I realize that this culinary adventure upon which I'm about to embark will elicit a resounding "...and?" from every Korean household ever, but it's new to me, so let's document this puppy!
As my interest in learning to cook some Korean starts to crest, the timing couldn't be more perfect. Late October and heading into November is Kimjang season, wherein -- historically speaking -- the nation of Korea basically becomes a giant kimchi producing machine, cranking out hordes of the stuff to hold them through the winter. From what I understand, it's a bit outdated. Modern refrigeration has turned what was once a critical food supply practice into a cultural tradition. But I understand it's still an important and special time over there, and in my own little way I'm going to participate this year.
I'm going to use Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall's recipe for Whole Cabbage Kimchi out of her book, Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen
, except I'm not going to try to store it whole (a common variation, also documented in the recipe), I'm going to pass on some of the more esoteric and difficult-to-source "optional" ingredients (as awesome as introducing live baby shrimp to the fermentation process sounds), and rather than making enough for the winter, the way I'm going through it lately I'm probably making enough for a few weeks. But we'll call it a learning experience this year.
I just bought six and a half pounds of Napa cabbage. I'll check back later. Let's do this.