In the wake of last year's Worldwide Financial Ruin, it seemed like everyone and their apartment-sized chihuahau mix was suddenly making like grandma and delving into the DIY economy world of canning, pickling, and preserving, making your own pastas, sausages, and breads. I for one am even more enthusiastic in 2010, especially since most of it's so wicked-easy. Maybe you've already gotten into the home brewing of kombucha or canning a summer of salsa's worth of hot roasted chiles, but if you haven't already added homemade kim chee to you repertoire, now's the perfect chance. The Merc's own Alison Hallett has been getting into this of late, and she says it's a painless, "forgiving" process. All you really need are some basic instructions and an inspiring introduction to some possible variations, and tomorrow night you'll get your chance. People's is hosting a workshop from 6-7:30 pm to learn all about Korean-style fermented vegetables (free, but donations accepted). YUM.

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The workshops being given by Eric Norman, a nutritional therapist, and David Rafn—both are proponents of pickled vegetables in general, across cultures and traditions, and have also done workshops on sauerkraut, sauerreuben (fermented turnips), and the like. Nutritionally, they point out that the fermented quality gives kim chee the same probiotic powers as yogurt and kombucha, and the garlic, ginger, and spices boost the immune system. They'll be giving a introduction to the history of the dish, and providing samples of two different varieties to taste. Rafn specifically enthuses the convenience: "You can make a shit-ton, and always have something in your fridge that's not, like, a corn dog."