Saturday, February 28, 2015

pickles and the art of productive procrastination

beginning in january, i started an online course in the basics of solar water heating for both domestic hot water and pool heating.  not that thrilling i know.  since then, my penchant for procrastination [and procrastibaking] has come back with a vengeance.  like john mcclain.  die hard 17 - get me out of this fucking nursing home.  i digress.

on to napa cabbage kimchi!

to be more specific, square cut napa cabbage kimchi - a fall/winter recipe.  pretty easy peasy, and the jars ferment [marinate] for 3 days at room temperature, and then slowly in the fridge for the next 6 months or so.  assuming it lasts that long.  it wont.  and since a coworker asked, what is kimchi?  and i tried not to act completely aghast and culturally offended [..jk] i explained it as a spicy asian version of sauerkraut.  unless its made with squash or greens or bean sprouts.  then its just various pickledy pickles.

if you want a vast variety of kimchi recipes and ways to use your pickled products [ie recipes using kimchi], check out lauryn chun's book.  its friggin awesome.  sourcing ingredients may be tricky depending on where your nearest asian grocer is, but there's always amazon.  serious.  i bought dried seaweed on amazon for my guilty pleasure of korean ramen.. but don't tell my mother.  she's convinced i'm going to stroke out shortly.
also, lesson learned - plastic wrap is not air tight.  kimchi in a glass bowl covered in plastic wrap will not ferment.  rather, it will just slowly rot on the counter over the 3 day fermentation period, as the jars next to it are merrily bubbling away.

aaaaaand in the realm of pickling, i popped into trader joe's in my overly optimistic search for their pre-trimmed pre-washed pound bags of haricot verts.  weeeeelp i guess the slightly undersized green beans are only available in their crisp fresh bags ... in not this time of year.  i last saw them before thanksgiving... and then they sold out shortly before the holiday.  auspiciously for green bean casseroles galore, but god knows.  maybe every hipster and his friggin mother made dilly beans at thanksgiving!! 

well this not-hipster made dilly beans.  from regular green beans.  and my slightly hipster cookbook food in jars.  this cookbook has not led me astray once.  except maybe for the lemon cauliflower, but really i think i just have mixed feelings [tastings] toward lemon. 
trimming beans to fit veeery small jars.  i need bigger jars, but grocery stores are over their "lets provide large boxes of ball jars for customers!" phase.  i guess i need to look elsewhere, like craft stores maybe? 
raw beans topped with dill seed, chipotle pepper, garlic powder, vinegar, water, and pickling salt
9 little jars all lined up in ... a square before and after processing. 

and then came the ribs adventure
what does one do with a 3.5 pound package of pork ribs?  slow bake at 275 for 2 hours, topped with cajun spice rub and gochujang/kecap manis mix, and then broiled for 3 minutes.  then NOM NOM TIME!!! 

and then because 3.5 pounds of ribs cooks up to... about 3 pounds of meat, leftovers!  with rice and topped with homemade friggin kimchi!  full circle.  bam.


  1. You made kimchi! OMG so brave. I want to try it, but I'm afraid of the mess and T_T

    1. it was surprisingly easy! no bubbling over like the last time i tried to make it, and getting the right ingredients is really the hardest part.


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