Monday, September 1, 2008

Ah, summer is officially over and school has begun. I have been in a tear to further my studio organization and it paid off. But first, a picture of what it looked like for a few days:
It's better now, much better now. Just needs some vacuuming.

I am one proud sewer! I also have been successful at two other things that I've never tried before: I can now run 3.1 miles on the treadmill, and I made kimchi! I had foot surgery way over a year and a half ago and recovery took much longer than I anticipated. I've never been a big runner, just a mile or so here and there, but I've tried to exercise regularly. Now, I'm running and having no pain in the foot and that is such a great thing!

Now for the kimchi. For those of you that don't know what it is or think eeeeewwww when you see it, I will be frank. It is basically rotten cabbage. No, not really. It is delicious spicy fermented cabbage that is a mainstay of Korean cuisine. I decided to try and make it after reading this wonderful book:

So, just for fun, I'll show you some pics of the process and tell you how I did this. I deviated a bit from the recipe because I didn't have everything I needed, but it still turned out great. First, you need a big ole non-reactive container. I believe glass or pottery is preferred. I used a big ole glass jar that I found at World Market. For ingredients, I used sea salt, napa cabbage, garlic, a daikon radish, green onions, a hot pepper or two, fresh ginger, and that garlic chili paste that comes in a plastic jar with a green lid and a picture of a rooster on it. I believe I've seen it in World Market as well if you don't have an Asian market where you live. Most traditional recipes call for Korean ground pepper, but I didn't have that so I did what we like to call winging it around my house. First I chopped up that cabbage. My hubby and I prefer the kimchi that has all of the soft inner leaves over the big chopped pieces of cabbage rib, but hey, I was not about to waste that cabbage! I chopped up the outer leaves and tried to keep some of the inner leaves intact. I placed all that cabbage in glass bowls and poured sea salt over it and put some plates or bowls on top of the cabbage to submerge it.

The idea is to draw out some of the water and get the fermentation process started. I julienned the daikon radish and did the same sea salt treatment.

Those goodies sat for about 5 hours. Some recipes suggest letting it sit overnight, but that might have been a disaster in my house with spillage. I chopped up the green onion into two inch sections and threw the white parts into my mortar with the garlic and some grated ginger. I added the chili paste and mushed all that stuff up real good. I drained off the cabbage and radish, saving the brine. I mixed up the cabbage and radish with the paste and begin stuffing it into my container with the pepper and green onions.

After the jar was full, I put some brine in until all the veggies were covered. I closed that puppy up and put it in my pantry. Every day for a week, I opened it, stuffed the veggies back under the brine and put it away.

One day, my sister came over and I had her smell it. Kimchi she said! Then, I brought my husband in and had him taste it. He acted appalled that I was making him go first, but come on, we all know that old saying right? If I was trying to kill ya, you'd be dead already. SCORE! Kimchi! Now, I am in no way upholding this method or my ingredients as traditional Korean. I just think it is pretty darn cool that I made kimchi, which we happen to love around here. Next I'm trying yogurt.

Oh, sewing stuff? I'll show ya tomorrow!

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