Saturday, August 28, 2021

Jesus lives! In my old bedroom.

Absolutely nothing like what I'm describing.  There aren't enough objects, they aren't big enough, and they aren't covered in nicotine, dust and cobwebs.   

This isn't a fun post.  But it is a freaky one, and I'm responding to a request, so hang on - we're going on a ride into Bat Country without Dr. Gonzo and his bag of tricks.

In 1975 my mother found Jesus the way a Peterbilt truck finds a raccoon on the highway-sudden, hard and messy. At first it was a positive thing...for a short (and rather confusing) time, she went from being God's miserable hemorrhoid to being Jesus ' little sunbeam. Was this my mother? Smiling?  Happy?  Not calling me a whore?

Well, that didn't last long, that smiling, that 'I must be a living Witness for the Word, I must present the best possible face to the world' stuff.  It took about a year for the vicious harpy I'd known all my life to sneak back into the picture, a cigarette here, a drink there, cruel remarks  when I was the only one listening, that would be denied if mentioned.  The only lasting change in her after all was said and done was that she would sprinkle the phrase 'Praise the Lord' into her conversation.

I moved out late in 1978.  My former bedroom was taken over instantly by my mother to become what she termed 'a study'. By that time her pious horseshit had moved from the 'Jesus loves you happy rapture' stage to the 'blaming and shaming, Bible thumpin', Satan is everywhere' stage.  I knew what was coming next, and got the FUCK out of Dodge one month after I came of age.  

Jump forward three years.

I had come to visit, to introduce the Biker to my parents.  He got the whole house tour.  I followed along closely because I had a feeling there would be things I'd have to explain to him later.  Turns out I was right.

My old bedroom was the last stop on the tour.  Oh, I had those forebodings of doom real good by then.  My mom was grinning at me, her eyes filled with vindictive glee as she literally threw open the door.

It was filled to the ceiling. 'Well', I thought, 'I expected that. The woman is a hoarder.'

But at second glance I realized that my former room was now filled to overflowing, from floor to ceiling, only a narrow path from the door to the desk, with religious things - and only religious things.

-Religious posters, banners, framed saints, and holy cards were taped to every wall, behind all the other crap.
-Bibles - not singular, plural - were stacked. Each one was a different edition. None of them had ever been opened. 
-Concordances, study guides, cassette tape courses by every charlatan in the Jesus game - remember how those cassette courses came in big binders? - towered along one wall.
-Devotional statues in abundance, to the point it resembled a Santeria chapel. Collect 'em all!  
-A holy water stoup that was also a switchplate, with Jesus and his bleeding heart above the switch, and the little cup beneath it.  It was covered in crystal glitter and glowed in the dark.
-Boxes and boxes and boxes and piles and rubber banded clumps of religious tracts, magazines, and Christian books up to the ceiling and out into the room.
-Rosaries, scapulars, plaited palm fronds, and other Catholic home accents.  Basically everything in this catalogue: 

Seriously, hit the link.  You'll be...amazed.  Yeah, that's a good adjective.  Amazed.  

There it was. The most insane, over the top collection of Christ-related articles all thrown together in one completely un-used, stale little dusty, stuffy, cobwebbed room where the curtains were clothes-pinned shut.

And topping it all off was the Crucifix of Doom.

This was a full on, 'bleeding Jesus' Catholic crucifix, really a rather beautifully executed thing, and that easily enough judged for its being FOUR FREAKING FEET TALL.

Where does a layperson even find a thing like that?

If you've ever seen a life-sized waxwork statue of the Agony of Christ, or ever been in the Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Tijuana, then you know exactly the type of over-the-top, S and M, eerily lifelike - special effects realism I mean.

And there it was in my room. Bleeding. A lot.  Christ in his last agonies, nothing spared.

I have never.
...been so taken aback in my life. I mean I literally did take a step back in horror. I was scared, and I was appalled.

And she laughed at me.

The Biker didn't get it.  This was something tailored entirely for me to experience.  He didn't get it because he wasn't meant to get it.  Her meaning was absolutely clear to me, though, and that's why she stood there laughing at my reaction. I'd grown up with the woman and I knew how she thought. She had 'exorcised' me from her house and her life. My evil, filthy, stinking, dirty, whorish presence - all epithets that I regularly heard applied to me for 18 years - had been utterly cleansed from that space and her life by filling it with a massive shitpile of God.  
This was a hate installation, and I was the targeted audience. 

"Now whaddya thinka that?" she laughed. "Oh!  You should see ya face!  Whaddya think of that, now?  Go in!  Take a look!"  Just laughing.

We declined.

That was the last time I ever visited them.  Two years later I had to cut them completely out of my life, both parents, for a whole slew of creepy, abusive reasons I won't go into.

I'd done my best to prepare the Biker for what he was likely to see.  He has a fair amount of crazy in his family; alcoholics, hoarders, bulemics; child abuse, drug abuse, crime - you know, a typical American family - but what he saw that day went entirely outside his experience.  He got that it was weird.  What he didn't get was the sheer malice behind it.  And who expects malice presented in the form of Blessed Jesus, meek and mild?  That was a level of mindfuck that it took him years to understand. 

So anyway, there's my little bedtime story.  But take heart - she died years ago.  You could probably summon her up with a Ouija Board, but don't blame me for what happens next.  

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Barbecue Decks and Magic Charms

 Now that the heat has broken I am up off the couch, the fans no longer run in multiples all over the house and I am able to go outside and actually do chores, which my ass appreciates because I don't have much of an ass, and so sitting on what I don't have all day long ends up being a literal pain in the ass.  It's like I have a pair of elbows back there instead of nalgas.  Being up and around is infinitely better than just sitting on a cold gel pack watching YouTube.  This is one of those weird things they don't tell you about getting old.  You get assless.  And I was no bass star to begin with.

So I've been outside working in the yard and doing errands and minor household repairs, puttering, which I love.  Just dipshitting around doing all the little necessary things.  And a few big things too, like cutting out a couple of trees and hauling in a few loads of nice, dry lagoonage before monsoon season arrives and getting that spread around.  Doing some touch-up work on the house paint.  Repairing the barbecue deck. 

We have a barbecue deck made out of machine grade oak boards that's finally giving up the ghost after 18 years, and that's not bad for a free deck that the Biker made out of huge oak shipping crates made for carrying sheet steel blanks.  I've been repairing it with old license plates, and it looks pretty kewell.  You end up with lots of old license plates when you're married to a motorhead. He throws them away, I fish them out of the shop trash and we have the most awesome barbecue deck going.  

I am convinced that the barbecue deck is the male version of the She Shed.  It is it's own whole sub-deck one step down off our main patio deck specifically for outdoor cooking purposes, with a  wood grill, a smoker, a propane grill and a utility cabinet-worktop.  It gets used all the time, and it's a two-man setup. I did not know this was a man thing, but apparently it is.  His buddies come over with large chunks of raw cow or what have you and they all set food on fire outside together.  This deck has seen a lot of testosterone, beer and grease.  And license plates.


I have a shed, and I'm a she, technically, but my shed is full of power tools and various cutting implements powered by gasoline.  And saws and shovels and, you know, yard shit.  Tomato cages and flower pots and stuff. Tarps.  And a bit of pagan symbolism to draw in the fertile and creative properties of the universe.  

Come to that, I went around a couple of days ago and took a look at all the 'good luck' stuff I have around.  Horseshoes with nails over the doorways to chase off what needs chasing, a couple of giant fish hooks jammed into the wood next to the door (This is an old Finnish thing that my grandparents had and meant that you'd never go hungry.) I have 'hand of blessing' doorway charms, and I have a few ring rocks here and there just in case.  I painted the ceiling of my front porch blue, which is a sure way of keeping out haints and demons and the influence of the evil eye and general badness.  

The blue porch ceiling was another thing that my grandparents had.  My grandmother painted it over when she converted to Seventh Day, but she never took down the horseshoes or the fish hooks, oh hell no.  

Or the scythes.  

You want to scare some bad shit, and you were raised rural and German, you put a Grim Reaper scythe up on your house.  She had three!  They were out on the back porch where they used to entertain company; all mixed in with misery whip sawblades and ox bows and elk antlers and cart wheels and all that kind of stuff like you used to see on older peoples houses or barns, old hand forged tools and signs and so forth. But those three scythes were meant for purposes other than rustic ornament. NOTHING was gonna get past those things. 

Now my mother was all about the holy medals and crucifixes and light switch plates with Jesus on them that glowed in the dark.  Every single doorway had a holy medal over it. Crucifixes in every room, including the garage and the basement. By the time I moved out Jesus had pretty much taken over the place, so at least she had a spare room to put him up in.  (And she did.  Oh boy, did she ever.  Ask me nice and I might re-run that story for you.)

It's funny how you might not quite believe in it, but it makes you feel better having those things there just in case.  Does my little tribute to celestial influences out in the shed make my garden grow better?  Do the fish hooks keep us in groceries?  Does the blue porch roof really repel evil?

Maybe not.  But maybe so.  And maybe is where magic lives.

Friday, August 20, 2021

WARNING: Gardening Post


Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes!!      

I have grown every single tomato in this picture.  I'm basically awesome.  

This years' varieties were Black Prince, which is a saladette-sized tomato with a purpley-brick to mahogany color, and Early Beefsteak, which I suspect is held by Monsanto, but don't quote me on that.

The 'Early' line throw fruits which are red and round and apple sized on big, sturdy plants.  In the past I've grown Early Girl, Earlier Girl, and Early Boy.  All of them were disappointments in this climate.  They were prone to crack and blossom end rot, and didn't set a very robust root system, even though I practice deep setting, (where you strip off all the lower leaves and leave four on the very top and then plant the whole stem, leaving the leaves above soil level of course.)  They produced an average tomato, on the watery side, with a lot of seeds and very little 'meat' - and what was there wasn't firm at all.

Early Beefsteak, however, is an entirely different beast.  

I have softball sized tomatoes out there on a beast of a plant with a root system like a fuckin' willow.  The fruit is solid, firm, with lots of meat, scarlet all the way through, and not at all watery. The flavor can become very sweet very quickly, and one day is the difference between tomato flavor and just too damn ketchuppy, so you pick them when they're firm and then let them go another day on the windowsill.  It is great when cooked. There are very few seed cells, and that's not by chance.  Big Seed Inc. does not want you saving those seeds and planting them for free next year.  I don't regret having grown it for an instant.  I am saving time on processing with these big old hummers, and they fit the bill.

I've grown Black Prince before.  Nothing about it is beautiful.  The plant is rangy and the root system is shallow. The leaves curl in the sun and get spotty in the shade.  The fruits will crack just from a heavy dewfall. They split, catface, grow odd protrusions and look ugly. Some will actually turn coal black; most don't. You cannot tell a ripe one from an unripe one because they generally come in all different shades of a color best described as 'Old Worn Out Brown Carpeting With Green Parts.  You have to go in and squeeze them and then pick the ones that give a little, once they've started to color up. They have a hide like a rhino, are more juice than meat and full of seeds.  Why do I grow it?

Because it tastes like the very soul of a tomato, astoundingly fine, and never varies.  I grow it to up the ante on whatever else I've got growing, because sometimes I'll pick a real loser (like 'Taxicab', a screamin' yellow tomato, which, while novel, was basically just a characterless, bland saladette that was half water.)  

I like to grow a good, solid, big tomato for slicing into big ol' slabs and putting on burgers, sandwiches, or frying in olive oil and eating with a little salt. Early Beefsteak, Cherokee Purple and Brandywine all fit the bill. But mostly, I sauce and freeze my tomatoes.

Now, you take Black Prince and mix it with a Brandywine or Cherokee Purple, you've got Heaven.  Mixed with my Early Beefsteak, it brought a utility tomato up to excellence. 

When I sauce tomatoes, I just seed them, run them through the food processor, and then bake the slurry at 275f in a 9 by 13 pan (or the next size smaller depending on how much I have, or even multiple pans on the racks) until I can smell them in the front room - at about the 45 minute mark - and then I stir it and let it go a little more until it's reduced by a third. I might give it another stir if I feel like it. With all that surface area exposed to the dry heat, this process goes fairly quickly, even with multiple pans.  Then I cool it and freeze it and done. Boom. Takes about three hours, no matter how full the oven is.  

Why not reduce it on the stovetop? Because in the oven,  you don't get flies committing suicide in your sauce.   

Yes I've tried a spatter screen.  You have to weight it down with silverware to keep the flies out because rural flies are some weight-lifting little fuckers and will fight their way into that hot tomato sauce to die. You also have to stir your sauce A Lot on the stovetop to keep it from scorching on the bottom even on the lowest setting because of all the natural sugars = spending five hours running in and out of a hot kitchen in late Summer because you're working with a deep pot with poor evaporation properties = NO.   Then when it's all done, you've got a dirty pot and spoon and auxiliary silverware, and the screen is all gunked up with syrupy condensate and you have to soak it in hot water and Dawn and scrub it with a brush and seriously fuck that.

Reducing it slowly in a wide, flat pan in the oven also carmelizes the top of the sauce just a bit, so that when you stir it, all the flavor gets deepened without getting scorched. This is THE way to sauce tomatoes, hands down.  Took me a lot of years to figure this out, and look at you, getting the benefit of my culinary wisdom for free, you lucky people.

What I am making here is an ingredient, not a final product.  That's why I don't use anything but tomatoes in my sauce.  I can thaw some out and jump in any direction from that point, and I always know exactly what flavor to expect.  This kind of plain tomato sauce is EXQUISITE in Indian dishes, and in a minestrone soup it is to die for!  Cream of tomato soup, beef stew, you name it - it even makes a fantastic 'Frappe Style' Bloody Mary!  It's a perfect way to control flavors, and it doesn't have that canned taste.

So, there's that.  No, you can't have any of mine.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

They're Heeeeeeeeere

 And just who are they?  Asian motherfucking murder hornets.  They just found the first live nest in Blaine, Washington, which is entirely too close to where I live.

Story here:

Picture here:

What exactly did this thing evolve to kill?  Water buffalo?  Why does this even exist???   

Murder hornets don't murder people. They murder wasps and honeybees. Now me, I'd have a fuckin' heart attack if I saw one because they're the size of a goddamn field mouse, no lie; and scaring old ladies to death is manslaughter in my book.  

Canada is doing it's part in eradicating them, and a hearty THANK YOU, CANADA for that.  But us?  It's complicated by the fact that up here in the Fourth Corner, there are Vast Tracts O' Land all along the border that are uninhabited. One the opposite side of the border, literally the width of a two lane road that is called, oddly enough, Boundary Road, it's pretty well suburbs and well-managed farms, right up to the line, but on this side it's forests, hillsides, and open fields.  

  The person who found the murder hornet here seems to have found it up underneath an overturned boat, from the photographs.  Blaine is a town on Puget Sound, and it has a fair sized population, but not everyone in Blaine is poking around underneath boats looking for murder hornets either.  I say GET ON THE FUCKING JOB, BLAINE.

I've done my part and have ever since the first mention of the issue.  I have also laid in a stock of wasp and hornet killer. I am not ashamed to use chemical warfare on these things.  Hornets are aggressive!  They will literally come after you for no good reason and sting you just to be assholes.  They'll even bite a chunk out of you!  No shit.  It's happened to me, I saw it happen to my husband, they will literally take a bite out of you and leave a bleeding hole, particularly if you've been sweating.  But stinging isn't good enough for them.  Blind rage isn't enough. Having a whole town in Washington named after them isn't enough. (Twisp, Washington - onomatopoeically named for the sound that hornets make flying in a swarm, which they do like mad bastards there in Twisp.) Flying isn't enough. They are insane flying megalomaniacs, and if they don't get you, their big brother WILL.

Native hornets do have their place in the grand scheme. They are pollinators. Yes!  And the wilderness would be tit deep in dead animals and deer shit and bear crap and old rotten trees without hornets.  Ever wondered why the forest is such a tidy place?  Hornets.  Then people came along and started building boats and turning them over and providing hornets with predator-free areas to build their nests. The murder hornet in Blaine was found snacking on a regular hornets nest up underneath that boat.  I don't know who to root for in that situation.

In the wilderness, hornets are kept in line.  They're basically snacks once the sun goes down.  They go dormant and just cluster up on on the outside of their nests.  A pine marten or squirrel or what have you comes along and gets a crunchy late night snack, like the wilderness version of ghost pepper Doritos, I guess. 

There are no pine martens here at Rancho FirstNations, and damn few squirrels.  We get regular sized hornet nests in the eaves of the garage, in our cars up under the sheet metal (which is demented but who can divine the purposes of these fuckin' things?) and in our TWO SHEDS. Yes.  We have TWO SHEDS. Insert Monty Python jokes here!  TWO SHEDS BABY!!  RANCHO 'TWO SHEDS' FIRSTNATIONS!! SHEDS SHEDS SHEDS!  IT'S SHED MADNESS!!!!!!!!!

Where was I.  Oh. Hornets.  So we get hornet nests, and we destroy hornet nests, and they build them again, and we destroy them again.  Come August, you better have destroyed those hornet nests and cleared them away completely, because something about the month of August really pisses hornets off .  I don't know why it is, but it is, and it's a damn fact.  They are everywhere and they are all in an insane rage about something. 

Now supersize all those propensities.

You got you a Murder Hornet, Paco.  

They have a stinger that is 1/4 inch long and they can SPRAY poison out of that stinger if just stinging the fuck out of you hasn't made enough of an impression, and they can sting your ass multiple times and just fly off laughing.  The venom can cause kidney failure, and does cause your tissues to break down and liquify at the sting site, which is utterly horrible. They hunt in packs. Yes! And they live underground, taking over old rodent holes, like rat, mole and vole runs.  So now, I get to go around hunting up critter holes and vole runs and plugging those, which I've added to my gardening routine.

I've been stung by a ground wasp, which has the same kind of venom, just in a vastly smaller dose.  Now a ground wasp is a tiny, sad little excuse for a wasp the size of a house fly, but that sting raised a welt that spread all around my ankle and turned mushy, and then just kind of sloughed for a few weeks, which was not beautiful or appropriate. And it itched.  A murder wasp sting feels like having a hot nail driven into your leg.  Plus, you lose immune response the more times you're stung, per Wikipedia. 

1. Who is out there in Asia dicking with the murder hornets and getting stung so many different times that they're losing immune response? 2. Presumably the people who go out and harvest the fucking things to be fried and eaten, because hey, let's eat it before it eats us.  I can kind of get with that sentiment, but I'd also be wearing a Kevlar suit while I did it, and I am in no hurry to apply for that job, so there's that too.

Here's another reason to police those little hornet nests you find around.  Murder hornets?  The big fuckers?  They scent-mark.  They go around scent-marking hornet and honeybee nests, and then they come back later in a pack when they're hungry and eat them ALL.  Having regular hornets flying around being assholes is one thing.  Leaving up multiple hornet nests, empty or not, with MURDER HORNET SCENT TAGS on them is tantamount to standing on the roof of your car and screaming  'Come sting the fuck out of me, vast murderous hornets, and then feast on my remains!'.

As if this weren't enough to stress my shit, Canada is on fire again, and we're in the middle of a heatwave/drought.  I wake up to the smell of smoke, the sky is yellow, everything an acre distant is buried in haze, and there is not a breath of wind.  Oddly, it's also incredibly humid, so after the sun goes down and the dew falls, it smells like an old rotten cellar hole outside.  Like the kind you find in the dank woods that has a gross puddle in one end?  That cellar hole. That smell.  

I've been getting up early and doing all my outside work in the morning, when it's cooler.  I just speed - trimmed my umbrella alder this morning, trying to beat the heat, and the kid next door learned a lot of new swear words in English from me as I went around with the hedge trimmers, clippers and loppers like a maniac. That was at 7:00.  By nine in the morning it was 80f, and it's 86f now, which amounts to 30C and too goddamn hot everywhere else in the world. Not a breeze.

What do I have instead of a breeze?  The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in my driveway, bugging The Biker, roaming around like this is a public park, wanting to go in the garage and play with the air compressor.  The Biker finally chased them off.  Five minutes later one comes back and stands outside yelling 'Hey!' at the house for a few minutes.  What is up with this?  When you were a kid, did you go around bothering random old people?  No!  You avoided them because they would smack you with their canes and yell at you in Norwegian.

Right now I'm inside with the fans going and quilts nailed over the windows to keep out the heat, which works surprisingly well.  It's pretty pleasant in here.  I've got my kim chee going and there's tomatoes being processed, and I'm feeling like I accomplished something, which is nice, because I intend to spend the rest of the day doing exactly nothing.  And so should you.  

Unless you live in Whatcom County.  Then you should go outside and clear all your damn hornet nests. The life you save may be your own, but more importantly, MINE.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Rancho Recipe: Kim Chee!

 One of my favorite things in the entire world to eat is Napa kim chee. It is DELICIOUS.  I go through the stuff like a buzz saw.  It's my breakfast of choice, in fact.  Kim chee over rice with a little sesame oil.  That'll put lead in your pencil, boy. It is among one of the top healthiest things in the world to eat, too. Look it up!  But the problem is, the stuff is expensive.  

So I goes online, I does, and I looked up recipes.  Come to find out, making napa kim chee is absolutely dead simple and need not involve the use of vast crocks and burying things for a year and all that. No!  You can make it in your kitchen!  No cooking involved! 

The core process is soaking room temperature, bruised napa cabbage in just enough room temperature salt water to cover it for about four hours, or overnight, doesn't matter.  The salt, the water, and the compounds and natural bacteria found in the cabbage mix and create what's called a lacto fermentation.  How? The salt kills harmful bacteria but not the benign ones, and those benign bacteria produce not alcohol, but lactic acid.  It's that lactic acid that pickles the ingredients.  You get that process started and it's off to the races! 

First and foremost:  Do let's start out with clean hands and utensils, and do rinse off your ingredients too.  Unless you like botulism.  Do you like botulism? No. Nobody likes botulism.

Now the following is all 'to taste', and take into consideration the fact that I'm the only one in the house who eats the stuff.  I make it in small batches, and it lasts me about, eh, two weeks if I'm being conservative.

The salt water should be as salty as the sea.  Please don't use sal gris or himalayan pink salt because those products are not pure.  Ideally, use kosher salt.  I like the 'Diamond Crystal' brand.  Iodized is fine. Smoked is also fine. The idea is, you don't want dirt (pink Himalayan is full of clay) or seagull shit and fish assholes (sal gris) in your kim chee. 

  My particular taste is more cabbage than anything else, so I use a smallish head of napa as big around as a magnum bottle of wine (how's that for a measurement?), four red radishes,  two tablespoons of crushed garlic, one teaspoon of crushed ginger, one cup of cut scallion greens, a healthy few glugs of fish sauce and about 1 tbl of oyster sauce, or less.  I use two heaping tablespoons of Nanami Togarashi spice, and once it's all mashed together and packed I end up with about a half-gallon of kim chee.  

Now to get things happening, you chop the head of Napa in half. (This is to help keep the ingredients all in a bunch and submerged than it is aimed at end use, when you'll cut it into bite size with a scissors.)  Use the core too, removed and sliced fine.  Put it in enough salt water to just cover it.

Now, scrunch the cabbage around in the salt water with your bare hands until it gets soft. Spend a couple of minutes really squishing this stuff. Put a cheesecloth or a splatter guard over the bowl to keep out flies, roaches, hippies and what have you.  Then walk away and find something to keep you busy for the next four hours (or overnight, doesn't matter.)   

The salt water and the cabbage juices and natural cabbage bacteria all start doing their thing and lactic acid begins to be created.  Once it starts, it doesn't stop, although it will slow down to almost nothing after being chilled in the refrigerator.

After this initial soaking, strain out the cabbage into a bowl - but keep that salty water handy - and add the rest of the ingredients to the cabbage, which will now be very flubby and glossy.

Squish the ingredients together in a bowl to make the juices flow. Use your hands, gloved or not, or use a potato masher and a spoon and turn it over and around and just really mistreat it for awhile. Don't make a paste out of it, let the ingredients keep their structural integrity, but get them juices flowing!  

Now pack it all in a jar, a Tupperware, what have you, and pack it in tight.  No air bubbles. Tip in a little of the salt water, tap the container on the counter until there's no bubbles coming to the surface, squish it down and then put a plate, or pickling weights, or whatever you can on top of that, and then top it up with the leftover salt water until it covers the ingredients by an inch. The idea is to keep as much of the vegetation underwater as you can, though naturally a few bits will escape (and you will throw those away, because they'll spoil the batch.) Leave some 'head room' in the container, about an inch or two between the lid and the contents. With the weights in place, put the lid on very loosely, set the container in a bowl out of the way, at room temperature - not in the blazing sunlight, of course,  and wait three days.  

Some liquid might burble out due to the fermentation process. I've never had this happen, but my daughter, who makes it in huge batches, has. Wipe that up with a clean, dry paper towel (no soap!) if that needs to happen.  Three days later, tighten down the lid, and put the container and the bowl it's in into the refrigerator, and there you go. Done! Ready to eat once chilled!

Now you're worrying about botulism and salmonella.  Me, I'm assuming you rinsed off your vegetables and you have a clean workspace.  That being the case, lactic fermentation is pretty safe.  You're working with an acid, after all, (lactic acid!) and like vinegar, also an acid, also used to pickle, it kills the 'bad' bacteria, and only the acid producing organisms survive. 

 Like anything that's been canned or pickled, once you open it, put it right back in the refrigerator.  If you don't, then you're courting trouble.  Otherwise, be neat and clean and you'll be OK.

And you'll have kim chee!