Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Making Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Making Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar!

Homemade vinegar requires patience, LOVE, and Respect all the beings!

Vinegar has one of the best NATURAL home remedy for healing!

Here is my story!
My oldest sister came to America for the first time in 2007 to help me to recover from my illness.

Without knowing how to speak English, she was scared to transfer the airplane from the international to the domestic to come to Albany, NY. But, she was determined to come to America to help me to get better. My Korean friend helped to make several emergency cards written in English with Korean translation, such as “Where is the restroom?”, “My sister is very sick, and I need to go to Albany, NY”. “Please help me!”, “I am sorry. I do not understand you”, or “I can’t speak English”.  We were so worried my oldest sister transferring within the airport without speaking English.

Fortunately, my Korean friend who lived in New York City offered that she can have one day off from her work to pick my sister from JFK and go to New York Bus terminal to help my sister to take a bus to come to Albany, NY rather than avoiding transferring. We liked the idea because at least we did not need to worry about my oldest sister wandering around the airport. So, we made an arrangement, and my sister came to Albany by bus with the help of my friend.

My American friend picked her up from the Albany Bus terminal and took her to my house. My American friend was also worried if they could not meet each other since there are so many Asian people around here. But, my American friend told me that it was very easy because my sister and I were alike.

When my sister arrived at my house, she hugged me and told me with tears in her eyes, “Are you OK? You look better than I imagined. I felt better to see you in face.”

When my sister opened her luggage, besides her personal items, there were only two things filled up her bags, “4 year old Kim-Chee and 5 year old homemade vinegar”.

My oldest sister told me, “These two things will help you to recover to get back on your feet. Mother of homemade vinegar will be the best helper for you to clean your body from so many medical surgeries and procedures. I wish I can bring more, but there are so many restrictions on airline baggage allowances.”

My oldest sister makes homemade vinegar all the time.  We grew up watching my grandma and mom made homemade vinegar and soy sauce at home. For your information, soy sauce and fermented bean paste (known as Miso) were originated by Ancient Koreans.

In my childhood, we lived in a traditional Korean house, similar to a hut-like form. Our house had three rooms and a big wooden floor in the center. In the side yard more toward the shady backyard of my house, there was a variety of earthenware clay pots from small to large and from short (as short as 1/2 foot) to tall (as tall as 6 feet). This is called Ong-Gee made of lumps of clay, so we call Hang-Ari, Dan-Jee or clay pots.

The shape of earthenware pots are round, oval or cylindrical with big round mouth. In Korea’s ancient time, these were made from dark clay, neither fired very hot, nor glazed, but later more skillful methods were added. The color of earthenware pots are determined by the iron contained in the clay in addition to the way of burning the earthenware pots.

Some earthenware pots were small, measuring one or two feet; others were higher than my current height and possessed a handle to lift them. The top and inside were glazed with brown, the outside was a deep charcoal-colored brown. In order to access to the shady backyard of my house, we need to pass through the kingdom of clay pots, like a kingdom of earthenware pots. When fresh greens were not available, cabbage and other vegetables were marinated with mixed seasonings and stored in those earthenware pots. Therefore, the process of long term food preservation for the winter months was well developed in my native country.

In autumn after harvesting, we marinated cabbage and other vegetables to preserve and store them in the kingdom of earthenware pots. Also, for long term food preservation, we developed bean pastes and soy sauce made of soybeans and other grains by using a fermenting process, and stored them in the earthenware pots. The shady backyard of my house— the kingdom of the earthenware pots— consisted of bean pastes and soy sauce, a variety of pickles, different types of vinegars, and a variety of different kim-Chees.

Sometimes, the earthenware pots were buried into the ground to preserve the food during severe winter seasons. Thus, the earthenware pots were created for the purpose of food preservation and storage for natural refrigeration meaning natural preservation!

The earthenware pots are the symbol of preservation!

Thus, I have wanted to have clay pots to store fermented foods.  I was once talked to my Native American friend that I want some clay pots to make Homemade Vinegar .  She got me two clay pots a couple of days ago. Oh, YES, now I can make my grandma’s homemade vinegar.

The more I learn about Native American, the more similarities I have found. Now, I believe that Native American were migrated from Asia to America long time ago, but there were more migrations from Korean peninsula to North America on a boat riding the Seaweed highway rather than walking across Siberia and Alaska.

Homemade vinegar requires patience!

Anyway, now I have two clay pots!
The following photo is Making Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar using clay pots!

This is the simplest and most basic method making vinegar. Wash well and remove debris. Add them into the clay pot and cover it with top. Wait for at least one year to naturally develop the mother of vinegar and mature the loving flavor of natural vinegar.

There are three bottles here with three different Apple Cider Vinegar making.

Method I: Making Apple Cider from fully ripe apples (Use sweet apples with high-sugar content, such as Gala, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Spy, and Jonagold apples. Cut out the bad parts so that it can be worm-free and blemish-free.

Cut the apples into small pieces and crush them to press. I used Juice Lady to press them.

I put a rice paper (you can use cheesecloth) on the top of the jar to secure and store in shadow area to invite Fruit Flies. Do not close the lids, but cover with fabric or paper so that the mother of vinegar can breathe. Apple Cider Vinegar will be ready in three weeks.

Method II: Cut the apples into small pieces and add to the jar with the mix of lemon. Apple Cider Vinegar will be ready in 100 days.

Method III: Use left over from the method one and more Apple Cider pressing. Add one tablespoon of the mother of vinegar.

Tada~~~~This is how it looks once I finish prepareing Making Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar!

Now, we need to store them outside in shadow area to invite Fruit Flies to do their Loving fermenting jobs to feed the mother of vinegar.
Now, we need to wait with HOPE.
Homemade vinegar requires patience, LOVE, and Respect all the beings!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Drop one petal at a time

There are so many different ways of spiritual awakening and spiritual enlightenment.

Grow up~~~YES!

Open your heart~~~YES!

Open one petal at a time~~~YES!

We all know this~~~Listen to your heart~~~YES!

For flowers, dropping the petal is the one we need in order to form the seeds~~~because she needs to save all the energy to help the process of seed formation.

Work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it~~~together by dropping one petal at a time!

Dropping the petal may be the hardest thing of all in our life!

Drop one petal at a time ~~~our ego!

Drop one petal at a time ~~~our pride!

Drop one petal at a time ~~~our philosophy!

Drop one petal at a time ~~~our idea!

Drop one petal at a time ~~~our arrogance!

This is a way to return to our home~~~mother earth.

Working together to achieve a common goal by dropping one petal at a time!

What else do we need to drop?

Lessons from HaPPy flower!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We all are a drop of water

We all are a drop of water in a different form.

Each drop of water adds silently in the pond of universe.

One by one~~~one drop at a time.

Even if each drop of water are unaware that we have been together or we have forgotten that we are together since the begining, our hearts know how to return to our home.

Let's enjoy being in the majestic existence before being evaporated and come again in different forms!

Let's listen to our hearts and follow the flow of mothe nature!
Let's return to our home!

Korean Pancake with Nasturtium leaf

This is Nasturtium Flower!

This is Nasturtium leaf!

This is an edible flower!  The flower symbolism associated with the nasturtium is victory in battle, conquest and patriotism. Nasturtium literally means "nose-twister" or "nose-tweaker" because it is too hot to twist your nose.  
To me, it is too hot to eat, and to me, it stand out too much.  It is like the negative aspects of patriotism.
Since I wish no harm upon others, I am the No more wars and the No more violence!

One interesting thing about the Nasturtium Flower is the more the sun-exposed it gets, the hotter the taste it gets.   As we all know that patriotic zealots will die for in the name of patriotism.
I firmly believe that the patriotism brings out the most negative impact that has been against World Peace, which is an ideal of freedom, peace, and co-existance across all the beings.  We all need to learn Mutual Respect, not at the expense of others! 

So, for me, I usually add something over this flower to get the semi-partial sun. I usually put them in my salad by mixing with other greens because it tastes better with others! Or I cook with other vegetables. How about making Korean Pancake with Nasturtium leaf?


Korean Pancake with Nasturtium leaf and Carrot

• Ingredients for vegetables

1. 1 cup of rough chopped Nasturtium leaf

2. 1 cup of carrots, grated

3. 1/2 cup of onion Julienne

4. 1/2 cup of scallions, root ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch diagonal pieces

5. Nasturtium Flowers for garnish

• Ingredients for Korean Pancake Batter

1cup of filtered water

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 ts soy sauce

½ ts salt

½ ts sesame oil

½ ts fresh grounded black pepper

Four garlic cloves, crushed and minced (I am a garlic crazy lover. So I used 4 --but you can use 1 or 2 cloves: no offense)

One egg (optional)

Combine all the ingredients and add all the vegetables to set aside at least 1 hour

• Ingredients for Dipping sauce

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped scallions

1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Coming all the ingredients to make Dipping sauce and keep it in a glass jar with lid for a few weeks in the fridge.


1. Heat a non-stick frying pan with one tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium and high heat.

2. Reduce to the medium heat once it is HOT.  Pour the mixture (about 1/2 cup pancake batter) into the hot frying pan and cook until you see bubbles rising on the surface. Spread or press to make sure that the pancake is spread evenly.

3. Use a spatula to slide under the pancake and flip it over carefully when you see the tiny bubbles and dry out on the pancake surface and the bottom of the pancake is browned

4. Cook on the other side until the top layer is also browned, then transferred to a paper towel to drain the oil.

5. Serve these pancakes when they are fresh and hot. Dip into the dipping sauce. Life is heaven!

Natural Beauty and Healthy Tips!

Cosmetic and Product Testing = Animal Suffering!

Millions of animals, such as rabbits, rats, guinea pigs and many other non-human beings, suffer and die because of inhumane animal testing for Cosmetic and Product Testing!

Moisturizer cream~~~deep-wrinkle remover cosmetics~~~Eye cream~~~Eyeshadow~~~Lip gross & balm~~~soap ~~~furniture polish ~~~oven cleaner are all tested on in order to establish the safety of their cosmetics and household products and ingredients for consumers.

Now, there are some companies claming that they don’t test on animals!

Some European countries have passed the law~~~ban on the use of animals in cosmetics testing.

What do we need to do in order to prevent Animal Suffering?

Be as natural as possible in our life and our skin!
Do not buy products from Animal Suffering, but make your own Natural Beauty and Skin Care at home!

How to reduce stress? This is a way to ease our stress~~~making

Rosemary-Apple Cider Vinegar at home!

I packed 1/3 of the clean jar with fresh rosemary leaves (without woody stem) and add apple cider Vinegar. Leave about 4-6 weeks and use for salad dressing or for rice balls. I also use for my hair rinse~~~this is super good.

This is very simple and easy to make!

... The smell of rosemary is so wonderful, and it makes my house rosemary heaven.

I love the smell of rosemary in my house.

Stop worrying and smell the rosemary!

Or smell the rosemary to reduce stress~~~releasing a happy surge!
Please feel free to add your insights and share your natural healty tips here so that we can learn from each other!

Homemade facial toner!

I have been making my own facial toner for the past two years. This is super easy and very relaxing to make.

I use:

1 cup of rain water (In winter, I get the clean snow water in the Mountain Park where I go for snowshoeing. The clean snow water from the Mountain is the best IMO because it is far from the car and air pollution. You can use distilled water)

1/2 cup of chopped fresh Rosemary, Peppermint and Sage leaves (you can use one or more herbs of your choice~~~and if you only have dried herbs, you only use 1/4 cup of dried herbs)

2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar

1. In a small sauce pot, add water and bring to boil.

2. Turn the heat off and add herbs.

3. Let it steep for 20 -30 minutes.

4. I use a paper coffee filter to strain out herbs and put them in my compost pile.

5. Add vinegar and pour into a clean bottle.

6. Keep it in refrigerator, and I use for about one month.

Feed Skin the way you eat!

Feed Skin the way you eat!

After more than one month of hospitalization in both the Critical Care Unit (CCU) and the intensive care unit (ICU) from my brain aneurysm rupture, I came home with many setbacks ~~~ I could not even walk properly, and I could not sit or stand more than one hour.

When I felt I had NO hope~~~NO life ~~~NO tomorrow, my backyard welcomed me to start a new life~~~a new chapter~~~a new-found appreciation for life~~~a new-found connection to our Mother Earth. By working in the soil, planting seeds, and connecting to our Mother Earth, I dug up the soil and asked myself, "Who am I?" and “What have I done to my body?” I sat down in my backyard and asked myself, "What went wrong?” It took about two years to figure out what went wrong. I realized I was the one who did not listen to my body. I was the one who ate all the quick processed and fast foods for convenience because I was too busy to meet other duties.

I, like everyone else, became a slave of time and money~~~selling the hours of my life to pursue material goods. I had followed the crowd to meet all the material desire and all the societal expectations that had influenced by our society~~~our world. I did not realize what I was doing and how I abuse my body and our Mother Earth. I did not realize so many different layers of selfishness and ego on my body and mind and becoming vain until I became an organic gardener after experiencing a near-death.

After two years of my healing jouney, I learned what went wrong and realized I was the one who can make a difference in my life. 

I started eating healthy foods! I started cooking, which means less store bought foods ~~~less processed foods. I started changing things in my life to see what is needed vs. what is wanted in order to regain and maintain good health physically, mentally, spiritually, etc. I started getting rid of all the stress, improper diet. UNHEALTHY & unnecessary habits and just focused on my health. I decided to reduced my sugar intakes and eat fresh vegetables that I grow.

I have decided to feed my skin the way I eat!  Feed Your Skin the way you eat!
I've been trying to be as natural as possible in my life and my skin. I used to have

Here are some tips how to have healthy skin from me!

1. Cut sugar intakes, store bought foods, processed foods as much as possible

2. Grow Aloe Vera at home and use it whenever you can.

3. This is not a juice to drink. This is the rice liquid!  I save the rice liquid after washing rice to cook. I usually wash my rice three times. I discard the first liquid, but save the second and third rice liquid so that I can use either cooking to make soups or wash my face. Just trust me, washing our face with rice liquid is REALLY good one!

4. RAW honey without chemicals and additives. Raw Honey is the best because it contains a variety of healing properties, such as antimicrobial attributes.  I wash my face with RAW honey once a per instead of using commercial chemical cleaners).  I think it is one of the best cleansers!

5. Baking soda. I use for my face cleansing and exfoliating.