Monday, March 21, 2011

First batch of kimchi

My husband and I decided we love kimchi enough to quit buying it and make our own.  Most Korean families wouldn’t even consider buying this every-meal side dish, but since we’re not Korean, I don’t feel too bad about buying it in the store premade.  However, its much more cost effective to do our own.  I looked up a few recipes and decided on one from  Here’s how our version went:

1 gallon of water
1 head of Napa cabbage (on second look, this should have been 2)
1/2 cup salt

kimchi101 head of garlic, minced
1 chunk (around 2-3 inches) of fresh ginger, minced
1 bunch of green onion tops, finely chopped
1 daikon radish, sliced into thin strips
1/3 cup Korea chili powder (we used a Thai chili powder, I think it may have been spicier)
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 tsp red chili powder (used for color, in hind sight, may have been overkill)



Core the cabbage and cut into chunks.  Dissolve the salt in the gallon of water and add the cabbage.  This needs to soak for 2-3 hours.  Make sure the cabbage is fully submerged.  While it’s soaking, you can prepare the rest of your veggies.  When the time is up, drain the cabbage.  You could use a salad spinner to dry the cabbage.  Since we don’t have one, we used a dish cloth to get the cabbage fairly dry by patting and squeezing it.  Don’t crush your cabbage!!


I had to check to see exactly what a daikon radish looked like.  They look like big fat white carrots, but pack much more of a punch.  We peeled and chopped this guy up, then added it along with the rest of the ingredients to a large steel pot (it doesn’t get cooked, it was just easier to mix in a big container).




(pardon the cell phone picture!)


Once you’ve added all the ingredients, you can mix with your hands.  Most recipes suggest using gloves to keep your hands from turning red.  After it’s mixed, go ahead and place in the containers you like.  It can be left out for a few days to ferment, after that it can be stored in the refrigerator for around 3 weeks.  After the 3 weeks or so, it becomes too strong to eat alone, but could be used for soups or other recipes.  Personally, this batch was pretty spicy (read: very clear sinus) and from what I understand will only get stronger.  We should have used 2 cabbages instead of one, which may have mellowed it out a bit.  Now that we have the recipe down, we’ll work on improving it!!  I’ll let you know how that goes in the future.  Enjoy!!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Friday Fragments

Ah, finally back at my computer!  How I’ve missed you!!!  I’m just going to summarize the week (s) with the help of Mrs. 4444’s Friday Fragments!  You can join in at Half Past Kissing Time!

Mommy's Idea
  • We are done being sick.  Except for my hubby.  After all the colds and fevers subsided, HE’S the one who got and ear infection and needed antibiotics. – side note: antibiotics for adults are waaaay more expensive.
  • CMT commercial for “My Big Redneck Wedding” cuts to a clip of a bride saying her vows…”You are my big snuggle bear…”.  I am pretty sure, that even if I really called my fiancé a “snuggle bear” I wouldn’t emasculate him by announcing it during our wedding.  Just sayin’.
  • If you don’t talk to us much, or haven’t heard of March to Mandaree, here’s your chance to catch up.  I posted HERE about the March to Mandaree my husband is doing this summer.  We have also started a blog HERE.  Feel free to follow that blog, or to friend him on Facebook!!
  • Our friends recently returned from a trip to Japan (they came home before the earthquake) to visit his parents and brother.  Brother Richard works in Japan and lives with his wife Susi and their brand new baby.  They are safe and are working around the restricted electricity and water issues.  Parents Rick & Jan are originally from our church and are currently running the Misawa Hospitality house and could use prayers.  They have decided to stay and continue their outreach while many American citizens have chosen to leave Japan.  Please take a look at their prayer list at their site!
  • While our friends were there, they did pick up some very cute bento box accessories (yay!!!).  I think I’ll need to do some more bento posts soon!  I also cleaned out a drawer for all of our bento stuff, now I need to make room for the new things!bento accessories3bentodrawer
  • I am going to attempt to make kimchi this weekend.  I’ll let you know how that goes!image
  • The lovely Mrs. 4444 saw it fit to bestow on me her Favorite Fragmenter two weeks back (already two weeks ago!!). 
    Isn’t it cute Winking smile ?


  • I started using FlyLady this week!!  I’m hoping it’s the kick in the butt I need to whip my house into shape.  I’ve known about her for years, but I’ve never taken the step.  It turns out, she’s into baby steps, which is just what I need.  So far, I’ve followed the two smallest steps.  #1 Get dressed every morning down to the shoes.  Yes, I need someone to tell me this.  I am guilty of spending the entire day in sweats I may or may not have slept in.  I needed an intervention.  Step #2 is to shine my kitchen sink every night when I’m done using it, before bed.  That means NO dirty dishes (and we don’t have a dishwasher!).  It’s a big step some days not to let the last of the evening dishes wait until morning, but SO nice to wake up to NOTHING!!  This is as far as I’ve gotten, but she has ways to get your whole house de-cluttered and guest ready!  Baby steps…..


Dude.  That’s sick.  Except in this case it’s not a good thing.  We’ve been sick.  All of us.  One after another we’ve come down with the good old fashioned fever-chills-aches influenza.  Yuck.  Its taken over a week each to get over it, too.  I finally feel better just in time for the baby to come down with a week’s worth of fever and crabby.  Holy crabby.  That boy is pretty cranky sometimes, and that’s when he’s feeling well.  JC with a fever is just about enough to lock yourself in a closet for a week until he’s better.  imageimage

Daddy had to be gone this week for National Guards, so I’ve tried to fend for myself as best as I can.  Mostly that means I have to cook, which I am notoriously bad at.  Hooray for frozen food.  The kids each missed a week of school, and I can tell you I am SO glad to have them back in again.  Some parents look forward to weekends, but often I do not.  I have some sort of routine during the week, but with everyone home all day long, the routine gets off.  I get nothing done.  Or less than nothing.  I get behind.  It doesn’t take much in this house to be behind in everything.  Even when my house is “clean” it isn’t clean.  Not invite-your-neighbors-to-drop-by clean.  I don’t think I’ll ever be there.  Maybe once the kids are in college….

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

SEW–My Goodnight Book

Grandma Melody (my mom) sent us books so the kids can read with her once a week over the phone.  She also sent Piper some books.  As soon as I saw this book, I knew why she chose it.  Look at this cover.  It’s Piper!!!

My Goodnight Book        My Goodnight Book Piper

Don’t you think?


Special Exposure Wednesdays are hosted by 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tackle It Tuesday–Dining Room Chairs

I don’t even like to ask people to sit at the table when I see the condition of our dining chairs.  It’s inevitable, I suppose, that with four kids these chairs with light colored fabric will get dirty.  Armed with a bowl and a brush, I am ready to fix that.  I started with some nice warm water and Mr. Clean.  (I would have used Oxyclean for sure, I ♥ that stuff, but alas, I was out.)  I used a large stiff brush for the main areas, and the smaller brush for little spots that needed a bit more work.


As soon as I scrubbed an area, I’d press a dry towel down to soak up excess water while I worked on another area.  Here is the “before”…


And after a good scrub…


THAT is SO much better.  I won’t feel embarrassed to have dinner guests sit on the chairs!!  Do you have a project to tackle?  Head over to 5 Minutes for Mom, where Tuesdays make your housework bloggable!