These days it seems like everything must be easy, simple, or convienient. And I can't deny that I, too, prefer such shortcuts in basically every aspect of my life. My family and friends are very busy people too and they often call Kimchi "Keumchi" (Keum/Geum means Gold in Korean) meaning that Kimchi is that valuable to busy Koreans. Kimchi is part of a life for a Korean and Kimchi is not the easiest thing to make. It takes time to make at home and it is expensive to buy at a store.
But we always miss homemade cooking during our busy lives. Don't we? At least I do. I really get sick of eating out and just miss homemade meals.
I miss that special taste you just can't get it from the store bought ones. I'm sure you know what I mean. Koreans call such taste mom's "Sohn Maht." Sohn means 'hand' and Maht means 'taste.' It describes the wonderful taste of homemade cooking that everyone loves. The term implies that whoever cooks for their own family, traditionally the mother of a family, transfers love and care into a unique taste while cooking (with hands). That's why your mother's cooking is always so good!! Mothers want to feed their children something healthy and tasty and we can taste her love. It's her Sohn Maht!
Even Kimchi tastes different in different households and different stores. Not only are the store bought Kimchi expensive, but they lack SohnMaht. Since I was little, I always watched her make Kimchi and I was always the one to try Kimchi first before she stuffed them. If I say OK, she starts to stuff them. Even today she asks me to try Kimchi and sometimes I help her out too. It may seem like nothing much to others but it is something I will always remember. Someday I maybe the one letting my daughter to try some first, doing the same things I did with my mom.
If you are just too busy no one will condemn you for buying one (we buy some too when we run out of Kimchi and just can't find the time to make more), but maybe once in a while making your own Kimchi could be something special for your family! Scroll down to find Kimchi recipes! Let them remember and treasure your Sohn Maht! I know I can't forget my mom's Sohn Maht.