Chicken Jook (Rice Porridge)

Cold, wintry nights like the ones we’ve been having recently call for comfort food, and I can’t think of anything more comforting than a big bowl of jook. Some may know this dish as congee. I think of it as kind of an Asian risotto. Now, there’s the more authentic versions that require preparing a whole chicken, but for those days when you don’t want to deal with that, I find this to be a super easy way to make jook.

Chicken Jook

6 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup white rice
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced coarsely
2 teaspoons salt
Ground pepper
Scallions
Egg (optional)

1. Place all ingredients except the scallions in a large Dutch Oven.
2. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a fast simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is nice and creamy. About 1 hour.
3. Turn off the heat. Remove the chicken from the jook, remove the meat from the bones and shred. Return the chicken to the jook and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve in bowls, top with the scallions. Top with a fried egg if desired.

This is just one version of jook. You can top it with any veggie that you like (I put kale in the version pictured) and you can make this with pork, beef or even seafood. In fact, one of the best meals we had in Korea was Abalone Jook at a tiny restaurant on a tiny island off the southwest coast.

While I took a few other photos of the cooking process, I quickly realized that rice porridge is not very photogenic. So, instead, here are photos of the pups.

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Making Kimchi

Hello everyone. It’s been WAY too long since we’ve posted anything on the blog. However, we’ve graduated from residency, and we’re finding that we’ve got a bit more time on our hands. We’ve also moved to our dream house in the Sierra Foothills, so hopefully, we can start sharing our many homesteading projects from the new place.

First up though, it’s getting cold out, and for the Koreans, that means time for kimjang, aka making TONS of kimchi. We had a mini kimjang today and made ourselves 2 big jars of kimchi. Here are the highlights.

First, you start with your Napa cabbage. Chop coarsely, and brine in salty water for 1-3 hours depending on how salty you like your kimchi.  Rinse and drain.

Meanwhile, prepare the kimchi paste. There are many variations to this. I like to use a combination of a lot of gochugaru (korean chili flakes…there is absolutely no substitute for this), water, salt, garlic, ginger and a little fish sauce or korean salted shrimp. Sometimes, I’ll throw some scallions in there as well. Some people add a little sugar, but I omit this step if I’m using fish sauce.

Finally, throw some rubber gloves on and mix the paste and the cabbage together. Find some large jars and stuff away. You’ll want the kimchi to ferment on the counter for at least a few days before enjoying…but everyone has their own idea of when the kimchi tastes the best.

While traditional kimchi is all about Napa cabbage, you can experiment with pretty much any veggie. I’ve had carrots, green cabbage and daikon in this way and they’ve all tasted great.

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Dogs

Can’t help it…had to share these!

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Handmade Ottoman

We’ve been working on this ottoman for-ev-er and we finally finished it a few weeks ago. If you look closely, you can see all of its little imperfections but that’s part of why I love it so much.  We started by sketching the designs, Greg built the frame and put furniture foam on the frame. Then, Dwight helped by chewing some of the foam off, but we were determined.  After the sewing and quilting was finished, we pulled the fabric over the foam and stapled it to the bottom.  There are tiny rubber feet on the bottom to keep it just a touch elevated off the ground. Let me know which side is your favorite…I’m still deciding!

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Sunset Magazine Inspired Pissaladiere

We recently made this Pissaladiere recipe from Sunset and it was delicious! If you love caramelized onions, anchovies (yes, I do actually like anchovies) and puff pastry, I definitely recommend that you make this.  The magazine recommended that you pair it with a nice Rose and we did just that.  We’ll be making this one again!

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Noro Socks #4

I’m obsessed with Noro yarn, and I’m obsessed with knitting striped socks with them.  This is my 4th pair and I’m already looking for my next skein. The yarn is a beautifully dyed self striping yarn. I usually use the Noro Kureyon Sock, but wanted to try the Silk Garden Sock.  The Silk Garden is a bit thicker than the Kureyon, but both are really fun to work with.

I knit these on a long Size 1 circular needle using a toe up, magic loop technique. I like the toe up method because I don’t have to guess how long to make the leg before turning the heel and, in turn, I end up wasting less yarn this way. I have many other knitting projects in progress, but once I start on a pair of these socks, I usually can’t stop until they’re done…it’s that addicting.

The yarn gradually fades from one color to the next, so to get the distinct stripes that you see in these socks, I made 4 equal sized yarn balls (2 for each sock), and alternated the balls of yarn every 4 rows.

Anyway, if you have any questions about how I did this, let me know!

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Canning Bonanza

Sorry for the lapse.  There’s a lot to catch you all up on.  I’ll start with what’s been going on in the kitchen. We recently had a pickling bonanza.  We made some dill pickles and we canned 10 pints of roma tomatoes from our garden. Here are some highlights.

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Solar Eclipse Viewing

Snow Plant in the middle of the road

Last weekend, we headed to Tahoe to view the solar eclipse.  We met up with Greg’s family, and since the eclipse lasted only for a couple of hours, we filled the rest of the weekend with hiking and exploring. The dogs got to swim and Greg got to fish.

 

Pickle, in his usual fashion, got extremely dirty.

Once the eclipse started, everyone got in on the action…

 

 

 

This is my very poor attempt at trying to capture the annular ring of sun around the moon through the welding mask.  Sadly, it just looks like the sun.

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Dukka and Carrot Puree

We made this dish a while ago, and it was SO good.  I had my first taste of dukka a few years ago and have been excited to recreate it at home.  It’s a ground up nut and spice mix that you dip bread in after dipping it in olive oil.  It was surprisingly easy to make.  For this snack, you dip your bread in the olive oil and dukka and then top off with the carrot puree…super good!  I used the recipe from a great blog called Lottie and Doof. Below are some photos from the process and, of course, some photos of the dogs.

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Dukka and Carrot Puree

We made this dish a while ago, and it was SO good.  I had my first taste of dukka a few years ago and have been excited to recreate it at home.  It’s a ground up nut and spice mix that you dip bread in after dipping it in olive oil.  It was surprisingly easy to make.  For this snack, you dip your bread in the olive oil and dukka and then top off with the carrot puree…super good!  I used the recipe from a great blog called Lottie and Doof. Below are some photos from the process and, of course, some photos of the dogs.

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