Bad Blogger

I have been a terrible blogger these past few weeks. Summer just seems to go by so fast, I can’t believe it is mid-August already! The last few week have been so jammed full of stuff that I can’t describe it all so I am not going to bombard you with pictures, because everyone needs to see copious amounts of pictures of my super cute kids right? If no then you can stop reading!

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Most of the time is is what happens when I try and get a photo!

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Naked baby trying to choose her clothes!

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Playing firemen at grandma’s house.

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We tried fresh peaches, they were a hit! (fresh hummus not do much!)

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Reading books!

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Loving sisters!

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We went to the museum to see the special exhibit about dinosaurs. Daddy wore the baby!

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We also rode on the subway. We could have done this for the entire day and both kids would have loved it!

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Digging for dinosaur bones.

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Riding in the sling at the book store.

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Playing Lego in her dress up princess clothes!

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J decided that going in the house that was made was much better than playin with the house. She then methodically took it apart piece by piece.


That just about sums up my last few weeks. I am hoping this post turns out ok as i am trying to do it from my phone as I am trapped under a nursing/sleeping baby. I hope to give you some more in depth post next week as I have been working on some exciting things!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Do You Kombucha? How I Do it.

Yesterday I told you about how I started drinking KT and growing my own mother culture or SCOBY. Today I will share how I actually make the KT that we drink. For the most part I generally follow the recipe in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook by Sally Fallon but I scaled it down a little.

I start with 2 quarts of water (or ~2L if you are Canadian like me). I bring that to a boil and I add 2/3 of a cup of sugar (more if it is really hot out and I know it will brew faster than normal) and 2 or 3 black tea bags. I then let this sit overnight to cool. Or if I am in a hurry I will add extra tea bags and at the end dump in a bunch of ice cubes. While it is cooling I get everything else ready. I add at least 1 cup of KT from the previous batch (generally the first pour off the jar has the most active cultures in it and will help jump start your next batch) to my container. Once the tea is at room temperature I add that to the container and float my SCOBY on top. Don’t worry if it sinks it will float up to the top or it may even stay at the bottom but a new little baby SCOBY will form on the top. Then I put a tight weaved cloth over top and secure with an elastic as flies seem to love this stuff! I generally let mine brew for a week but at the 5 day mark I start tasting it to see when it is ready.

My Kombucha Corner

I was a little bit confused when I read all these posts about tasting it and I was trying to figure out how to taste it without contaminating the whole batch. The best way I have found is to take a clean straw and stick it under the SCOBY, then cover the other end with your finger to trap the KT in the straw, bring the straw out of the container and taste. It works great.

Once it is brewed to your likeness I then start the process all over again and bottle the kt that is done. Depending I sometimes do a second ferment with different flavours. Hannah Crum of Kombucha Kamp has some wonderful different flavouring ideas on her website some are found here and here. Our favourite flavours are raspberry blueberry or strawberry. To do a second ferment I cut up some fruit (or if it s berries squish them a bit) until it covers the bottom of the container, then depending on the tartness I may add a bit of sugar and then pour my kt over top. Then I cap it and let it sit for a day or too.

Cherry pieces floating in my second ferment

After you have brewed a batch your SCOBY will grow a little baby. This baby may be stuck to the original mother and you can either peel it off and start a new batch with it or leave it attached. I generally will peel the first little baby off and store it so I have an extra just in case something goes wrong. Check out this video of how to make a SCOBY Hotel (a fancy name for storing your SCOBY in a jar). After a while if you keep your original mother will get tired and not brew quite as fast or look a little sad. This is when I generally cut her up into a little pieces and add her to my garden. It works great!

Old tired mother culture on the left, new happy baby on the right

I love making my KT it is such a fun activity and A loves to help me with the SCOBY so it is her job to help float it on top. This is such a great summer drink because it can be fruit bubbly and fun.

For more information see this post by Kristen of Food Renegade and this Healthy Brew guide by Hannah Crum of Kombucha Kamp.

Next week I will share my other favourite bubbly drink with you, water kefir!

Shared as part of Fight Back Friday on Food Renegade.

Do You Kombucha? I do….. now.

That is such a fun word Kombucha! A loves to help me make it she loves to just say it over and over and over again! Today I am going to share how I started making kombucha. I had been reading several different books and blogs about tradition foods. All of the recipes sounded interested and tasty however there was one that seemed just downright weird to me and that was kombucha. For those of you that don’t know

Kombucha is a living health drink made by fermenting tea and sugar with the kombucha culture. (Definition from Seeds of Health.co.uk)

Sounds weird right? I kept reading more and more different articles and stories about this so called “wonder drink.” I am very skeptical when it comes to health foods and homeopathic stuff. Don’t get me wrong I use quite a number of them, but since I was raised in a very “western medicine centred” family (many family members are traditional doctors, nurses dentists etc) I tend to approach things with caution.

The other thing that kind of scared me was this Kombucha mother thing. What is the mother, well after looking around I learned it is called a SCOBY (with the O sound as in Scope mouth was and not Scooby Doo). This stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. Yeah that sounds like something I want to drink!

One day I was in my local health food store picking up some vitamins and I saw a bottle of Asian Pear and Ginger Kombucha Wonderdrink. So I thought I would give it a try (after I nearly chocked on the +$4 price tag I took it home. That evening when the girls were in bed and my wonderful husband was at class I curled up with my drink and my book. It was bubbly and delicious. But at over $4 a drink that was totally out of my price range!!!

originaliteaAs I was looking around on the internet I saw this post by Food Renegade of How to Grow your own Kombucha SCOBY and I though I would give it a shot. The only problem I ran into was the kombucha that I had tried earlier was pasteurized so there was no living culture in it. That meant that I couldn’t start my own from that particular brand. Finally after much searching (small towns tend to have limited health food options) I found Tonica Kombucha. I bought two, one to drink (yum) and one to start my mother. So I followed the instructions of the Food Renegade post, covered my drink and hoped and prayed this jug of sweet tea would grow me a mother.

I left the jug a lone for about 7 weeks. I wouldn’t really recommend starting it in the winter if you live in a cold climate unless you want to wait a LOOOOONG time. I live in Ontario and it was pretty chilly until about mid-March when it hit almost 30C (86F) then things really took off! When I peaked under the cover I saw a bumpy opaque mass of stuff floating on top of my tea.

My brand new kombucha mother.

Isn’t it lovely! I know it isn’t much to look at but man does it make me happy. I know there are several thousand website around that purport that kombucha can do everything from regulating your digestive system to growing a new limb (ok well that may be a wee bit of an exaggeration). For me, I drink it because it is tasty, it doesn’t have too much sugar (you can make it according to your tastes) and it is bubbly. I like pop (or Soda as I am told it is called in the US), I love the bubble in it and I love that it is not water. I drink a lot of water in a day so having 1 glass of something that is bubbly and refreshing is a nice change. Since I have started drinking the kombucha I haven’t had any pop, I will take the KT over the pop any day now because I can pronounce all of the ingredients in it (tea, water, and sugar) and it doesn’t have any scary ingredients like aspartame or caramel colour.

So that is how I started drinking the weird drink called kombucha and how I started my own  mother. Tomorrow I will tell you all about how I actually use the mother to make my kombucha and some of our favourite flavours!

Shared as part of Fight Back Friday.