i had a long list of things to do today: get some asian pears at malden 88, visit the nearby wendy's there for lunch, go to home depot, pick up my prescriptions, make my kimchi, and go to belmont to move in the plants.

in the late morning i started making my kimchi. first step was digging up the recipe from old blog postings. it seems i haven't made kimchi at all this year; the last time was november 2019 (i did however make sichuan paocai at the beginning of the year i also made sichuan paocai the next day). the last time i made kimchi i created a glutinous rice broth based hot pepper flake paste that i added to the salted vegetables. all the ingredients were there for an epic kimchi, but after 2 weeks it still didn't taste very good. it was only after it had time to age more did the sour fermentation flavor and complexity really came through.

next i weighed my vegetables ingredients. by coincidence i had about the same amount of napa cabbage and daikon radish compared to last time, so i basically followed the exact same steps. i took an inventory of the other ingredients and noticed i was nearly out of diamond fine salt, my preferred salt of choice for fermentation.

i took the bike to star market to look for salt. they didn't have the diamond crystal fine salt that i wanted, but i was prepared for that outcome. i then biked to walgreens to pick up my prescriptions before stopping by market basket to look for my salt. they too didn't have it, so i ended up grabbing a container of morton salt (non-iodinized). when i came home i saw i already had a full container of morton salt in the cupboard. in hindsight, i think both supermarkets carried the fine salt, just that diamond crystal changed the packaging, and now the fine salt comes in a cardboard box (labeled as kosher fine salt) instead of the normal rounded salt dispenser.

i had lunch before continuing with the kimchi. i made an english muffin with egg, prosciutto, and arugula. it could've used a shot of sriracha sauce.

mak kimchi (막김치)
(6x 1 qt. pickle jars)

8.67 lbs. napa cabbage
2.32 lbs. daikon radish
6 tbsp fine salt
4 tbsp kosher salt

3 cup water
1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
1/4 cup brown sugar

2 heads of garlic, processed
1 asian pear (0.57), processed

0.31 lbs. garlic chives, chopped
0.18 lbs. ginger, julienned
1.44 lbs. carrots, julienned
15 thai hot peppers, chopped

3 tbsp salted shrimp paste
2.5 cups red pepper powder
1/2 cup fish sauce

peel radish and cut into 3/4" cubes. chop napa cabbage into 2" squares. put radish/cabbage in large container and mix with salt. leave it to reduce for 8 hours, mixing periodically. after 8 hours drain the cabbage liquids. make glutinous rice porridge by adding rice flour to water. stirring continuously until porridge thicken and start bubbling, then add brown sugar and stir until semi-translucent. set aside to cool. chop garlic and peeled asian pear in good processor. chop garlic chives, peel and cut ginger and carrots into matchsticks, chop thai hot peppers. once rice porridge properly cooled, pour into large mixing bowl and combine all the ingredients, adding the salted vegetables last. bottle into jars, leave jars with lids slightly opened in large pan outside until liquids begin to pour out from fermentation. close lids and put in refrigerator.

after cutting the radish into cubes and cabbage into squares, i added them to a mixing bowl. once again, a single bowl isn't large enough, so i had to split the portions into halves. i added 3 tbsp of fine salt to each (i had just enough fine salt left). after mixing the vegetables, i left them to reduce, coming back every half hour or so to mix the vegetables again. while reading some old blog postings, i learned the last batch of kimchi wasn't salty enough. also the recipe i was following online, manngchi used 1 cup (16 tbsp!) of salt. of course she rinsed her vegetables afterwards, something i don't do. so as a compromise i ended up adding 4 more tbsp of salt, 2 tbsp per mixing bowl. i didn't have any finer salt so i used kosher salt instead.

while my kimchi vegetables were reducing, i was free to run other errands. i wanted to go to the malden 88 supermarket. the only thing i needed there was an asian pear. i was going to use an apple, but my parents seem to think that adding an asian pear to the kimchi recipe will make all the difference, despite having so many other ingredients that it's impossible to taste the asian pear. still, it's a traditional ingredient (for me at least), and i had plenty of spare time in the afternoon to get it. when i called my mother, i realized i should try whole foods, they might have it, sparing me a trip to malden.

so i biked to the nearest whole foods, which is the one on beacon street. this would also allow me to qualify for a $10 off coupon on amazon prime day next week if i spent $10+. they did have asian pears. i then spent some time trying to buy $10 worth of groceries. they had organic cider at $7 a gallon, but if i wanted to get it to make apple jack, i'd need to buy 5 gallons, and at that price, it'd be cheaper just to buy apple jack from a liquor store than trying to make it myself. i got some organic turkey burgers which i thought were $8 but turns out to be $10. i also bought some fancy artisanal soap, figured $2-3 at most, but it was nearly $5 for a small square. i ended up spending $22 for 4-5 grocery items, and got scolded by one of the cashiers when i waited in the wrong line (i hardly ever shop at whole foods because it's so expensive).

i was going to go to belmont to move back inside the outdoor houseplants (temperature's supposed to get into the upper 30's tonight) but i decided to go in the evening, that way i can get some dinner out of it. renee had asked for my help to move a mattress out of her house and went to her place at 5pm. afterwards i rode the bike to my parents' place. motorcycle would've been quicker, but i didn't want to get stuck in traffic, and i could get some more much-needed exercise with the bicycle.

i moved the jasmines and gardenia into the sunroom and the cactuses and prayer plants into the basement, uttering a few choice swear words as some of those containers were heavy. i also tried to move the reed plant but it was just too heavy, so i filled the container with water, hopefully it'll act as an insulator. after tonight we can probably move the plants back outside, until next weekend, when the night time temperature will drop into the 40's.

my parents came home right when i was moving the final cactus. my father showed me the partially disassembled vitamix mixing blade assembly. he's going to replace the bearings and hopefully get it working again. after some chicken noodles for dinner, i biked back to cambridge, a night of kimchi making still awaited me. my new bike light actually went to yellow, which means it was below 50% capacity and that i needed to recharge it. nearing my house, i turned it up to 800 lumens, and the battery indicator went to red.

the vegetables had reduced enough that earlier i'd already mixed everything into a single bowl before i left. i poured out the liquids and set the reduced vegetables aside. i tasted a piece of cabbage, it was salty, but not crazy salty, i won't know if i salted too much until it's had some time to properly ferment.

i started making the glutinous rice porridge. i didn't get a good mix this time, and i had white lumps of glutinous rice flour mixed with the brown from the sugar. it wouldn't matter anyway once everything was mixed together. i left the porridge to cool while i chopped more vegetables.

i processed the asian pear and garlic, but julienned the ginger and carrots once i peeled them. that took a long time. i worked while watching the thursday night football game between the buccaneers and bears. more than once i cut into my fingernails. i think next time i'm going to julienne using my heavy duty food processor, which has a julienne attachment.

it was almost 10pm before i started mixing all the kimchi ingredients together. i started with the porridge, poured it into my largest stainless steel mixing bowl. the porridge looked really gross but tasted amazing (tapioca balls). it wasn't until i added the 2-1/2 cups of red pepper powder that it finally started to look like kimchi. it created a paste that looked remarkably like gojuchang. finally i added the salt-reduced vegetables. for that i wore gloves to properly mix all the ingredients. i then stuffed the kimchi into 6 jars, with a smaller 7th jar to hold the leftovers. it was almost 11pm when i finally finished making my kimchi.

brady lost the game in a failed comeback attempt. to make matters worse, he lost to nick foles, whom he lost to before in eagles superbowl.