spam gift sets are uniquely Korean, there might be people willing to pay to take it off your hands. If not, try to package it as K-pop Spam, G-Dragon Spam or Girl’s Generation Spam. Maybe even stick some photos of K-pop singers on it or claim that you received the Spam from a member of Infinite. If half of this paragraph has made no sense to you, you might be in over your head on this one.

DONATE IT TO CHARITY

Lunar New Year is traditionally a family holiday in Korea but not everyone has the opportunity to spend it with their families. Unmarried Korean mothers face a lot of discrimination, many being rejected by their families, fired and refused jobs on the basis of their status as single mums. This can make raising a child alone an even greater challenge, especially when they are given very little financial help from the state. These challenges lead to a high number of unmarried women in Korea being forced to give their children up for adoption. Organizations such as the Korean Unwed Mothers’ Families Association (KUMFA) offer unmarried mothers in Korea support in a variety of ways such as counseling and running holiday camps. They also run HEATER, a facility to house and feed unmarried mothers and their children. Your unwanted Spam set could provide meals for these families. To donate, just post your Spam set to Mapo-gu, Yeonnam-dong Saerona Villa, 255-33, B2 Seoul, South Korea 121-865. The number for delivery is 김선영 (Kim Seon Yeong) 010-7255-5324. For more information on KUMFA read this article in the New York Times and learn more about HEATER read this article from the Korea Herald.

USE IT AS A WEAPON OF SEDUCTION

The Chuseok before last, I received a Spam and tuna gift set from my boss despite the fact that she knew I ate neither Spam nor tuna. Knowing that I was not going to eat it, I offered my gift set to the man I was interested in. The next day he asked me to be his girlfriend. We’ve been going strong ever since and I owe it all to Spam (and tuna). Use the power of Spam to snag a date for Valentine’s Day.

USE IT AS CURRENCY

Where some see a Spam gift set, others see an opportunity for bigger and better things. In 2005 a man named Kyle MacDonald started his blog, One Red Paperclip, to document his attempt to trade his way from a paperclip to a house. One year and 14 trades later he had a new home. You have a Spam set, which is much better than a red paper clip, to use as your starting point. All I ask is that I can come and live with you for free if you are successful. MacDonald wrote a book about his adventures if you need any extra tips.

USE YOUR SPAM CANS TO STAY IN SHAPE

It’s February and your new year’s resolution to get in stay in shape hasn’t fallen by the wayside just yet. You can use your new gift to build up those muscles. Use Spam cans as weights to tone your arms or put them in a backpack to increase the challenge of exercises such as hiking, pull-ups or jogging. If you find your weights to be too burdensome, you can spread the Spam love by giving a couple of cans away to some fellow hikers or joggers.

HOLD A SPAM SCULPTURE CONTEST

You’re a grown-up now and you can play with your food if you want to. Why not invite your friends over to your house for a good old Spam sculpture competition? Surprisingly, this is a thing and there are several Spam sculpture contests documented throughout the internet, proving that Spam is a valid material for creating art. Just give each person a can of Spam and an hour to see what is possible. If you need any inspiration, Google image search is an unexpected goldmine of Spam sculpture photos.

USE YOUR SPAM CANS AROUND THE HOUSE

Sick of your papers blowing around uncontrollably? Sick of not being able to keep that door open? The Spam can is for you – multi-purpose paperweight and doorstop. You could even use two Spam cans as bookends. The possibilities are endless!

MAKE A SPAMERA

What’s a Spamera? Why, it’s a pinhole camera constructed from a Spam can of course! There are two different ways for you to construct your Spamera. You can follow these written instructions with pictures and view photos taken with the Spamera here. Alternatively, you can follow the instructions on the video tutorial above which uses a slightly different method and list of materials. You’ll probably want to watch it with the sound off, though. Just trust me on that one.

So there you have it, 10 things for you to do with your Spam set. If you have any more suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Written by Emma Sparkes. Photographs by Emma Sparkes, Mike Stulberg and Janna Gibson.


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