Skimming Deep

Searching, traveling, talking, reflecting, and exploring. Read along with me as I continue on my journey through life.

Tag: CSA

S is for “Success!”

Being Korean American, I grew up eating kimchee.  It was just a part of meals every night, and I didn’t really think much about it.  I liked it, didn’t LOVE it, didn’t hate it, just liked it.  Took it for granted.

After I moved out on my own, I realized how much I had developed a taste for my mom’s kimchee.  I’m sure every Korean kid says that (at least if they like kimchee), they like their mom’s best (if their mom makes kimchee, that is).  And it might not even be that great, but you get used to it after eating it for 18 years of your life!

When I moved to Boston, I just ate less kimchee because Korean food in Boston is pretty bad, so I just didn’t go to Korean restaurants; Korean grocery stores’ kimchee wasn’t quite right– I’d try buying some and I would never finish it because I didn’t like that taste; and most of my friends were not Korean, so I didn’t feel the need to eat it as much– I was mostly eating Chinese and Vietnamese food.

Also, my mom stopped making kimchee for awhile, so even when I went to visit my parents, I didn’t eat a lot of kimchee.  In recent years, though, she picked up making it again, and I’ve been having cravings for her kimchee, which is amazing, by the way.  I’ve been on the hunt around here for good kimchee, and once found it at Koreana, a local Korean restaurant, and I bought a container of it after eating there one night.  But since then (that was about a year ago!) I’ve been on the hunt.

My mom has tried teaching me how to make kimchee many times throughout the years, but I think I just had a mental block.  Kimchee is like the holy grail of Korean cooking!  I’ve learned the basic soups and dishes that I like, so I can replicate those things, but KIMCHEE!!!!  I’ve just been afraid to try.

But about a month ago, I went to visit a friend (who isn’t Korean, not even Asian!!) who has loved kimchee since I and some other Korean friends in college introduced her to it.  She was craving it one time, and she looked up a recipe online and made it!  That astounded me!  How did a non-Korean person sit down and make some kimchee?!?!?!  So when I went to visit, she said she had some cabbage, and asked if we could make it together.  I brought a recipe that my mom had given me, and we did it.  And it wasn’t as hard as I thought!  I left that batch at her place, but it did LOOK right, so I figured it must TASTE right, too!

Last week, I got a cabbage in my CSA, and so I set out to make kimchee again.  This time on my own!

And, voila, SUCCESS!  A hurdle jumped over!  A mountain climbed!  A bucket list item checked off!

This year has been full of accomplishments like this:

  • doing handstands against the wall in yoga for the first time ever!  This was last summer.
  • traveling abroad alone for the first time– to Paris back in March.
  • quitting my job and setting out to travel!
  • playing keyboard in a band and improvising a bit.  I’m classically trained and never thought I had what it takes to play pop music on keys!
  • starting a blog!

It’s been an amazing year– I’m coming up on my birthday, and I must say that a lot’s happened in the last 12 months.  And a lot more to come!

P.S. Here’s the recipe that my mom sent me through email one time for making kimchee.  I’ve left in all her grammatical idiosyncrasies:

How to make kimchee
1. wash the bae choo (cabbage)
2. Cut to bite size
3. put in salty brine water and take out let it stay in the salty condition for 3 hours

for one gallon kimchee
chop garlic for one gallon need one whole garlic
2 or 3 medium bae choo
one bunch scallion chop one inch
ginger 2 teaspoon
sugar 1/3 cup
salt 1/4 cup to taste right amount
little shrimp in brine two table spoon chop extra fine
fish sauce 3 table spoon
red ground pepper 1/3 cup to taste wash the wilted bae choo in clean water 2 times
drain water very well.

mix above and put in jar and push down lightly. pray that this kimchee be tasteful. very important. I pray to God , Jesus, Mary , Pancratio, Agnes, Sophia, Philip, Paul and to all the saints.
Winter time need 2 to 3 days to fermentate. summertime 1 to 2 days
every morning you push down lightly to have the juice cover the bae choo.
when you take out kim chee, do not mix top to underneath. it ruin the taste of freshness.

P is for “Packing”

It had to start sooner or later. When one leaves the country, packing is an inevitable step in the process.


I hate packing.  At one point in my life, I was packing and moving every year– that started when I entered college and then didn’t stop until about nine years ago and then it became more sporadic.  But in the last year, I’ve had to pack and move a few times.  I’m ready for it to end!  But alas, it is not to be for another while until I figure out where I end up after my travels…

So here’s the first step– packing up part of my kitchen.  That yielded 11 boxes.  Along with a few pieces of furniture and my bike.  This first batch will be stored at a friend’s house in Pembroke.

The bulk of my boxes will be books, I think.  That comes next.  And then the rest of my kitchen (the perishables mainly).  And the random things that don’t fit any category (how does that always end up being so much, too?).  My files, which I’m trying to purge most of, since you can get things like bank statements and credit card bills online these days.  And finally my clothes which are going with me cross country in my car.

Each time I pack, I try to get rid of things.  But I manage to keep accumulating at the same time.  Stop the madness!!

Thanks to the help of my friend, today’s packing was pretty painless.  And we rewarded ourselves with a yummy dinner:

Lots of CSA goodness– hers and mine. Caprese salad, sauteed eggplant with basil, and shiso with her own yummy concoction of ginger, apple, pine nuts, soy sauce, sesame oil, and red pepper.  Tasty!

I can’t believe it’s only two weeks before I leave.  Where did the time fly to?  I still have a number of things to do (here comes a list!):

  • set my change of address with the postal service.
  • confirm my first WWOOF site in New Zealand (no one’s responding to my emails!  I’m getting a little worried…).
  • pack and store the rest of the my stuff in various friends’ basements.
  • get my bank accounts, credit cards, and debit cards set for use.
  • fill my car tires with air.
  • sell off some furniture that I’m not going to keep.
  • eat the rest of the food in my fridge and freezer!
  • pack up stuff at my office and finish that transition.
  • prepare good bye gifts and cards for everyone that I want.

Deep breath.

I’m going to yoga tomorrow.  That will help get me centered again.

#21: CSA and Fresh Veggies

I’ve bought a share from a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm for several years.  And this year I’m doing it again with a friend.  I love the idea of being a “shareholder” of a farm, helping the farmers continue their farming by buying their crops.  And it’s a great way to get locally grown produce.  This is the one that my friend and I are supporting: World PEAS Cooperative.  Got a slew of greens this week.

Swiss chard, garlic scapes, snowpeas, lettuce, collard greens, some kind of radish, and herbs.  Oh my! (don’t mind the Pop Tarts box in the corner!)

I’m really into this local economies kind of living– food, communal living, shared child care (though I don’t have kids), sharing of things rather than private ownership of things (like cars, garden and yard tools, washers/dryers, other big equipment that you don’t use on a regular basis).  I saw this TED talk once about the concept of “share”-ing things– she calls it “the Mesh.”  If only people’s mentality could encompass this idea that we don’t each need to own our things.  What would it take to wean us off the idea of private ownership?  What would this mean?

  • When things are broken, we work together to fix them.
  • We can potentially buy things that are more expensive, maybe better quality because multiple people pitch in to buy that thing.  Maybe that thing lasts longer.
  • We create a culture of co-dependence where it’s not just me living in my own place with my own things, but we have to communicate with others and create a system of sharing and accountability.
  • People would have to talk with others.

Is another world possible?

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