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Something From Nothing ~ Week 10

Well, it has been a sad time in Pixie-land. My beautiful Mummy was in the hospital, and that is frightening. We are, as Forrest would say...like peas and carrots....quite simply, she is my best friend, the foundation piece for all that I am, and my first culinary guru.  Mom always knows what's good...growing up, we ate a variety of foods so spectacular, that it would make your Mama blush! The awesome Mahi-Mahi, freshly caught, stone crabs claws, clams, shrimp, steak...even her soups were (and are) delicious. She is my prime example when it comes to feeding a large family well, and on a budget, too. Thanks Mom, for all you do, for who you are, and for being a wonderful cook and teacher to me. This (as well as every post, come to think of it) is for you.

There will be no crab-tacular fun as I promised for this post....simply due to the fact that my fridge and freezer just up and DIED on us one day...and since the crab was not kept at optimum conditions, I had to throw it out. Food safety (as you know) is of prime importance in any kitchen. Then, Dear Husband and I both came down with whatever nasty flu bug is going around.  They say that bad things come in threes.....if that is the case, we are done...I hope.  Anyhoo, after watching (for the third time) Anthony Bourdains' No Reservations from Korea...I decided that I must try my hand at Kimchi! This ubiquitous condiment is a must-have for a proper side dish to any Korean meal, and since I'm going to be making Korean barbecue soon, I promptly set about finding these beauties....

Inexpensive, and versatile. I love Napa cabbage in so many dishes...slaws, stuffed, soups, I could (and usually do) go on. But this time, it's Kimchi.  I cut these both into what I considered suitably-sized chunks, and mixed them with about a quarter cup of kosher salt. Then, placed in a colander all afternoon, to draw all the moisture out.

Later that day, I carefully rinsed all the salt off the cabbage, and patted it dry. Into a large bowl it went with sliced onion, grated carrot, daikon radish and scallions...



Now, we add the seasonings.....dried ginger, sugar, salt, Korean chili powder, and fish sauce (don't worry, you cannot taste the fish sauce in the final product...and it's only 1 Tablespoon for the entire batch!)...and mix it all really well...



Here it is...all mixed up and waiting for a place to sit and blend...



I found two quart jars and sanitized them, and packed them full of the spicy goodness...



Another shot before they go down into the cool, dark basement to ferment...



I can hardly wait. I'm going to take a photo on day 4 (before they go into the fridge), to show you exactly how they look...if I can keep myself from diving in before then. 


Back to events in Pixie-land.....about every five to ten years I MUST have a new cutting board.  As a lover of cooking, mine do take a beating, I must admit...My requirements are simple, it must not be plastic, or hideous glass (with all that noise, who can cut on those?), and since it must be wood, it must be sustainable. In other words, bamboo.  I sent Kitchen Angel on a mission....all over the world...and when she returned, she not only had my cutting board...she had found........



HER TWIN SISTER!  Oh.....my....goodness! One can only imagine the fun these two and I will get into this Spring!  Confidential to Neat -  Thank You! Eat well, my friends, and stay tuned for Italian Stuffed Flank steak....and BEAR CLAWS! That's right, I'm going to bake again...must be something in the air.....


Love and kindness to all,
Pixie