Not Kimchee but Prevents Scurvy

jar of cabbage

Cabbage, the vegetable that started it all.

Most of us have a kind of love hate relationship with it. I don’t really like it raw, but cooking it makes it very tasty.

So I had this large jar, and even now I can’t remember why I bought it, and when I got to talking with some of my classmates at my tae kwon do dojang, invariably the topic of food and kimchee came up. Then I remembered this big jar I had and thought that maybe I could make a toned down version of kimchee. Although I love kimchee it doesn’t always love me with that hot chili powder.

The biggest difference of course is the cultural details around the whole kimchee process as well as the heat, so my version has some nicely roasted jalapeños just to give it a bit of a kick and make it a little less hot. I also added carrots, which is what has given the cabbage in my photo a very pink colour. It looks kind of like pickled ginger, without the ginger (although maybe I’ll try adding more of that next time).

I started this about two weeks ago, and for my first attempt it isn’t too bad.  I’ve had some now and haven’t died yet but next time I’m going to use less salt.

So my recipe and method was similar to the one from Mark’s Daily Apple.

I used a very large cabbage , 2  – 3 roasted and peeled jalapeños, 3 -4 cloves of garlic, carrots, a bit of ginger and chili pepper, then the 1 1/2 Tbsp of sea salt. I didn’t have to use any distilled water although you should have some around just in case.

I kept aside a few clean outer leaves of the cabbage before coarsely shredding the whole head and the carrots. Then like Mark’s method I used my hands and muscle power to breakdown the cabbage to make brine from the moisture in the cabbage. I had to work in batches to keep it under control until it was soft enough for me to be able to add everything else.

After I packed it into the jar, I used the leaves that I had set aside, on put on top of the cabbage. I had to put some ceramic cups under the lid to leverage the lid down into the top leaves which kept everything submerged. I placed the jar on a plate, just in case there were any spills, and put it in my pantry under the back stairs.  I nearly forget it a few times (and wouldn’t that have been fun :0 )  So when I remembered I just checked  to make sure the water level wasn’t dropping.

It said to refrigerate it to slow down the fermentation which I have done. So now I need to eat it as fast as I can, cause the hubby won’t eat it (but I might sneak some into the odd dish over the next couple of weeks.)  And the scurvy part, well it’s been said that James Cook always took some sauerkraut on his sea voyages to prevent scurvy and  now you can too, without the sea voyage part!


Well, kimchee of course:

Chinese cabbage, daikon radish or ed radishes, carrots, onions and/or leeks,ginger, seaweed, dried chili powder, hondashi japanese fish broth powder and a very different process.



10 Ways to Live Better and Get Back in Shape

SaladOkay, summer time and oops the shorts don’t fit from last year, metabolism is way down (have to learn to fight that one – there’s no easier way) and I need a new wardrobe…soon!

So I read a few articles on the ease of losing weight; the eye catching word of the moment is always the word “diet” or some variant of being in or out of “shape”. These phrases or words come to mean an act of losing weight or running 10K even though it’s really only a part of the process. What we all should be doing  is just slowing down and getting in touch with the fact that our bodies, our minds and our consciousness are really the only thing we truly own.

I’m thinking about living better, and to start with what?: What am I eating? What do I do physically every day? And what about the rest of my lifestyle?

A person’s diet can be modified by reducing caloric intake accomplished by either eating less or doing more to sustain the higher caloric intake. All of these suggestions are backed or touted by research into the effectiveness of any of them. I wouldn’t suggest otherwise, but some are just plain common sense, while others were quite likely very well studied.

Our lifestyles are always changing as we move along in life. Usually when we start out we could care less about thinking of our older selves. We live for the moment, and as we age, we sometimes wish we’d done things different. Well this is that “wishing time”, I need to think of what I can do different now. So a few thoughts….

1. Get yourself checked out. Your doctor can be the best source of current information, that’s their job and if you have any worries or habits, ask, ask, ask. It’s your time and your life they shouldn’t have any hangups when it comes to talking about you.

2. Don’t get stuck in food prison. Look up calories and be prepared to ask for smaller portions of your fav food but don’t get too crazy with the calorie counting it will drive you mad. Be prepared to take the high road , the 85/15 rule, once in awhile.

3. Move your butt. Heck, just taking the stairs up once in awhile is better than nothing. Or even parking farther away and power walking to work or take your bike to the grocery store. Little bits over time add up.

4. Eat breakfast. It’s been said many time before; it should be simple, satisfying and slow. Yes, I said slow. Get up early (meaning go to bed early) and make yourself some comfort breakfast food, remember you are breaking your fast, as in you haven’t eaten for a while, it’s not “Quick, break fast and get out.”

5. Have a good restful sleep. I can’t stress this enough and be consistent on weekends too. If we go to bed at the same time every day and get 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep we will have more energy with less stress eating. Restful also means to try to remove or move most annoyances like your alarm clock, your sleepless pet, add white noise to block sounds, etc …you get the idea.

6. Know your weaknesses. Stop and listen to your self-talk and your moods. Us humans tend to want to self-medicate for pleasure when we are stressed or upset and the easiest is alcohol and food. Find other ways to satisfy that need safely and consciously.

7. Make a plan. Know what kinds of mini meals you can have to fill the void. Many times doctors recommend smaller equal caloric intakes rather than large ones where we tend to over eat.

8. Stop and consider. While you’re eating, eat mindfully, taste the food, enjoy the food, take your time with each bite to savour what it is you like about it. Otherwise you may as well be eating a tasteless energy bar.

9. Don’t go for seconds. Wait at least ten minutes or more. It’s been mentioned many times that our brain to stomach communication is rather slow, probably from some leftover survival thing in the past, but now it just means we don’t know when to stop sometimes.

10. Enjoy the food and the activities that you like for what they are. Food is energy, it’s also pleases us on another level.  We were also built to be active, and, as my previous post, indicated sitting for too long can kill us.


The Great Garden Adventure – Part Three

Whoa, where have I been for the past three months? Well, here there and everywhere but the garden adventure continues on.  So my little seedling experiment has turned out quite well so far. I had to put the seedlings in my garage due to our area’s sudden regression back into early spring (i.e. snow) . But here is a shot of my little plants as the progressed into the months of April:


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The Great Garden Adventure – Part Two

March 14, 2010

Time to build the light stand, plant the seeds and get this show on the road.  This is the second in my series of Great Garden Adventures. At first I thought I’d just dig in and plant everything I wanted and then I realized that some of these seeds will grow faster than others. I knew I had to get the tomatoes started for sure and the peppers but first up was a bit of planning.


Click for larger picture

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