double double toil and trouble… fire burn and kimchi bubble

SCENE I. a conference room. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.

thunder. enter the three agents

First Agent

thrice the mini wookie hath yowl’d.

Second Agent

thrice and once the client hath whined.

Third Agent

producer cries, “no time, no time!”

First Agent

round about the cauldron go;

in the development notes we throw.

writer, that under cold stone

days and nights has one hundred and seventy-five….

swelter’d venom sleeping got,

boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.


double, double toil and trouble;

fire burn, and kimchi bubble.*

the kimchi is bubbling away nicely. i put in the fridge yesterday after six days in the pantry. i’ve also put up my second batch of half-sour pickles – the first batch had a mysterious soapy smell so i chucked them. do not mess around with the yeasts and the molds i’ve been told. the second batch looks gorgeous. i was much more specific and sanitary about the brine this time – i boiled it. and used about a cup of coarse sea salt to the gallon. they smell great – should be half sour by monday.

i decided to do bread and butter chips with the remaining cucumbers which i had left soaking in a saltwater bath overnight.  i love a sweet and spicy pickle. (i love a sweet and spicy anything.) i used the thai kom kom ripple knife to create the chips and the kyocera to slice half an onion very thinly. salted them and pressed in the picre for about a day and a half, releasing a lot of water.

what excites me most is the brine. on wednesday i hit super king and found a middle eastern spice packet called “pickling spice.” no ingredients on the label, but it looked amazing. i spotted bay leaf, coriander, mustard seeds, allspice, cinnamon, and dried red peppers. perfect for a sweet pickle (and completely inappropriate for a dill, btw.) i had a severe vinegar deficit in the house: half a bottle of bragg’s apple cider vinegar was it. strained that into a pot and boiled it (successfully murdering the nice yeasty mother in the process) added about 1/3 of the spice packet and sugar until it tasted right. i had seen a recipe that called for turmeric but having none i opted for some fairway hot curry thinking “well curry has turmeric in it so….” unreal. i will always add curry to my bread and butter brine – the flavor profile is perfect: coriander, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, paprika, garlic and pepper. and you get that nice golden turmeric-inspired color.


*with apologies to wm. shakespeare. nb – how many people go through life thinking the line is “bubble, bubble toil and trouble?”