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‘Capturing Cultures’ at Real Food Projects

Capturing Cultures with Holly Davis
‘Capturing Cultures’ with Holly Davis
(Image by TSL)

You may recall an earlier post about the fabulous Real Food Projects initiative that is the brain-child of Kate Walsh, based here in Sydney? Well. Last week my sister and I attended our first class. It rocked!

I’ve been wanting to experiment with my own lacto-fermented vegetables for a while now. I find the whole subject fascinating, not least because of the probiotic benefits of eating such fare. But, I’ve been a little bit scared. In this age of pasteurised this and sanitised that, fermenting food is just the teeniest bit out of the box.  I mean, we’re talking live bacteria here. The potential for disaster seems so huge… And, that is why I signed myself up to Holly’s class, out of the many on offer at Real Food Projects. A hands on session about making kimchi.

Kimchi, for the uninitiated, is a lacto-fermented spicy pickled cabbage and vegetable concoction. It is the national dish of Korea. And, it is YUMMO!

Kimchi by Holly Davis
Kimchi, Holly’s Way
(Image by TSL)

I cannot think of a single food from any other country that is half as important to a nation’s culinary traditions as kimchi is to Korea’s. (Mei Chin)

As a result of this class, I’ve fallen a little bit in love with Holly Davis. Not in a weird, she-needs-to-start-looking-over-her-shoulder kind of way. I’m just a wee bit in awe of her warmth and passion for whole foods, specifically lacto-fermented foods. And, she made it all look so easy

Kate prepares nibbles... (Image by TSL)
Kate Prepares Nibbles…
(Image by TSL)
Holly Chops AND Talks... (Image by TSL)
Holly Chops AND Talks…
(Image by TSL)
A Good Massage... (Image by TSL)
A Good Massage…
(Image by TSL)

We all walked away with our own wee jar of kimchi along with a recipe and comprehensive instructions on how to make our own kimchi from scratch. So far, my wee jar is fermenting nicely.

There has been a slight bump in the road. LM and I tootled off to Campsie (aka ‘Little Korea’, here in Sydney) yesterday for the requisite fish sauce and Korean dried chilli flakes (apparently a potent source of Vitamin C!) necessary for my first batch of kimchi. We needed a translator – despite several young Korean boys who didn’t know how to make kimchi attempting to assist, we had no luck with the suggested brand of chilli acquisition. Fortunately, my lovely (Korean) neighbour has offered to take me to her favourite Korean grocer. She also makes her own kimchi and is so keen to help me in this adventure that I feel sure that my kimchi will be AWESOME!

I will keep you posted on my kimchi-making exploits as they occur…

The very delightful Holly Davis offers seasonal cooking classes, tailored to your dietary requirements. You can check out her website at food by holly davis. She’s fab’!

If you live in Sydney and love food, I urge you to sign up to the Real Food Projects newsletter (here). Kate Walsh sounds like she has many exciting things coming up in the near future…

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Comments (11)

Looks amazing, still laughing at Hubbie trying to communicate chilli sauce! How many times do things like that happen to me! Cannot wait to see how you go when you finally get the ingredients 🙂

I love kimchis. This is alluring! I am seriously going to try to make kimchi!

Yes! Do! – and, let me know how you go. We can start a kimchi revolution…

BCD – the boys were lovely, but despite working in (what I assume was) Mum and Dad’s grocery shop, they had no idea about kimchi. I told them I needed to speak to their Mum!

How do you always manage to get such great pictures?

1. I have an extremely good point-and-shoot camera (that LM very kindly bought me)
b. The internet is very forgiving
III. I use smoke and mirrors to make you believe I am a competent photographer!

This post made me hungry 🙂 I will therefore get up, go the the kitchen, open the fridge and take out some home made pickled cauliflower and pepper and a special kind of pickled cucumbers we make here – they are called “slightly salted” and they are typical for summer time here 🙂 This is all because I do not have any Korean restaurant in the city, not even in the region, and I just felt jealous of you having that feast of tastes you have described 😉
Good luck on your cooking classes, I will be looking out for more news!

PICKLED CAULIFLOWER? I think I have my next project… Yum!

Love the idea behind Real Food Projects (if that’s what is on the sign behind Holly in that pic) – a good reminder of how simple it should be! 🙂

Sparks – you should check out Kate’s site. It’s a fantastic concept and she a very enthusiastic and warm ambassador.

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