Category Archives: every day life

Homemade kimchi: Part one; “it’s easy”

I am a bit of a newbie with this whole fermentation business, apart from a brief stint at culinary school and eating/drinking fermented stuffs, I’m like a virgin (hey!) touched for the very first time… but after reading so many “it’s so easy” type posts, I am inclined to believe them. It’s the internet after all; it doesn’t lie. 

Before I get into it, here is my first word of virgin making kimchi advice: wear gloves! My left hand is on fy-yah!! If ya didn’t know, there’s quite a lotta chili in ole kimchi and as I happily squished and squeezed the mix of tasty veg etc, I was oblivious to the heat of the chili flakes working their way into a not quite healed wound. 

Sidenote: the wound was dry and clean and happened a while ago, it just hadn’t quite gotten to the completely healed stage. I wouldn’t dive into a fermentation project with an open wound. Or any cooking for that matter. That’s gross. You should know that. We should all know that. 

Gloves. Wear them if you don’t want burny hands or have sensitive skin. 

First I sterilized the jars, which was actually the part I was most nervous about. Seems silly really, it’s so easy and I had seen my grandma do it when I was little and hanging in the kitchen watching jam blip away on the stove. But for some reason, I was intimidated by it. I just didn’t want to go to all the trouble of sterilising jars, making kimchi, putting it in jars, waiting a few days for the ferment and then find it was ruined because I didn’t sterilize properly. I got over it, watched this handy Jamie Oliver vid here, and confidently sterilized me some jars

  

Boom! It’s easy!

When building up to this whole process, I wanted to find a reliable recipe so I did some reading and a lot of procrastinating and then finally landed on a recipe my friend Noeleen had tried and tested with a happy result. 

It turned out it was another awesome Sarah Britton ditty – author of the My New Roots blog. I LOVE pretty much everything she has posted and I have posted about her stuff a lot. Girl crush. Link to recipe after the obligatory amateur photography to chronicle my experience. And best of all, the recipe is gluten free (and vegan) which appeals to my food sensitivities. 

Soooo… Here’s all the ingredients lined up in a row: 

  

I used a sea salt from Iceland. Yah: Iceland, bitches. Because my friend Aaron went and got married there and we both like food so why not buy me some freakin cool, crazy shaped salt?? It has a pretty big crystal so I ended up using Himalayan sea salt as well. Mmmm minerals mmmm… And I didn’t have the required amount of green onions so we’ll see whether this makes a big difference or not (like I would know) and I’m also gonna add sesame seeds because I’ve been eating a store bought one with sesame seeds in it. Freestyling. 

The recipe says to cut the cabbage into bite sized pieces and the best way I know how to do this is by pretending it’s a giant, weird shaped onion and using the “onion method” (actual culinary term). Google it. You know how. It got messy cutting it up anyway using this method but I love to make mess so I didn’t care. If you are one to care about mess then, I’m sorry, but making your own kimchi isn’t for you. 

The bowl I used was a bit small, so I moved it to my largest bowl and had to do some interim squishing and salting of cabbage before I could add any of the other ingredients. This created more room as the cells broke down and all was well in first timer kimchi land. 

I did lose a bit over the sides, because I got super into the squishing and squelching that I didn’t realise some was escaping my enthusiastic grip. But whatever, I picked it up and put it back in and kept on keeping on. 

This is what it looks like right now as it sits on my bench, beginning it’s life as my first homemade kimchi

   

*sniff sniff* so proud. 

A timer just went off so I have to go resquish and lose a bit over the sides. 

I shall leave you with the link to the recipe as well as info on why kimchi is so gosh darn good fer ya! Happy fermenting my friends. 

Recipe here:  http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2013/01/fabulous-fermentation-week-kimchi/

And now for the facts: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/9-surprising-benefits-kimchi-that-will-make-you-want-try-now.html



Brown and purple food

Here is a wee shot showcasing yesterday’s spoils. Didn’t last long. Gonna have to octuple the recipe in the future

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Gluten free, dairy free, preservative free, organic aaaaaaand delicious as.
For the recipe visit http://thecreeksidecook.com/coconut-milk-fudgesicles/#axzz3RNyeLrnw

And because the world deserves a little more purple in it, here’s ma breakfast. Also dairy free, gluten free and thanks to the hemp hearts, contained 10g’s of protein. Mmm.

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Recipe:
250ml Almond milk (unsweetened)
3tbsp hemp seeds
3/4 cup blueberries
4-5 slices of peaches (I used canned but fresh is best)
pinch of Himalayan salt
a splosh of pure vanilla

Combine and blend.

Fudgey fudge fudge fudges fudgesicles YEAH!!

Here’s a picture of me and Scott eating some delicious dairy free, organic fudgesicles

Juuuuust kidding…

We had to eat the two test pots I made to see how they froze before I tried to liberate them from their molds.

Here’s a before picture for y’all

And the recipe is courtesy of The Creekside Cook

I HIGHLY recommend you make these. It’s almost spring like weather here in North Vancouver and it seemed appropriate. Imagine what they’d be like in summer!!

Ice cream kinda became a tradition in this household when I cleverly came up with “ice cream Sunday” because it sounds like ice cream sundae and that’s cute and also an excuse to eat ice cream every Sunday as a treat.

But I’m all lactose sensitive and they put shit in those ice creams that I can’t pronounce and don’t care for in general – you know, chemicals etc. So I hailed upon the mighty google to search for something alternative and voila!!

I chose organic coconut milk – especially important because the solids content in organic c-milk is much higher than the lesser quality options hence that creamy texture when frozen…mmmmm. Organic cacao, the honey was local and the salt Himalayan, also the vanilla was pure and totally worth the extra moolah. I let the mix sit for the half hour suggested while I coated a free range chicken with flavoury goodness (domestic goddess blah blah blah) aaaaand because it was lying around, I added a splash (two) of Kahlua. The mix tasted slightly alcoholic before I added the Kahlua and I was a bit unsure what the end product would be like. But rest assured: it’s DElicious!!

Definitely worth the effort (which is barely any at all (just the time for freezing) and extra cost of organic ingredients. Once you have the honey, vanilla and cacao all you need to purchase is the coconut milk. And everyone has salt. Except this one person I once heard a story about who had more money than sense and NO SALT!!

So, thank you Creekside Cook 🙂 this is going to remain a staple in my house, fo sho.

This video makes me happy (and want to roller skate)

Here is a lovely little ditty (filled with funky beats and fun roller skating moves) from my homeland; Aotearoa (land of the long white cloud) AKA New Zealand.

Today I am feeling the last of the summer sunshine goodness and getting a mountain of personal emails cleared from my inbox, listening to the catchy stylings from talented kiwi band: Tahuna Breaks.

I urge you to enjoy this with a nice cold bottle of beer, a cool glass of sav, or a warm cup of tea on your front step while incense burns in the lounge at the other end of the house and the afternoon sun hangs lazily in the sky. Put on your favourite pair of sunnies and invite a friend around, or call one you haven’t spoken to in a while. 

Put it on in the background while you do all of these things. Happiness guaranteed. Is that a cicada singing along in the distance? Summer is on it’s way, NZ.

MOSTLY, watch the video first and soak in how much fun they look like they’re having; skating around Auckland’s central streets. 

PS How much brownie is too much brownie? Last night I baked a batch of Glutino brownies and cut them into squirrel shapes to enjoy with plain greek yoghurt and the last of the local blueberries. 

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Something strange this day shone

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Today’s morning sun was such a surreal sight. I was stupidly trying to stare at it to understand it better but, because of the haze, the sun was being magnified and it was hurting my eyes to figure the freaky thing out! Quite pretty though.