Kimchi, mmmmmm

Kimchi, also spelled gimchi or kimchee, refers to a traditional Korean fermented dish made of seasoned vegetables.

There are mkimchiany, many variations, and every time I make kimchi, it’s a bit different.  I like it that way.

Here’s how I made it, this week;

  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • the leaves and stems of 5 beets
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup uniodized salt
  • 2 onions
  • piece of fresh ginger, the size of 3 fingers
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon of dried chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup of oyster sauce
  • (I would have added 2 carrots, but we had none)
  • (radishes are a common ingredient, but I don’t like them)

Half, then quarter the cabbage and remove the core.  Roughly chop the cabbage into 1 inch chunks.  Cut the beet tops the same size.

Dump the leaves into a large bowl and pour the water and salt over the top.  Mix with hands and let sit on the counter for 8 to 12 hours, stirring occasionally.cabbage and beet tops

Drain, reserving a couple of cups of the brine.

Cut the onions into thin slices, grate the ginger, (I didn’t peel it), crush the garlic and add all the other ingredients.  Add it to the drained cabbage and stir well.  I use my hands, but wear plastic gloves because of the pepper paste.

Pack it all into a glass or ceramic jar, pushing the vegetables down firmly, so everything is submerged by the brine.  It should rise as you push, but add some of the reserved brine if needed.

I use a ziplock bag half filled with water to hold the vegies under the brine.fermenting

Leave it on the counter and check it daily for anywhere from 4 to 8 days.  To check, you’ll remove the bag of water and push the vegies down with clean hands to release any pockets of air or bubbles.

Taste it daily, as you check, it will transform from salty cabbage to the most amazing tangy hot combination of flavours you can’t even begin to imagine.

And did I mention that it’s good for you?

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.

If you’d like to know more, click here for a great article.

BLT, Best of Linda’s Tops, #311, unwrapped

doneOh Linda MacPhee, I’m inspired!  I sew wanted to make a wrap dress, but couldn’t find just the “right” pattern.  I wanted to use a knit, but didn’t want “tight”.  Then came the AH HA moment.

A few years ago MacPhee Workshop introduced a pattern for a wrap-look pull-over top that crossed conservatively, had a flattering neckline, and had a nice feminine fit.   BLT, the Best of Linda’s Tops, #311.


Continue reading BLT, Best of Linda’s Tops, #311, unwrapped

BLT, Best of Linda’s Tops, #311 wrapped

Oh my!  Wrap dresses are really popular and they look great.  On other women.

I hate the way they look on me.  I’m tall, 5ft 10 in.   Middle aged.  A bit lumpy.  But Laura keeps on about wrap dresses.  “You should make one”,  I kept hearing.

OK, fine.  I made a lot of tops a few years ago using  MacPhee Workshop “Best of Linda’s Tops”, #311.  It looked like a wrap top, but with no chance of a WARDROBE MALFUNCTION.  I liked the way it fit, there was enough fabric at the “wrap-over”, and it didn’t cling.  There’s a bit of fullness at the neck and it’s flattering.

On everyone of Linda’s patterns is this “Liberation License”

Linda Liberation LicenseSew what’s stopping me?

blt sleevelessI have a great piece of knit, and I have a plan.  I’m going to make a wrap dress using this pattern as a starting point.

alternate colourIt’s cut out, partly sewn and sew far, sew good.

Come back tomorrow for my tutorial.

Salmon Loaf

I made this for supper last night and it’s really tasty.  Bill suggested I write the recipe so I can make it again.

Laura had leftovers for breakfast this morning and told everyone how good it was.

You see, I never follow a recipe exactly, and often times just put flavors together using my imagination.  So, here’s what I did.

Mix all this stuff together:

  • 1 large can of salmon, 413 grams, or around a pound.  (who comes up with these can sizes anyway?) drained and mashed with a fork
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard.  (next time I’m trying Dijon)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste.  (I used a tablespoon of pepper)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped.

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and fill with the mixture.  Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

I used pink salmon, not the expensive sockeye.

There’s no picture.  Why?  Because I buttered my loaf pan and the darn thing stuck.  I served it with a spoon right out of the pan. That’s where the parchment paper idea was born.

If you make this, maybe you could send me a picture.



Wrapped or Un-wrapped, 407 by MacPhee Workshop

Sew, here I go again!

This pattern is ingenious!  Normally we pin a sewing pattern to our fabric, cut out the pieces to sew together then set aside the trimmings, like pastry or cookie dough.

Not this one!  In Linda’s Wrap Pant pattern, you prepare two pieces of fabric with right sides together, the size being determined by your size, and whether you going wrapped or un-wrapped.  The pattern piece is pinned onto a specific place on the fabric, cut out, AND set aside.

2014-06-01 18.44.02

This tutorial is for the Un-wrapped version, shown on the right.  But not gathered at the hem.

Continue reading Wrapped or Un-wrapped, 407 by MacPhee Workshop

Leggings by MacPhee Workshop, #435, almost instant

Does it drive you crazy when your head is full of sewing ideas and then you don’t get time to sew?  It does me, and the people around me know it far too well.

I’ve been dreaming about these leggings for a month now, and finally the dream became a reality.  I GOT TO SEW!


 colourful leggingsThese are my latest, mother/daughter leggings, sewn up in a 4 way stretch poly.  Both were on hangers in 2 1/2 hours from start to finish, and yup, they’re loud, who cares? 🙂


Then, I couldn’t find the time to write about it. 🙁

Continue reading Leggings by MacPhee Workshop, #435, almost instant

Model Tee by MacPhee Workshop #323

.The Model Tee by MacPhee Workshop

I had this great piece of poly knit in my stash, not the plastic bag kinda poly, but a breathable one.  And it’s brown.  A great colour for Laura.  Not me.

I trace off the pattern pieces, back, front, sleeves and th2014-06-08 13.44.39e neckband.

This fabric is very soft and supple, so I feel the need to interface the neckband.  If you’re a follower of my sewing, you’ll know that I keep a supply of fusible knit interfacing in my sewing room, in both black and white.  (I’m going to look for it in a skin-tone, too.)  I fused a piece to the wro2014-06-08 13.51.54ng side of the neckband, making sure the stretch was going in the right direction.  THEN I cut the points. 🙂2014-06-08 14.15.56 Much more accurate 🙂

Fold in half with wrong sides together and press well.  If your knit is heat sensitive, use a press cloth and be cautious.

Lap the right side over the left side as shown.  Baste by sewing together through all layers close to the raw edges.  This is the right side.

I fused 2 strips of the same interfacing to the wrong side of the front, at the bottom of the “V”   then straight stitch2014-06-08 14.10.54ed just inside the 3/8″ seam line.  (Using a chalk marker and a ruler keeps it all straight)  (I don’t estimate 3/8″ very well :()

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Clip the seam allowance into the point, BUT DON’T CUT INTO THE STAY-STITCHING. 2014-06-08 14.27.01

I then fused 1 inch wide strips of that same fusible interfacing along the shoulders and the hems of all 4 pieces.

Sew or serge the shoulder seams and press the seam allowance toward the back.2014-06-08 14.40.222014-06-08 15.11.58

Mark center back and neck quarters with pins.  Also mark the center back of the neck band.  Then fold the center back fold to the point of the front and mark both sides with pins.

With right sides together pin the neckband to the neckline, matching the pins.2014-06-08 14.43.17  I’ll be the first to admit that I struggled with sewing the point of the “V”.  Some tips:2014-06-08 15.50.27

  • Sew with the neckband down against the feed teeth (against my normal way of sewing)
  • Leave the point for last
  • Begin about 2 inches beyond the point and sew the remainder of the neck band.
  • From the wrong side press the seam allowance of the front open.
  • Stick a piece of WonderTape to both front seam allowances.
  • Peel off the paper and carefully stick the neckband in place.
  • Now you can sew it in place, again with the neckband against the feed teeth. The point of the front that you clipped to is your pivot point.   Use a long stitch in case you need to unse2014-06-08 15.51.54w. 🙁

I did it!  after “unsewing” 3 times :(, the WonderTape did it!

Then I serged around the neckband beginning and ending at the point.

Press the seam allowance away from the neckband.2014-06-08 16.05.57

Top stitch 1/8 inch from the seam line on the garment side to finish.


With right sides together serge or sew the side/underarm seams.  Press.2014-06-08 16.25.01

Press up 1 inch hems on the bottom and the sleeves and use a twin needle to finish.

I’m pleased with the results.  Have you sewn this variation?  How did you do?

Model Tee #323 by MacPhee Workshop, adjustments

model tee323 model Tee


I love the look of this tee shirt,,,,, on the hanger,,,,,, lol.

Seriously though, it looks ok on me, but…….I’m 5’10” and my waist is lower and it needs to be longer.

I think it would also look better on me if the scoop neckline wasn’t so low.

Alteration time.  I got out my traced pattern and held it up in front of me holding the shoulder even with my own.  I smoothed the paper over my front and saw that my waist is 3 inches lower than the pattern’s.  Easy fix.  I cut the pattern 2 inches below the armhole and taped a piece of paper into the space to add 3 inches to lower the waist.

model tee

Then I slid the paper down until I was happy with the proportion of the length on my body.  I needed 2 more inches, not counting the hem.

I retraced the new pattern onto a fresh piece of paper then I traced the next highest neckline.  (there are many to choose from, truly a very versatile pattern).

My latest attempt is very flattering, (can I say that?)(eve2014-05-19 16.13.36ryone else does).

Have you made this pattern?    This afternoon I made one for Laura with a very deep neckline.  Not easy, but achievable for sure.  It will be my next post.

model tee deep v

Yup, I sew, machine knit, crochet, garden, cook, love, and share.