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How Do I Kombucha?

21 Jun

Here’s what you’ll need.

What is Kombucha? Better yet, what in the heck is a SCOBY? Kombucha is a fermented drink. A SCOBY is the mother or baby “mushroom” that you use to make Kombucha. SCOBY stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Well, I’m not going to really delve into the health benefits but suffice to say that Kombucha has been proven to increase the productivity of your liver function. Other claims are increased focus and energy. And some of us, just like the taste of it.

Things you’ll need to make your Kombucha:

  • Big pot (stainless steel) 8 quart
  • 4 Lipton or Tetley black tea bags
  • Large mason jar ~1.5 quart
  • less than 1/3 cup of white sugar (adjust to taste)
  • Elastic band
  • coffee filter
  • wooden spoon
  • Water
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • SCOBY
  • Some left over Kombucha
  • small plate

Okay. It’s really easier than it already sounds. Here’s my process. Fill up the big pot a little more than half way with water. Boil for 15 minutes. Steep tea bags for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags with wooden spoon (you can dip the spoon in the boiling water to sterilize). Add sugar. Stir until dissolves. Clean small plate with some of the hot tea water. Open large mason jar with last batch of Kombucha. Grab new small mason jars, sterilize with a little of the hot tea water (or use vinegar), pour fermented Kombucha liquid into jars and put them in fridge. Leave about 1 cup (including dregs) and SCOBY in large mason jar then poor some of the vinegar over your hands and retrieve the SCOBY, put it on the small plate and cover with coffee filter (keep any insects away). Fill the large mason jar up with new hot tea and let it sit and cool down. Once cool. Drop in your SCOBY and add a cup or two of the fremented Kombucha (last batch) into the mixture. Put the coffee filter on top of the large mason jar and adhere with an elastic band. Now put in DARK, HOT place and leave for 7-14 days. Check it at 7 days if it’s summer time and longer if it’s colder out. Poor a small amount into a glass and taste. If it’s to your liking, repeat. The longer it sits the more acidic it gets (ie: tastes like vinegar).

Once you start this process, I must admit, it is hard to stop the perpetual production. I like the taste of Kombucha. My husband, on the other hand, thinks it’s disgusting. That doesn’t stop me from asking him over and over again if he would like to try my new batch. But don’t rely on our taste buds. You decide. Give the recipe a try. Oh yeah, where do you get a SCOBY? Well, you can buy them online. Or if you’ve got something to barter with (homemade wine, beer, cookies, or a great miso soup recipe), I might just give you one.

Getting ready to store my new batch of Kombucha.

 

fit to be tied

1 Sep

ah, embroidery floss. so many possibilities. in this case, i wanted to dress up some jewelry wire i’ve been playing with. this started life as a fairly bland hoop for an earring and another bit of wire i was determined to force into some kind of shape, finally becoming a bow. bent into an elongated oval and wrapped with two tones of floss, the hoop became the foundation for an easy bracelet.

it isn’t exactly finished – the band is tied off, friendship bracelet-style, so that i’ll have to cut it off if it’s coming off – but i’ve got some ideas for the next time around.

disaster preparedness, hipster spinster edition

29 Aug

don’t know if you’ve heard, but there was a spot of bad weather out here on the east coast over the weekend. i don’t have a television so i didn’t get the whole escalating weather report treatment, a small mercy and the major reason why i met the apparently apocalyptic threat of hurricane irene with relative calm. other than erratic rain jags and a window-rattling burst of wind or three, i spent sunday indoors reading, catching up on project runway and misfits (an awesome bbc show about a group of juvenile delinquents sentenced to community service when they gain superpowers through a freak storm. like you do.) and finishing up a little embroidery project.

i had begun this as an inexpensive gift for my friend beth’s b-day. although i had a whole hour before the party and then a few minutes on the bus (thus earning the title hipster spinster from my dear friend dave), i didn’t get much further than the gesture that day. beth wanted it to be a patch, so now that i’ve finished the image, i’m working on a blanket-stitched edging. i’m thinking once i finish the purple edge, i might go in with another color (pink? orange? blue?), in between the purple as a way to hide my massively uneven edging (hey, i can’t draw, cut, paint – and at certain times walk – in a straight line so i’m not gonna get too hung up on the fact that my sewing follows suit. acknowledge and adapt, i say).

i wanted to teach myself how to embroider after seeing some of the really awesome work a handful of artists have been turning out lately – great examples from the pricked: extreme embroidery show at the museum of arts and design in new york can be seen here. i’m definitely not up to that level but i’ve made a decent start, no?