Summer Kimchi

The Sacred Gardener, preparing for making kimchi| By Megan Spencer |

The garden’s abundance these days is awe-inspiring, and incredibly gorgeous.

It’s a tremendous joy to look down at our plates, knowing that most of what we’re eating came from the land we work with, a simple profound beauty. Steven planted tons of pak choi this year, and we have eaten a lot fresh, but can see that it’s going to set up to bolt soon, so then we decide: Should we blanch and freeze it for the winter, or should we make a kimchi? I’ve been eyeing all that green goodness out there and craving fermented foods, so Kimchi it is!

Steven harvested it all for me, and I set up to prepare the Kimchi. I chopped it up in good sized chunks the way we like it, with some of our newly cured garlic and a couple of hungarian peppers, one still yellow, one turned red. These peppers have a sweet mellow flavour, with a mild heat to them, we use them in everything this time of year.

After that I put it all in a giant bowl, mixed it up and added salt to taste. I’ve done this enough to know what we like for flavour, and what’s enough to keep the kimchi from going bad, or too soft (usually we eat it up before this happens). The salt draws the juices from the veggies out, then I packed it in a gallon jar. I push it down enough to make sure there’s no air in it, and the veggies are under the brine that was created from the water drawn out by the salt. I leave it on the counter with a cloth over top for a few days to a week, tasting it daily, watching for the bubbles running up the sides of the jar. When the flavours combine in a way we find divine, we move it to the fridge to keep it at that stage longer. Then we feast!