Cabbage and kimchi

Saturday evening, I finally got around to harvesting my “Red Express” and “Gonzalez” cabbages.

I planted six of each variety, and all of them ended up forming heads. Most of the “Red Express” heads were much smaller than the “Gonzalez”, but I didn’t want them to bolt so I harvested everything all at once.

I didn’t weigh the total before I cleaned/chopped the cabbages, but I’m thinking it was somewhere around 12 pounds. The biggest cabbage – a large Gonzalez, weighed 1.5 pounds. Some of the Red Express were on the small side and likely weighed around half a pound. I’m assuming it’s safe to average out at one pound per cabbage.

After getting cleaned and cut up, I used this recipe to make 2 half-gallon jars of kimchi. I LOVE the stuff, but I have a hard time finding it without going on a sort of “treasure hunt” around the city. Because it’s fermented, it should keep for a long time in my fridge.

All of the probiotics in fermented food are really good for you. I even read recently that they can be effective with treating anxiety – something both of us struggle occasionally. It doesn’t hurt that the stuff is tasty as all get out :).

I know this is a more “Americanized” version of kimchi – I used regular red and green cabbage instead of traditional Napa cabbage, and I used cayenne pepper in place of Korean peppers. But I’m sure it will still taste great – the recipe seems pretty forgiving.

This is my first foray into fermenting, and while I’m a little nervous about the idea of something just sitting in my basement uncovered, I’m also a tad excited about it. It was so much easier and less sweltering to ferment than to water-bath can. Maybe I’ll try some fermented pickles this year, or some sauerkraut if I ever get around to starting some fall cabbage.

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