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Monday, July 6, 2009

Old Ladies and Concrete Don't Mix, the Art of Kimchi

As I mentioned before, we were out all day on Friday working on building a stone wall. Now I have been known in the past to believe I am She-Ra, Wonder Woman and Super Girl all rolled into one, but typically these days I skip all that. So I was picking up smaller pieces of concrete and moving them. Ahem, apparently not small enough. Saturday afternoon I was sitting on my parents' couch nursing R and I starting having spasms in my left shoulder. They were so bad I nearly dropped him. Fast forward thirty minutes and he was asleep on the guest bed and I was begging for Tiger Balm. (For those of you unfamiliar, Tiger Balm is the best stuff ever-- discovered it when I was doing archaeology professionally.)

The end result was I played hookie from the driveway yesterday and caught up on some cooking. I made my prettiest loaf of sourdough yet, oddly enough, by reading several recipes and winging it. I had to write it all down as soon as I saw how beautiful it was so I won't forget.

I used:

4c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c sourdough starter
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp yeast
1 cup of goat's milk

I put all the wet ingredients in first, then dry, then made a pocket in the dry for the yeast and dropped it in. Cycle 1 on the bread machine, and three hours later it was picture perfect. (Tasty, too!) I'm sure that it would work if you did it by hand, and I'm sure it would work with cow's milk, but I had goat's on hand and 50 projects in mind.

As a matter of fact, I had so many projects in my head that after the sourdough loaf I forgot to take pictures. (I know, I know, bad, bad, BAD blogger!)

I also had promised my dad a batch of kim chi, and he wanted it spicer than the last. I shredded about 4 large, peeled carrots, 1 head of napa cabbage, about 1 1/2 tbsp. ginger in the food processor. I mixed this with 2 tbsp. of whey, 2 tbsp. of sea salt, 1 tbsp. red chile flakes, and about 1/4 c. of kim chi sauce. I also minced about 5 cloves of garlic. Once I mixed this all together, I put it in my smaller crockpot and mashed it with my marble pestle until the mixture produced enough juice to cover itself. I topped it with two saucers and on top of that a soup bowl half-full of water. (Yes, I am a half-full person. Watched too much Disney as a child, so sue me!) I then covered it with a clean dish towel and put it in a corner of the kitchen. I will check it every day, he wants a very strong taste so it probably won't be ready for about 5 days. My last batch took 3. I will update with a picture once it's ready. I also used looking at various recipes to create my own for this.

Next, I made a batch of Sally Fallon's "Gingered Carrots," from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, as I've read a lot of things online suggesting that kids love them. M has decided carrots are gross, which I personally believe is from overexposure to the mini-already peeled variety that lose their flavor quickly in the fridge. It was pretty easy, but the taste has yet to be seen.
4 c shredded carrots (shredded at the same time as the ones for the kimchi)
2 tbsp whey
1 tbsp shredded ginger (shredded at the same time as the ginger for the kimchi)
1 tbsp sea salt
Mix it all together, put in a wide mouth Mason jar, and mash down until the juices cover the carrot mixture. Cover tightly, and let ferment approximately 3 days.

An update on the marmalade I made a couple of days ago. It is quite sour and quite salty. As I didn't use pectin, also quite runny. I'm thinking of marinating chicken in it instead of using it on toast.

Last night for dinner we had oven fries and bison burgers, both so quick and easy it was ridiculous!

R is teething badly now, half of my day in between doing all of the above was spent letting him gnaw on me!

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