i could've slept late but woke up at 8am. i think my body hasn't yet adjusted to daylight saving time. i wasn't entirely free of obligations, i still had to go down to the cafe and defrost the freezer then dogsit hailey in belmont for the day. when i contacted my sister, she said that wasn't until next weekend. by that point i was already dressed and ate a grilled ham & cheese sandwich for breakfast. it's been 5 days since i've been on the bike and my legs felt tired as i pedaled down to the cafe. weather didn't help either: temperature was in the lower 30's but with a strong breeze that made the wind chill feel like the 20's. it took a long time to defrost, and there were still a few ice patches that i couldn't melt no matter how long i blasted it with a blowdryer. i also emptied a full pan of drip water, managing to pour most of it on myself while i tried to maneuver it out of the freezer, narrowly getting electrocuted from all the extension cords on the floor. i returned home afterwards.

back at home i got started on my korean kimchi, since it takes a few hours for the vegetables to reduce. i briefly went to star market to get some garlic and a fruit tray i'd eyed hungrily the last time i was there.

kimchi march 2018(4.5x 1 qt. pickle jars)

6.83 lbs. napa cabbage
2.16 lbs. daikon radish
5 tbsp fine salt
2 tbsp salted shrimp paste
12 tbsp red pepper powder
0.30 lbs. ginger, processed
2 heads of garlic, processed
1 asian pear, processed
15 thai hot peppers, chopped
2 bunches scallions, chopped

back in january 2017 i made what i thought was my most perfect kimchi recipe. a few months later i figured out the key portions per pound of vegetables: 0.54 tbsp of salt and 1.30 tbsp of hot pepper powder. i know how to make a bunch of fermented foods (sichuan paocai, sauerkraut, curtido, kimchi, kombucha) so sometimes i get them confused. like how i bought carrots when i don't need them for my korean kimchi recipe (i do use them for sichuan paocai).

korean kimchi is a little difficult to make compared to some of my other fermented foods because it needs ingredients that might be hard to come by in a typical supermarket. the main ingredient is napa cabbage, it won't work with anything else. i've seen napa sold at market basket on occasions, but always small and pricey compared to the ones you'd find in a chinatown supermarket. the other key ingredient is the red pepper powder. it's not the sort you'd find in a spice rack, because you need to get it in bulk since you'll need a lot of it. that's the sort of thing you would only find in an asian grocery store, although i've seen it in the international food section of some more larger well-stocked supermarkets. i also like to add daikon radish, and although you could substitute, a typical normal radish is simply too small. i've also been processing one asian pear into my kimchi, but there's no reason you can't use a crispy peeled apple instead, since you can't really taste it but the sweetness adds another layer of complexity. finally, good kimchi needs a little fishiness, which supposedly also speeds up the fermentation. i add that by using the shrimp paste, which is definitely an ingredient you will only find in an asian supermarket. but you could always substitute, like adding some raw oysters, anything to impart a slight fish taste.

ingredient-wise i was following the same as last time, except i didn't have garlic chives so i used scallions, and didn't have an asian pear so i used an apple. however, when i was down at the cafe earlier, my 2nd aunt just happened to have an old asian pear she didn't want anymore.

i cut the napa cabbages into squares (removing the core) and cubed the peeled daikon radish. the napa cabbage were the right size (not too large) which made cutting easier. i had about 9 lbs. total worth of vegetables, about the same amount as the last few times i made kimchi, so i used the same portion of salt to reduce, 5 tbsp. if i really wanted to be accurate, the exact portion is (6.83 lbs. napa + 2.16 lbs. daikon) * 0.54 tbsp of salt = 4.85 tbsp total. so roughly 5 tbsp. wearing a glove (i learned my lesson when i made sauerkraut yesterday) i mixed the vegetables and salt and left it to reduce in the 20 qt. stock pot for the next 6 hours.

even with the clouds we still managed to set a new production record for the month of march: 35.54 kWh. tomorrow (and the day after) is supposed to be a cold and cloud-free day, i expected us to reach an overall production record, 40kWh+. one thing i noticed when i stack all the production data for the past week is production can potentially be plateaued from 10am to all the way to 3:15pm. that's 5 hours of peak production, which in itself would produce about 31.5 kWh of electricity. adding the head and tail, i'm hoping to be impressed by tomorrow's numbers.

i returned to my kimchi by 8pm. throughout the day i stirred the vegetables to help with the reduction. first thing i did was to remove the cabbage juice. i managed to get about a quart of liquids. then i prepared the ingredients for the food processor: asian pear (removing the bitter core), ginger (peeled slight though not necessary), and garlic. i processed them in halves since my processor isn't very big. next i chopped the scallions and frozen thai chili peppers. into the stock pot went all the ingredients, along with 2 tbsp of shrimp paste and 12 tbsp of red pepper powder.

wearing gloves again, mixed all the ingredients, then stuffed them into pickle jars. i managed to stuff 4-1/2 jars of korean kimchi. i put them on lasagna trays with the jars slightly opened. they will ferment in my kitchen for the next 3 days, or until they begin leaking. that's when i'll seal the jars tightly and put them in the refrigerator to slow the fermentation process.

elsewhere, on the sauerkraut front, the sichuan sauerkraut seems to be fermenting well judging from the airlock. but there's no activity in the traditional sauerkraut airlock, though i've noticed juices already already leaked into the bowl. this jar is so compacted with sauerkraut there's just no space for the air to escape through the airlock so it vented from the side of the lid instead. i opened it up to further compress the sauerkraut before tightening it back up again.

for dinner i made another grilled cheese and ham sandwich. i watched the weekend rebroadcast of two new ABC shows, deception and for the people. deception reminds me of castle, serious lady cop (in this case lady FBI agent) paired up with not-so-serious writer (in this case a magician) who can help out with investigations. it's a played out formula (all the way to the days of moonlighting) but i still like it. i really like the actress who plays the FBI agent, ilfenesh hadera. i couldn't remember where i know her from until i realized it was from the baywatch movie. as for for the people, it's another shonda rhimes produced drama. i don't watch an shonda rhimes shows, but i do know her reputation. this show really wasn't on my radar, but i've been a fan of britt robertson since her swingtown (2008) and life unexpected (2010-2011) days, so i was game. the premiere episode turned out to be pretty good, sets up a little relational drama that rhimes is famous for. so i guess i have 2 new shows i'll be following.

good news on the weather front: it looks more and more likely that next week's nor'easter will push out to sea and not affect us directly. we have this cold snap to thank, all this high pressure is keeping the low pressure storm front from hitting us.

i think the next time i make kimchi, i'm going to try the maangchi recipe to make baechu-kimchi using a homemade kimchi paste. i like the kimchi i make, but i'd like to up my game, explore some other kimchi variety and methods. the one thing i noticed in her recipe is she only uses a little bit of ginger, while i use a lot.