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Kimchi Making by the Mountains II

If you haven’t yet, start here: Kimchi Making by the Mountains I.

All the  fruits and vegetables were laid out prepared waiting to be chopped, sliced and juiced: spring onions, radishes, apples, pears, onions, ginger, garlic and Korean greens.

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I never gave thought to the sheer amount of kimchi that would be made. Three hours of the morning were spent solely on preparing the kimchi sauce. It was made in a giant red kimchi tub. I’m not exaggerating when I say three people could comfortably bathe in this tub. I don’t know the weights of above but I’m going to throw around some numbers now that made up the liquid component of sauce. Prepare to say ‘holy moly’.

salt water brine – 20 litres. Juiced apples, pears, onions and ginger – 35 litres. Anchovy sauce – 10 litres. Soy sauce – 2 litres. Honey – 8 litres. Japanese apricot juice – 5 litres. Rice powder gruel – 6 litres. Red chilli flakes – 30 kilos. Rock salt – 6 kilos. Crushed garlic – 5 kilos. Teeny tiny prawns – 4 kilos. That plus the cabbages, ladies and gentlemen amounts to 500+kilos of kimchi.

Here is a video of the sauce being made. Bobby was a machine and mixed it the whole time, he got a great arm workout in that day.

The aunts all took turns dipping their fingers in and tasting the sauce at different times. The cabbages that had been soaking in the salt brine from the day before, were bought in by wheelbarrows. While everyone took a break playing outside, the oldest uncle lined the tables with plastic cover and set out large flat trays that were then piled with sauce. Chestnuts, mandarins and quince tea were all heated on the fire lid, served and then it was back to work.

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Aproned and gloved, it began. An hour in and the back was aching and the sight of never-ending cabbages had me straining to smile. Every leaf is separated and sauce is rubbed in on both sides. My full respect goes out to the Korean women and foreign daughter-in-laws that partake in this yearly. They’re so strong! When the last of the sauce was scraped from the tub I rushed my last cabbage and ripped my hands free from the gloves.

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We ate pieces of the fresh kimchi with boiled pork slices for a late lunch. Fatigued, I forgot about taking pictures, it wasn’t pretty anyways, but very tasty, especially after the hard labour. We then went with Bobby’s cousin to where we’d be sleeping for the night, took some pictures and went back to the farm.

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The uncle took three of the chickens from the yard and the aunt prepared 닭볶음탕’dak-bokk-eum-tang’.  It’s a spicy stew with chicken and potatoes served with rice and side dishes. Bobby and I hid in the room with the heated floor, recouping with a nap until called for dinner. It was definitely an experience. Work aside, I liked watching him and his family be together and the communal feeling plus it was awesome to eat so much food. It made me miss my family and want to bake with my mum.

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Do you partake in food harvesting/gatherings with your family or friends? Make and eat some kimchi, it’s great for gut health.

Happy eating – Chan and Bob

모든 재료들은 깨끗이 씻어져 무는 강판에 갈고, 쪽파와 갓은 잘게 썰고, 사과, 배, 양파, 생강, 마늘은 믹서에 갈아 주스를 내어 엄청 큰 고무 다라에 고춧가루, 매실액, 새우젓, 멸치액젓, 꿀, 간장, 소금, 물과 함께 한데 모아 휘휘 저어 섞고 양념을 만든 후 썰어놓은 무와 쪽파를 다시 넣고 한번더 섞어 줍니다. 이때 뭉쳐져 있는 고춧가루는 저어주면서 잡히는대로 손으로 계속 잘게 부숴줘야 합니다. 또한 섞어 주는것도 상당히 힘든데요, 특히 쪽파와 무를 넣었을 때는 재료간의 점성이 더 강해져 손으로 섞는게 힘이 참 많이 들어갑니다. 진짜 거짓말 조금 보태서 하루 종일 섞은 듯 싶습니다. 하하

김장을 할때는 맛을 보는 것을 빼 놓을 순 없는데요, 쉔텔은 그게 참 재미 있었나 봅니다. 이모들께서 손가락이나 절임배추를 쭉 찢어서 딥핑소스처럼 찍어 먹는 것을 말이지요. 물론 손가락으로 찍어 먹고 그 손가락을 다시 넣으시진 않습니다. 하하

점심은 돼지 목심을 푹 삶아서 만든 수육과 방금 만든 김치. 김치에 싸서 먹는 수육은 역시나 일품이었습니다. 점심을 먹고 이모부들과 사촌동생 한명을 데리고 나가 족구를 한게임 즐긴후 다시 일이 시작되었는데요, 이번에는 다 만든 양념을 김치 속에 넣어 양념을 하는 과정이었습니다. 그전까지만 해도 온가족이 다모여 일하는 거라며 재밌어요!! 재밌어요!! 하며 연신 감탄사를 내며 재미 있어하던 쉔텔이 이제 안 재밌어요 T-T 라고 울상을 지으며 지쳐 나가 떨어질 정도의 오랜 시간을 필요로 하는 순간 이었지요. 김치 몇백 포기를 만드는게 말처럼 쉬운게 아니더군요. 저도 조금 힘들었습니다. 아니 좀 많이요 하하.

김장이 끝나고 숙소를 미리 둘러보러 갔는데요. 저도 저곳은 처음 올라가 본 곳이라 그 운치가 남 달랐습니다. 조용하고 아름다운 마을에 저런 멋진 목조 집이라니. 나중에 저도 저런 집을 한채 갖고 싶군요.

이모부께서 손수 손질하신 토종닭 3마리. 크기도 크기지만 육질이 정말 남달랐습니다. 일반 시중에서는 맛 볼수 없는 굉장한 식감의 토종닭과 이모들중 최고의 손맛을 자랑하는 셋째이모의 요리 솜씨와 만나 그야말로 꿀맛나는 닭볶음탕을 저녁으로 먹었는데요, 이렇게 온가족이 모여 맛있는 식사를 하며 함께 좋은 시간을 공유함에 감사했습니다. 때문에 쉔텔은 집 생각이 많이 났다고 하더군요.

여러분도 온가족이 모인 순간을 좋아 하시나요?

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