Month: May 2014

Kimchi Recipe

Last week, in preparation for Kiuk’s arrival, I made kimchi. Lots and lots of it!

When I was in Ottawa I lived with a Korean friend who had decided that, instead of buying super expensive kimchi from the supermarket, she’d rather make it herself. She taught me how and ever since then I’ve been making it on my own. This might look a little strange for those of you who have never tried this super food. There are so many different types of kimchi (fermented cabbage) and so no two taste exactly alike. It’s used as a side dish, in rice dishes, stews, dumplings, savoury fried pancakes… the list goes on. It’s a staple food so there are dozens of different Korean recipes that contain kimchi. As a result, people make a ton of it once a year. There aren’t too many ingredients but the procedure takes a while and doing it alone is hard work. Thankfully I had some friends join in!

This is the result:
IMG_0020
IMG_0019
IMG_0016
Quick (non-traditional but tastes traditional)
Kimchi Recipe:

You’ll need 3 napa cabbages, sea salt, 2 large daikon radishes, 3 bundles of green union, 3 garlic bulbs, one large piece of ginger, 2 cups of gochukaru (Korean red pepper flakes), 12 tablespoons of fish sauce and 3 tablespoons of sugar (you can use pear instead of sugar to add some sweetness).

First, wash the outside of the cabbage, picking off any old pieces. Then, cut the cabbages in halves, then in quarters. Do this vertically with the leaves facing away from you and the base toward you.

Take the quartered piece and turn it so it’s horizontal. Cut one and a half inch pieces and sprinkle them into a big empty bucket. Sprinkle a generous amount of sea salt on the layer of cut cabbage. Continue cutting the cabbage, sprinkling the pieces into the bucket, along with the sea salt layer by layer until you’ve used up all 3 cabbages. Don’t worry about the base of the cabbage… you can add that in, too!

Wait 6 hours (no more, no less).
While you’re waiting, cut the daikon radishes and green onions.
The radish should be cut diagonally into thin disks, turned over and cut again into thin strips. The green onion should be cut diagonally into thin pieces.

After 6 hours the cabbage will have absorbed the salt and your pile of cabbage will have decreased in size. Cabbage pieces should be salty. Rinse off the salt and strain.

Now make your sauce. Mash 3 bulbs of garlic with a mortar and pestle. Do the same with the large piece of ginger. Add 12 tablespoons of fish sauce and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Mix together with 2 cups of red pepper flakes. You can find these in a Korean supermarket. I find that chill is too big and paprika is too small. “Gochukaru” works just right.

Now for the fun part. After you’ve mixed the sauce together put on some plastic gloves and mix the sauce with the cabbage, radish and green onions. Make sure to get the sauce on each piece and not to leave any clumps. Leave at room temperature for one day and then refrigerate.

If you follow this recipe you’ll be eating kimchi for a while.
Here are some photos of another recipe. You can see what I mean about how to quarter/cut the cabbage. Also, here are some recipes for how you might want to use your kimchi in Korean cuisine.

Enjoy!

Gift Package from Abroad

IMG_0010

My boyfriend came back from Korea with tons of goodies for me!
Before making his way home after a three week business trip he headed over to Kyobo and loaded his luggage with all this fun stuff.
Aren’t I lucky? I won’t have to go supply shopping for a while.

IMG_0002
IMG_0005This might be my first set of decorative masking tape.
Woohoo! Things are about to get crafty!

IMG_0013I was shocked to see over a dozen of these beautiful hangul poems and drawings.
He bought them while at a book cafe, knowing I’d find good use for them. The only problem is that they are too difficult for me to understand, but gorgeous nonetheless!~

IMG_0011

IMG_0007 IMG_0009
More pretty decorations and unique seals.
Thank you 남자 친구 🙂 Can’t wait to start sending!

Postcard Happiness Project

I remember viewing the video for a Postick Kickstarter campaign in 2012 and thought to myself… hmmm! Good idea! You can purchase stickers to attach to any paper and create your own postcards. I didn’t end up buying any, however, it seems like there are many people who did and made Postick a success!

postickdiy1s
phproject

Just today I learned about the “Postcard Happiness Project” which is an initiative set out to spread postal kindness to someone who might need some friendly cheer. On the website you can view different profiles and send a greeting to someone in need.

I might just have to send out some postal love.
Wanted to share this with others 🙂

Mini Vocab Book up for grabs

“Play Study Vocabulary – I can do it!”
mini 16 page (front and back) notebook from Korea.

IMG_6779

I guess I’m slacking when it comes to studying Korean…
because I haven’t put this to good use.
I’m a terrible student I guess.

I probably bought this because I thought it was cute.
Don’t you just love this black cat hard at work?
Any of my pen pals interested in receiving this mini vocabulary booklet?

Incoming & Outgoing – May 16

Five outgoing pieces today:
IMG_8436
 One parcel for Jessica in California, USA. Actually, this one is a special “spring themed” swap for the Lovely Letters Snail Mail Exchange. She really loves Disney so I hope she likes the Mickey Mouse I attempted to draw and the secret goodies inside!

Also sending out four postcards.
To China, South Korea, Canada and India.
IMG_3902
I bought the bottom right postcard at a little art studio in Phuket, Thailand. The lady working at the studio is featured on the card and her husband, Veerachan Usahanun is the artist. She told me that this was done before they were married. He also painted another image after they married where his wife was depicted in a very different way. You might not be able to tell in this image, but his fantasy portraits are extremely detailed.
I hope the receiver enjoys the card.

Yahooo! Eight pieces of incoming mail today!
3 letters: One from Sherry in Pennsylvania, USA.
IMG_5769

A lengthy letter from Eve in Finland.
This one was beautifully decorated with washi tape and newspaper clippings. 
IMG_3238
And one from Amber in Kitchener, Canada.
There was a beautiful “Inspire” seal that she sent along with her pretty letter.
IMG_2196

5 Postcards:
IMG_1453  IMG_0248
Received from Susan in USA, Nurul in Malaysia, Kozdo in Ireland,
Agnesl in Latvia and Petza in Belgium.

Great mail day 🙂

Sealing Wax & Seal Stamp

Today I was going through my old stuff and I came across this gem. It’s a rose seal stamp with some metallic red sealing wax. An old friend of mine brought it back for me after a trip to China. He knew that I loved to send mail. It was a thoughtful gift but, sadly, I’ve only used it once.

IMG_3438
I guess I should put it to good use more often, especially since there are loads of lovely colours available online! I have read, however, that red and black were once the two only acceptable colours. The history of this sealing stamp is quite interesting and it’s a shame that people don’t use it anymore.

IMG_3842

This impression is of a rose but there are many other designs, including a monogram of initials. It’s pretty easy to use but does take a bit of time. I imagine it would take ages to seal invitations to a wedding.

IMG_6919
The sealing stamp was considered one of the earliest forms of security. If the seal was broken that meant trouble… but now, it’s more of a decorative symbol that reminds us of a time long long ago. Can’t wait to try this out again and use it on some outgoing letters.

Versatile Blogger Award from Emma

versatile-award
Emma has nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award!
Thank you SO much Em!! 🙂

As Emma has said…”I know there are people out there who think that these ‘awards’ are stupid BUT they are fun and it’s great to be thought of; to know that someone likes your blog and to have your blog recognised by others.” I enjoy blogging and don’t mean to annoy anyone here. If you’ve been chosen it means that I think your blog is wonderful, and I hope you are able to accept it and spread the love.

By accepting the nomination you must:
1) Thank the person who nominated you and create a link back to their blog.
2) Share 7 things about yourself.
3) Nominate 15 other versatile bloggers.
4) Tell the bloggers that you nominated them.

7 things about myself: I’m a virgo. I love cake. I’ve visited a dozen different countries. I dislike shopping for clothes. Most of my wardrobe is black. I can’t sew or knit but I’d love to learn. My goal this year is to run a half marathon.

I nominate these incredible bloggers:
1. The Ink Road – Lots of DIY projects and stunning stationery
2. Days of Lyn – Food, stationery and weekend events with her very cute daughter
3. Cashmere Mouse – Fashion, beauty and travel
4. Paper, Planes and Pinot – Cards, travel and food
5. Readerly Geek – “Books, crafts and general geekery”
6. HeyJayel – Creative calligraphy, beautiful snapshots and travel recaps
7. Techie Princesa – Food, travel, crafts and an Etsy shop
8. Beauty and Blooms – gorgeous sweets and great beauty product reviews
9. A PMQ for two (and three pets) – Craft projets, DIY, printables and lovely home decor
10. Art á Ray – Incredible art of all kinds
11.  The Second Hand City – Vintage, DIY and recipes/cooking
12. Juxxtapose – Travel, craft projects and a wonderful Esty store
13. Shelley Makes –  Beautiful DIY handmade crafts and fun fashion finds
14. Scrappyness – “Scrapbooking, crafts and coping with anxiety”
15.  itsprettynice – Baked goods and amazingly cute DIY projects

Have a great week, everyone!