KimChi, KimJang, and Me - 김치, 김장, 그리고 나 :-D

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Cold wind smashed Korea in winter season every year. In provision to nurture all family members during that season when vegetables and most food materials are rare or not available, housewife prepared massive amount of KimChi right before the start of winter season.

Traditionally, she had sole authority to call for all the resources available around her to complete this task critical to family in survival :) Radishes as well as Chinese cabbage, the base material for KimChi, are selected from market with the sophisticated and experienced way accumulated from her own family history. She picks carefully chilly flour, raw oyster, shrimp both in raw and salted, and others from family specific recipe.

Husband, male relatives, and grown-up children take ownership to provide physical labor to carry them from market to wherever she wants to put them. Male group usually takes the ownership simply to wash, shred, and cut them whereas female group has initiative to mix them into big bowl to form KimChi, to control the process by tasting byproduct, and finally to pack the KimChi to fit into pottery available at home. Finally, male group will put the packed KimChi into pottery buried in the backyard.

This process requires usually two days with utmost mobilization of human resources as mentioned, KimChi materials newly purchased, and kitchen utensils from the smallest knives to biggest water tank at her home. This collaborative process makes family members have a chance to improve their relationship each other with close contact and communication.

However, thanks to recent green house effect resulting in relatively high temperature in winter season and invariable availability of food material with the help of high-tech cultivation, it decreased the amount of KimChi to be prepared around this season. KimJang, meaning this special KimChi making process this, does not necessitate big fussy any more. A certain home may not do KimChang, either. Or, in some cases also with me, housewife covers KimChi only for short term not to make it sour at the end of winter season. She will make more or buy factory-made one then.

Anyway, I was engaged in KimJang process yesterday! Photo shot below shows what I carried from market. Oh my muscles! You may peek more from here about what I had done and materials pre-processed.