Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kimchi Making, take 2

You all know that song, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....."  Right?  I'm sure it's playing in your heads a lot these days, with Thanksgiving done and over and Christmas screaming from every store.

Well over on this side of the world, it goes something more like this:  "It's beginning to smell a lot like Kimchi, everywhere you go....."

This time of year is kimchi making season and the smell of fermenting cabbage, onions, garlic and red chili peppers is permeating the air.  Not exactly peppermint and pine, I know.

Remember this?  We had our all-church, 2 day kimchi making for the needy in the community again this year.  We had a good time, check out the pictures below and you can do your own comparison from last year!

Since I somewhat knew what to expect this year and I wasn't reeling at the sight of more cabbage and raddishes than I ever knew to exist in one place at one time and since I knew more of the people this year, I actually gleaned a lot more information on kimchi making than I did last year.  I'll impart my new found wisdom, in case there are any aspiring kimchi-makers reading.

Piles of cabbages stacked high outside the church, each needing to be washed, chopped and salted.

The red container is full of salt, salt is added as a preservative to help as it ferments.

This is Josh, one of the youth.  His dad is a pastor on the Korean side but he spend the first ten years of his life in the States while his dad attended seminary.  In many ways, he is American although his citizenship is Korean.  Now he is back in Korea, figuring out the whole TCK thing. Many of the young adults Steve works with are in a TCK (Third Culture Kid) type situation, where they are partly Korean or partly American or partly both in some way or another and/or they've moved around most there life and feel they are really from "nowhere." It's a tough place to be, I can certainly relate to that.  Anyway, during Kimchi making he played several key roles, one of which included sitting on top of the kimchi pile (yes it was high enough to climb up and sit on) and throwing lightly tossing the cabbages down to the ladies below who were chopping.

Above, ladies peeling and cleaning green onions.

That's a lot of raddishes, folks!

"Uh, mom.....lots of onions!"

"I need to step outside and take a break to process all that green stuff....."

Fish soup for lunch break.

And "Pop" (Korean for rice)

That's red pepper, not blood, no worries.

Above you can see the bags of veggies waiting to be mixed with the pepper fish sauce

Mixing the ingredients (above) that will be stuffed into the cabbages (below)

Pictured above is Rock.  You can pray a thousand blessings on Rock's head.  He has been truly so kind and so good and so patient and so gracious with us.  He has been the one person from the church who has seriously helped us do about everything - from setting up our internet, to getting bank accounts, to getting phones, figuring out what our bills and mail mean, calling our landlord, running us around to do visa things etc etc etc.  He is so patient!!  Bless him, we are thankful for him!

Then the kimchi is portioned off and placed in bags and then packaged into boxes (where it ferments)

And is delivered by cute delivery boys.


  1. This was truly fun, you have truly grown in the year past, it shows! Do they cook the cabbage before stuffing? Just curious! Do you like Kimchi yet? Dad remembers it fondly from his time there. I want to visit more than ever!

  2. Finally am caught up on your blog! I love all your posts, reading about your life there is so fascinating, and you do such a fun job of telling it! Praying for you often dear friend!