Since arriving back on the peninsula in June I have wanted to learn to make kimchi.  Something I NEVER thought I would say a few years back!  You see kimchi is something many American will turn their nose to and say "OH YUCK...I don't want to eat something that has been put into an urn and buried for awhile so it can turn rotten."  And to be honest, before I moved to Korea the first time back in 2008 I said the same thing.   It's amazing what living in a country and opening your mind, heart and taste buds can do for a person.  I will admit that it took a long time for me to like cabbage kimchi (I liked the cucumber and bean sprout kimchi right off the bat) and I had to try cabbage kimchi many times before I could actually say I liked it, but I think that has more to do with the cabbage than the kimchi.  AND there are many different types of kimchi - there is the kimchi that most American's think of - the type that is fermented, it takes about 2 weeks to prepare, but most Korean's don't bury it anymore, they have Kimchi Refrigerators they put it in.  That is right a refrigerator dedicated to JUST KIMCHI so the smell and the taste doesn't seep into your other foods.  (And I have recently just learned that a kimchi refrigerator is very much needed as our piano teacher brought us a bunch of this type of kimchi and our entire house smelled of kimchi until it was all gone.)  Another type of kimchi is fresh kimchi - this is my favorite type of kimchi.  Fresh, you make it, you eat it.  No fermentation required. 

SO, when I heard there was a kimchi making trip to help the orphans and elderly I was in!  On November 7th I hopped on a bus and headed to  Paju, South Korea to help make 6,000 heads of kimchi!  I was totally psyched - I get to learn to make kimchi and I get to help people in need!  It's a win, win!
 
As soon as we arrived Stanley and I got dressed in our green apron and pink gloves and headed straight to work!
This is the line I worked on.  Sweet little Korean ajummas were showing me how to open the leaves and pat them down with the filling....
This is the filling stuff you put in between the cabbage leaves.
While I was working this lady came into our line and worked right beside me.  She had a camera crew following her around, turns out she is the wife of some big wig - maybe equivalent to a mayor - anyway, she worked by me for a little while, I met her and her hubby and who knows, maybe I was on Korea TV....
Quality control.
The kimchi we made was D E L I C I O U S ! While we were working people kept putting food out on the kimchi table - they put out steamed pork and before I knew what was happening the ajumma I was working beside was wrapping some up in the fresh made kimchi and shoved it in my mouth!  Yum-o! I loved every second of it! 
My work here is done.
Even though I had a GREAT time and am very happy to have helped those in need, I still don't know how to make kimchi!  They had everything prepared before we arrived - I just helped put it together.
Rob
12/15/2012 03:10:57 pm

That looks like fun! Cool story.

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Liz
12/16/2012 06:21:09 am

***Disclaimer: it may look like pineapple but it does NOT taste like pineapple

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