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I’ve been stockpiling cabbage – green, red and won bok – for fermenting. It’s super easy and fun. The process is forgiving and you can be creative as you go. I pull all the vege that I want in the ferments and look for other flavor add ins.

Today the kim chee contains won bok, chives, green onions, ginger, garlic, jalapeno pepper and carrots. The first photo is the chopped up veggies. The second is after salting and macerating with gochugaru.

The sauerkraut ingredients are green cabbage, red cabbage, preserved lemon, thinly sliced lemon (with rind), pink peppercorns and jalapeno. Again the first photo shows the chopped veggies, the next after macerating.

Here’s a photo of the finished ferments. I’ll burp them daily to release excess gas and taste. Then they go in the fridge for consumption. Yum!

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I just returned from a wonderful trip to California. I love exploring on foot taking photos with my iPhone.

This site before arriving at Asilomar State Park took my breath away. I will never ever get over the beauty of the ocean. It just hits me in the gut.

This site before arriving at Asilomar State Park took my breath away. I will never ever get over the beauty of the ocean. It just hits me in the gut.

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Asilomar is a magical spot on the ocean – gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, sunsets, cypress and deer wandering the property.

And then exploring Pacific Grove – adorable colorful homes and shops.

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I came across a Tibetan meditation center in a residential area. Never would have seen this had I not been on foot.

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An adorable Farmer’s Market on Monday night. The produce was amazing!

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Really enjoyed dinner at Jeninni. The menu was interesting and service was great. I had the crispy octopus, but I think it was not the best choice. Littleneck clams in a broth were fresh and delicious.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/jeninni-kitchen-and-wine-bar-pacific-grove

Having a great Sunday. Cleared out the vegetable bin and made two kinds of kraut.

The one on the right contains cabbage, carrots, garlic, lemon, salt, dill and pink peppercorns. Itʻs a tiny batch…itʻs better that way. I use the entire lemon in thin slices. The salt will preserve and soften the skin and make it delish. I used my momʻs old Japanese pickle pot for it. The other kraut contains red cabbage, beets, carrots, red onion, garlic, lemon, salt, pink peppercorns and horseradish. Just have to give it four or more days to ferment. I love burping them every day.

In the background, are prints that I just got back from the lab. Itʻs the first time Iʻve printed on metal and love the result. Tomorrow they will be submitted for a juried show at the Honolulu Museum of Art…keeping my fingers crossed that one of them will be accepted.

Yesterdayʻs veg bin, todayʻs kraut

Yesterdayʻs veg bin, todayʻs kraut

 Saimin is on the top of July list for comfort food. It was my favorite childhood dish that my family made, that I ate in restaurants with my grandmother. Chewy noodles and salty broth with various fixings – kamaboko(fish cake…the pink and white kind), scallions, sliced spam, won bok or char siu.

This version from Da Kitchen is the best one I’ve found in Maui. Maui is better known for dry saimin where the broth is served on the side. While this version is pricey, there were a lot of extra toppings. The broth tasted more like shoyu flavor than pork/shrimp found in most saimin.

Also Da Kitchen lacks the old style feeling of saimin places left over from the plantation days in Hawaii. The saimin was okay, but Da Kitchen won’t be a must stop like Hamura’s on Kaua’i is. 

While on a job on Kaua’i, I stumbled upon Makai Sushi, a sushi counter located in a local grocery store. The owner/sushi chef was super cute and friendly. He also served delicious fresh sushi. The menu was limited to a few items done well. I had the hapa roll, meaning half. The ahi/blue crab combo could be ordered as a hand roll, a regular roll or a bowl. It was fresh and delicious as Matt made everything to order.

  
  

It’s Easter and the Farmer’s Market in Kailua was open. Yay! Easter egg hunt going on and it was alive!
As usual, I went overboard with purchases. I’ve wanted to share
the things I’ve discovered that help to keep my purchases fresh. It makes me so sad when I have to waste any of the beautiful verge and I’ve wasted a lot of vegetables because I overbuy. Through trial and error, I’ve come up ways to keep the waste to a minimum and making vegetable last.

Let’s talk about kale. I found a humongous bunch for $3. It’s the curly kale that I love in raw salads. It’s also my favorite kind of kale to put in kalua and cabbage. I usually use turkey, regular cabbage and kale.

First thing you need is a big stainless steel town – big enough to hold a sizable amount of vegetables, but a size that will fit in the sink.
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First you strip the leaves from the thick stems and fill the stainless bowl with them. Then rinse several times. If there are any bruised, soggy or brown leaves, remove them now.
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They will make the kale go off. I feed the stems to our composting worms. I’ve tried to pickle them, but didn’t like the pickle. If anyone has a way to use them, please share!

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Strain the water off well. Drops should still remain on the leaves. A must have for storage of huge amounts of greens are two gallon storage bags and dish towels. I love flour sacks best.
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Pile the leaves up in the towel and wrap the whole thing like a burrito. Keep one leaf out to use to identify the bundle. Put the whole thing in the storage bag with the extra leaf in the bag. That leaf will tell you that it’s kale in that bag. If you have other greens in the fridge, you won’t have to open and unwrap each bag to know what they contain.
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Now this bundle is ready for you anytime you need kale. It lasts over a week in our fridge.

Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Birthday, Buddha!