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"Where better to care for the soul than in the details of our daily lives?....The soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment. It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thought... An enchanted world is one that speaks to the soul, to the mysterious depths of the heart and imagination where we find value, love and union with the world around us. As mystics of many religions have taught, that sense of rapturous union can give a sense of fulfillment that makes life purposeful and vibrant." ~ Thomas Moore.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Making Kimchi

Hello Everyone,

Today I want to share something that I find to be extremely beneficial as a living food. The Asian people make this and eat it extensively. In our parts of the world we can recognize a version of it as what is called German sauerkraut, but this Kimchi is a Korean way of making it which is far more flavorful and is eaten with almost every meal. Their version is also very very very HOT or spicy as it is referred to but I like to be accurate: ''hot'' is peppery hot, and ''spicy'' is flavorful with many spices. Korean Kimchi is HOT!
But mine is not.

But you do NOT have to use any peppers or cayenne at all, I do it because I like it, but do what you like!

But Kimchi is alive or a living food because it has been fermented and is full of positive bacteria, which we need very much especially we here in the western parts of the world, where most of our foods are imported and whose nutrients are killed by processing, irradiating and packaging etc etc.
Kimchi is known in Korea for keeping obesity at bay, it is such a powerful living food digester. I think most Americans can benefit from this, as our digestion as been severely compromised as demonstrated by the very high levels of obesity in our country.....and the most common ailments are digestive, colon and abdomen disorders not just from the dead foods we eat every day, but from anti biotics and other drugs which compromise our natural bacterias and enzymes forever, yes forever. So we need to replace them as an eating discipline.

Some comments about Kim Chee from the internet:

Koreans eat so much of this super-spicy condiment (40 pounds of it per person each year) that natives say “kimchi” instead of “cheese” when getting their pictures taken. The reddish fermented cabbage (and sometimes radish) dish—made with a mix of garlic, salt, vinegar, chile peppers, and other spices—is served at every meal, either alone or mixed with rice or noodles. And it’s part of a high-fiber, low-fat diet that has kept obesity at bay in Korea. Kimchi also is used in everything from soups to pancakes, and as a topping on pizza and burgers.

Why to try it: Kimchi (or kimchee) is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, but its biggest benefit may be in its “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli, found in fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. This good bacteria helps with digestion, plus it seems to help stop and even prevent yeast infections, according to a recent study. And more good news: Some studies show fermented cabbage has compounds that may prevent the growth of cancer.


Different types of kimchi were traditionally made at different times of the year, based on when various vegetables were in season and also to take advantage of hot and cold seasons before the era of refrigeration. Although the advent of modern refrigeration — including kimchi refrigerators specifically designed with precise controls to keep different varieties of kimchi at optimal temperatures at various stages of fermentation — has made this seasonality unnecessary, Koreans continue to consume kimchi according to traditional seasonal preferences.

Dongchimi  is largely served during winter.

After a long period of consuming gimjang kimchi during the winter, fresh potherbs and vegetables were used to make kimchi. These kinds of kimchi were not fermented or even stored for long periods of time but were consumed fresh.

Summer radishes and cucumbers are summer vegetables made into kimchi, yeolmu kimchi  which is eaten in several bites. Brined fish or shellfish can be added, and freshly ground dried chili peppers are often used.

Baechu kimchi is prepared by inserting blended stuffing materials, called sok (literally inside), between layers of salted leaves of uncut, whole Napa cabbage. The ingredients of sok can vary, depending on the different regions and weather conditions. Generally, baechu kimchi used to have a strong salty flavor until the late 1960s when a large amount of myeolchijeot or saeujeot had been used.

Traditionally, the greatest varieties of kimchi were available during the winter. In preparation for the long winter months, many types of kimjang kimchi were prepared in early winter and stored in the ground in large kimchi pots. Today, many city residents use modern kimchi refrigerators offering precise temperature controls to store kimjang kimchi. November and December are traditionally when people begin to make kimchi; women often gather together in each other's homes to help with winter kimchi preparations.[15] "Baechu kimchi" is made with salted baechu filled with thin strips of radish, parsley, pine nuts, pears, chestnuts, shredded red pepper, garlic, and ginger.
Nutrition and health

South Koreans consume 40 pounds of kimchi per person annually, and many credit their nation's rapid economic growth in part to eating the dish.Kimchi is made of various vegetables and contains a high concentration of dietary fiber,] while being low in calories. One serving also provides over 50% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C and carotene. Most types of kimchi contain onions, garlic, and chilli peppers, all of which are salutary. The vegetables used in kimchi also contribute to its overall nutritional value. Kimchi is rich in vitamin A, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), calcium, and iron, and contains a number of lactic acid bacteria, among those the typical species Lactobacillus kimchii. Health magazine named kimchi in its list of top five "World's Healthiest Foods" for being rich in vitamins, aiding digestion, and even possibly reducing cancer growth.

A 2005 South Korean study found, however, that when eaten in large quantities, kimchi may increase the risk of gastric cancer, particularly among people with certain genetic traits.[25]

One study conducted by Seoul National University claimed that chickens infected with the H5N1 virus, also called avian flu, recovered after eating food containing the same bacteria found in kimchi. During the 2003 SARS outbreak in Asia many people believed that kimchi could protect against infection although there was no scientific evidence to support this belief, and kimchi sales rose by 40%. However, in May 2009, the Korea Food Research Institute, Korea’s state food research organization, said they had conducted a larger study on 200 chickens, which supported the theory that it boosts chickens' immunity to the virus.

I make this in my own way, not using any particular recipe but those ingredients which I personally like, and it works out beautifully. Mind you, this is a fermenting product and when in the home will create a very unpleasant odor as it is going through its natural fermentation process. When I first made it LOLOL, I could not believe the 'scent' and thought I'd NEVER eat anything that smelled that way, but I got over this initial ignorance and went through with it as everyone suggests. On the last day, the odors all gone, I opened the jar and smelled it and it smelled wonderful! A deep sigh my body felt, as it recognized in its own wisdom, the benefits of this product my nose was inhaling. I tasted it and was blown away! It was delicious! I am hooked for life and never run out of this and it lasts a LONG time in the refrigerator, up to a year or more without spoiling at all because it is magically fermented. I share with neighbors and most love it. I have to keep making it. :D

There are so many variations you can find them on the internet and youtube has alot so just choose your own preferences as along as you make it so that you love it.

So here is my recipe.....I get most ingredients from the organic market, or what I grow, or the Asian store.

~ One large head of napa cabbage.....cabbage is the main ingredient for most all kim chee or sauerkrauts.

~ I use what greens I have growing such a collards or kale.

~ 2 bunches of scallions.

~ 1 large daikon root, maybe one foot? but ''large'' is relative! I've seen some over 3 feet long! 

~ 2 heads of baby bok choy

~ 1 bunch of cilantro, or parsley or your choice of anything.

~ fresh minced garlic, maybe 6 large cloves?

~ fresh minced ginger, maybe 2 large tablespoons? I visualize what I want to use at the moment, no science.

~ red pepper flakes as much as I want....I like it a bit hot, not too hot like the Koreans! but maybe a teaspoon? is not alot for this huge bowl.

~ THE MAGIC INGREDIENT WHICH DOES ALL THIS WORK, High Quality Minerals otherwise known as ''Salt''!....I use Himalayan Pink Salt or Real Salt fat tablespoon per 2 cups of water. If you are going to err, err on the side of MORE SALT rather than less, it is also this salt which keeps impurities from forming. You are doing this for beneficial bacteria, not the negative ones, and the salt content keeps it clean.

~ 3 large mason jars or however many you need based on the quantity of veggies you have.

Those are the ingredients I've come to love.

Make this an afternoon job and be prepared to make this with love, the best ingredient of all. It really does taste better when made this way. Put on the music and sing and dance as you chop!

All ingredients must be rinsed of debris and drained. Then all cut into the same bite sized pieces. I put them all into a huge wooden bowl. Then I mix the salt in the distilled water and let it dissolve for a minute then add it to the bowl and mix mix mix with my hands. The smells are wonderful and you can eat this as a salad at this point actually! It is delicious. I then add this mixture to the perfectly clean large mason jars, then I fill those jars with the liquid from the bowl. The ginger and garlic will fall to the bottom and sit there, just make sure you mix it into the liquid and get it all evenly into the jars, however many you wind up having. That's it. After this I put rubber bands around the jars lids to keep them slightly open, so they are not closed tightly, this is a NO NO, because the fermenting gas needs to escape as it is fermenting into beneficial bacteria. So the jars need to remain slightly open. It is ready to be put into the cabinet to ferment for 10 days. Some leave it for only 7 days some longer, but when the the Kim Chee stops giving off ''scent'', it is done, and ready. I know a man who ate it after only 3 days and loved it, but I think longer is better because more lactobacillus grows during the time it is left out, as does kefir and other fermented products. It is why you are making it in the first place, so I leave it the full 10 days. During this time the veggies will rise and so will the liquids so I put each jar into a small bowl to capture any liquids that may leak out, This has happened only once. I check the jars each day and when I see the veggies have risen I pull them out and with a sterile fork push it all back down into jar and make sure the liquid is just over the veggies. This may need to be done several times. It is a labor of love :D:D:D

I think napa cabbage is one of the more beautiful leafy greens. I love seeing them and play with displaying them LOL Here I have the cut ends of the bok choy at the base of each nappa leaf :D, and above them the stems of the bok choy I don't use......just playing with my foods beauty potential LOLOL!

ginger and garlic being chopped by the chopper.......

I seem to make it differently each time. I also mix the salt into the bowl with pure water by eye too.

All veggies cut and mixed and ready to be jarred....... if the liquid is enough to just be over the veggies, you have enough liquid.

Here the jars are closed after the 10 days and ready to be refrigerated....... but .....keep the jars slightly open throughout this 10 day process.

After 10 days you have yummy for the tummy goodness, delicious beyond description, and very good to eat with almost everything. I especially love it with hard boiled eggs. I just add spoons full on top of the eggs with the liquids YUM O the flavors are amazing! It is great in place of all salads, and as accompaniment to just about anything.

Some fun thing happened one time I made this. The pretty little ends of the bok choy which looked like large green roses to me, I could not throw away and left them out because they were so pretty. LOLOL....but what happened was it began to grow! I watched this for days and kept them and they grew more green leaves from its center and when they got large enough I planted it, and it grew into a full grown head of bok choy which I then ate again! Isn't Mother Nature grand??!!!!

After 3 days of being left there on the table, the greens grew again......

I put them into a standing plate.......

 They continued to grow, until I eventually planted them! LOL.....and had more bok choy! how fun!!

To your health!

sharing this post with Home and Garden Thursday

and with No Minimalist Here

and with Rooted In Thyme

and with From My Front Porch To Yours

and with The Charm of Home


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Latest Design: Romantic Linen and Tulle Slip Top

This is the latest invention, design my own. It began as a slipdress, then seemed to be destined to be a skirt, but then back to the slip dress with a layer of linen gauze removed. I like it now, not at all what I had originally envisioned but it's very pretty.....I like it both with the skirt it is shown with and with some bandeau pants I just got at TJ Maxx.
My favorite inspirations for clothing comes from South of France, country, Bohemian and romantic.


One day I will simply JUST KNOW HOW TO SEW ! Instead of trying to engineer something from scratch and trying to figure out each step of the way! Can't wait for that day people, cant wait!!
In the meantime, what I do make at least stays together LOLOL....and that is the most important thing.....and that the edges are neat, and no loose threads, and nothing sloppy. Can't wait also to have a good sewing machine, that does more than straight or zigzag stiches!

And a quirky thing about my sewing, I'm fussy about some details and others not fussy at all! LOL and this makes for questioning eyebrows in some people......for example, on the inside I wanted the straps to be neat inside. Will never be seen except by me but when I saw the inside, I had to make it look more ''finished'''.......

but.....then with something as prominent as the belt, I will leave it completely unfinished! LOL.....explain that to me? I don't even get it, but I do know when something looks sloppy or simply bohemian. I love this one, so lightweight, feels like nothing, and yet can look so pretty and elegant.


TEXTURES!~~ Its all about textures.......I can totally forego color because the textures speaks volumes!
These are gauzy linen and crushed!
and these tones look great on my olive skin......with silver jewelry.

In the meanwhile, I DO enjoy what I make....


Drawstring pants coming up. I've procrastinated a bit on them because I decided to sew up all the pants I had with holes. I literally patched them! Once I got that annoyance out of the way, then I HAD to finish the above piece which has been just lying around for months, neglected, and I couldn't take it anymore....I hate loose ends, know what I mean? I'm a bit funny that way.....soooooo.....
NOW I have the freedom to think and be creative with nothing haunting me to get done first. And I realized my drawstring pants were not going to be so simple as the last ones, these are going to have some fun details, and only after I work out each one in my head, then I can sew it....and this means everything, from how to cut the fabric, to how to piece it together and what happens in what order.....such a mental exercise this all is, but its good therapy!....results in BEAUTY too! :D so I love it in the end.

Art is therapy!

sharing this post with Coastal Charm

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and with My Romantic Home

and with The Charm of Home

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and with From My Front Porch to Yours


and with TIMEWASHED : Blissful White Wednesday!

Monday, July 15, 2013

I feel Pretty Today :D, More Gratitude!

Hello Beautiful People....

I had a wonderful opportunity to go out ''shaaapping'' ( hear the operatic singing??) today! yeahaw! lolol.....been a while! [can you tell?] And I picked up basic necessities, some kim chee veggies, and a few extras.....and those ''extras'' are why I feel pretty today. It is truly nothing special, but you know, when its been A WHILE since you could go out and purchase ANYTHING,  whatever you get feels awful special! Well today I did that and I felt so pretty because I [didn't even wash them first!] but put them on right after I got home and showered, and put the flowers in vases, then all the food stuff, so today was another good day! Tomorrow I begin sewing some pants, as I picked up the elastic I will need for a skirt [inspired from today!] and the drawstrings for the drawstring pants....sooooooo....will be on the machine a few days....but here are a few pics.....wish I took those beautiful kinds of pics that so many on bloggyland do, but I just don't have the inclination to get into it.....I feel so lucky to just be able to take pics and upload them so easily in the first place! That alone for me is a miracle! and still alot of fun.

As ''fate'' would have it, whenever I want hydrangeas for fresh cut flowers I can never find them locally. And today after I paid for my things at the register I walked to the exit but the one closet to me was a one way in and I had to go around an entire display to the end of the next register to walk out the one door for exit, and on the way out, there they have the ''subliminals''.....which are those items put by the registers for spontaneous buying, so rigged it all is, and sometimes it works! Well, they had fresh flowers, beautiful huge white hydrangeas and blue ones too! and they had roses, and I was a bit shocked at how nice they were, but I didn't want to spend $20. on it so painfully left it there. I did my other shopping and I was feeling good about getting all those little things off my shopping list, I began to appreciate those hydrangeas more and more, especially if they dried while in the vase which they can do sometimes, so I decided to be a lush and go back and get fate would have it. So putting these beauties into their vases were the first thing I did when I got home, and took some pics.......they are so gorgeous, these pics do not do them justice.

 I didn't even stop there, lolol, while I was at Doris' The Italian Market, I picked up some pretty pink mini carnations....what a lovely simple thing, and they look so pretty with the hydrangeas!

These are for my them.

 my Kim Chee ingredients which I will make in a day or so, this is amazing stuff, so healthy. Its a fermented vegetable that is good for positive intestinal flora, and my recipe is divine, been making it for a few years now and never run out, and I need to make a batch now and will post the recipe and how its delish with every meal as they have it in Korea, and other Asian countries, but it is really really yummy!

and my ''extras''.....the pretties..... from TJ Maxx......a pair of pants with a bandeau waist, so comfy love those, and a Ralph Lauren sweet cotton floral nighty and a beautiful lacy robe.


 These pants are amazing comfy, elegant and soft and I have to go back and get the white ones!!


 My market baskets today. I think they are so pretty, and whenever I shop with them, the ladies at the registers all know me and always tell me how pretty it is and how they love to see it, so Euro just like Italy and France they say........I love them and never use anything else.

pretty things.........and

abundant beauty.....what more can I ask for?

well I can actually think of a few things, lolol, but for now, I'm ok.
Will post on the pants when they are done and the Kim Chee recipe and how its made.....
thanks for being here! love you all!

sharing this post with Rooted In Thyme

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and with The Charm of Home

and with My Romantic Home: Flowers

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Abundant Summer

Hello Beautiful People!

Just want to share a lovely lovely, most wonderful is my most favorite in the whole world.....Gratitude!.....and accompanied by Beauty, equates to JOY!

Just sharing some pics, lots of pics....of what I have in abundance today and I am so very very grateful. They are all 640x480 so should not overload your PC lolol......I go through that, so I keep them small. Enjoy!

This is our Specimen White these in the summer to cut and bring in their lacy white beauty! These do need trimmings and lucky for me they are perfect to put into vases. :D:D:D

 Next to the Plumbago, is the Thryalis, is a very fragrant bush with little yellow flowers, a must have !

My favorite orchids are the Vanda Orchids, in almost any color....they bloom more often than other varieties and such large blossoms. And I love love their long hanging very exotic.

 This gorgeous purple Vanda is next to the Lemons of which there are many :D, and will take months before they turn yellow.

 This is lovely early morning sun from the east, hitting both!!

The cut and trimmed White Plumbago bush is now in vases to go around the house.

 The back porch is roofed but open and the morning sun hits it. The washer/dryer are out there and I keep it covered in a painters canvas from Lowe's. I bought that canvas because of all the blogging ladies who were making curtains and bed ruffles etc from it and I got excited. But when I opened the package the stench of chemicals hit me hard. I washed it several times but could not get the fireproofing chemicals out of it and I certainly didn't want it inside the house much less on my bed sleeping with it. It stayed outside on top of the machine for months when I decided I needed to cover both washer and dryer with something better than the plastics I had on them....and lo and behold....there was the canvas sitting there! and when I opened it, the size was perfect when cut in half to cover each one! Love when that happens! On top of the dryer I keep a copper water fountain with bell chimes, love this delicate sounds when the round floaters go around and around and randomly hit the various sized brass bells, it is enchanting. I also have a vase of sea shells which I love to see everywhere.

Abundant plantains......these had to be cut early, but I will eat them sauteed with garlic oil!! YUM-O!

Abundant Avocados!.....a tree branch broke off and lots of avocados were on that piece, these are only a few of them. My neighbor's tree is right next door and they let me pick whatever I want. Love that!

Abundant collards.....I juice them. I like to make sandwich wraps with them too, and hummmm....its been a while, I think I'll make a sandwich wrap using these collards as the bread/wrap part and mix in some avocado, onion, tomatos, herbs and some kind of cool dressing! yep! that's a PLAN!

I saw a picture of this on blogland somewhere, fell hard in love, and had to make my own version. I love this for the summer especially here in South Florida where Beach is the common theme. But I adore Sea Shells, flowers and candles, so how easy was it to put them all together on a silver tray? Love!

My napkins or serviettes as they are called by my love Pammie, and guess what?........I used one finally!....and I could not believe how soft it was on my face! compared to the paper towels I've always used....oh boy! I need to love myself more and use these gentle, simple, bucolic, poetic, beautiful cottons instead of paper products. These can be washed with any laundry, so I'm in love. Sighhhh.

 What I'm wearing today.

Abundant linen. I'm going to make several draw string loose summer pants, with some long lose ruffles on the bottoms, and other fun details......


My bureau today....simple.....seashell and lots of crystals with Mother Mary.......candle.


Hand made soaps and bath sister makes the best most luxuriating moisturizing best smelling soaps!

My collection of salts for Himalayan Salt, Sea Salt, and Rock Salt......

On the porch.......beautiful begonia~!

Love love love these variously toned pale pink hydrangeas.........

Cedar Window begonia, lysimachia or creeping jenny, and coleus.

arghh! this wall still needs to be painted, but not until October or some seriously cooler weather!

The avocado tree got a support for the heavy branches filled with avocados growing fast !

My newly painted bedroom wall on the outside, got a little garden with various cute. That white snow looking stuff are Jasmine petals fallen from the top of the huge bush, the smell is heavenly.

I am very grateful for today. Abundance was everywhere, I had no pains, and Life was good!

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