Monthly Archives: October 2014

Sealing mushroom plugs

IMG_0280After inoculating the logs with the mushroom mycelium plugs, I coated the plugs with beewax, as directed by the Fungi Perfecti instructions. I used some beeswax that I had gotten from BetterBee several years back, when I had bees and was making candles, lip balm, etc. You can also use any food-grade wax.

I found this great factsheet with video from Cornell University (my alma mater) about home-farming mushrooms. I wish I took this class when I was an undergrad!

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Mushroom plugs #1

113 Shiitake mushroom plugs are in logs in my basement, the plugs sealed with wax. Tomorrow I hope to do set of Pearl Oysters.

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Making Kimchi

IMG_0236It was a kimchi Sunday! My college roommate, Heidi, is Korean (via New Jersey), and she’s the one who introduced me to kimchi. One day, with her chopsticks, she pulled out some red speckled, fishy smelling soggy leaves from a jar stored in the dorm refrigerator. It was delightful!

Maangchi’s website is so useful and easy to follow. As a first-timer, I used her simple kimchi recipe (with salted shrimp instead of the salted squid). Joe got me the salted shrimp from HMart. I got the daikon radish, ginger, napa cabbage and fish sauce from my local supermarket. Other changes – I substituted some more scallion and some bok choi for the leek, and I started salting Saturday night and made the rest on Sunday, so this made my cabbage look terrible and nothing like her beautiful pictures. However, it tastes great! Tip: I had bought a large bag of dried chilis somewhere along the line (maybe Hmart, maybe the Indian grocer?) and since the recipe calls for 1/2 to 2 cups of red pepper flakes, I ground these up in my food processor rather than buy the little jars at the supermarket. It worked really well.

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I halved her recipe, which started with six pounds of cabbage. I canned this in six medium mason jars plus another plastic container for my fridge.  The canned ones were processed in a big pot for about 10 min. I’ll open one in a month and see how it is. I always get nervous when canning; I don’t want to kill anyone. I think that with fermented foods you don’t really get bacteria that will make you sick, though, just bacteria that would make the food taste bad. Anybody know about that? That was the case in brewing beer. Maybe I didn’t even have to process the kimchi. I couldn’t find official food safety instructions on preserving kimchi. The closest thing was university extension sites that talk about fermented pickles. Please comment so I can update this with the correct information!

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Otis Hat

IMG_0223This Otis hat is for my friend Otis in New Hampshire.

Otis wanted a fancier and longer hat, but I wanted a pattern that I could work on while thinking about other things. This is K2P2 for 10″ (I’m at 7″). I also want to finish his hat before the weather turns cold.

This pattern is called “Heidi Cap” from Hats, Mittens & Scarves, by Andrea Tung, Chronicle Press, 2007. I love making hats and mittens because I can shove them in my purse and knit on the go. I used to knit socks but it was too sad to think of them on people’s feet.

The label from the yarn is missing, but I’m pretty sure it is Schaefer hand-dyed. Check out the diagonal lines of darker wine color. I just learned that Schaefer went out of business, unfortunately.


If you want to read about the first Otis Hat, based upon the Otis Shirt, check here. This link may expire soon and if it does and you are interested please comment me! I am moving hosting.

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