Sunday, July 30, 2006

kombucha diary II: one month later

it's that time again, friends!
what time, you say??
time to procrastinate homework by posting a blog entry! geez, i'm behind, but the stories and photos are still there, just waiting to be click-clacked to you.
so how are the boocha babies?
babies, you say? weren't we just talking about a single boocha? do they multiply?
like micro-bunnies.
that first boocha mommie took no time at all to reproduce. by the next morning, the top of her tea was frothy. in 3 days, a gooey-looking cover had formed over the top, which in five days had matured into a gelatinous, brain-oid layer that i was kinda scared a little alien was going to erupt out of if i got too close! ! we were absolutely FASCINATED with this, and i peeked in on that little boocha as often as i could walk by!

do we dare try the resulting sweet-smelling liquid??

Sealion and i celebrated our first successful boocha-batch on the fourth of july.
fireworks exploded before our eyes as we realized the refreshing beverage potential!

that day i started my second batch in the faithful-first punch bowl. and now i had two mommies ~ the first one that Joanne gave me, and the baby that it created. so we needed another container, right? cuz we coulda easily drunk that punch-bowl's worth in a matter of days (i think it was two), with restraint.
with Sealion's usual zeal, he set to searching at our now-favorite downtown-sac thrifstore, the SPCA (for adopt-a-kitties!), and came up with boocha vessels galore! a ceramic "POPCORN" container, a glass cookie jar with wooden lid, a lid-less gallon Mason jar, and ~ his prize ~ a HUGE (huge!!) cowboy-coffee pot with that blue-with-white-speckled enamel like those classic camping cups and plates have. we were in Boocha Business!
i made gallons and gallons of that sugary tea. then, tentatively at first, i sliced up the original mommie, saying, "thank you! you're a good mommie! we appreciate your work!!" so that she wouldn't feel abused. .. !
ger sploosh, ger sploosh! each new batch got a segment of the original mommie, and some original Kombucha to get the chewin' started.
now we had a veritable nursery in the downstairs cupboard (right across from Sealion's succulent plant nursery!! ~ so many gro-lights; it must be illegal!! ;-D ), and in not too long, the towels and sheets that shared that cabinet space ~ heck ~ the whole downstairs!! smelled of brewin' boocha. tangy nectar.

well, it's been almost a month now, and about a week ago, i checked the batches and ~ they were bubbly! this means they're coming along to tang-maturity. it's working!!! mwAHAHAHAHA!!!
in that time, my boocha mommie has become quite the gal-to-know (if ya know what i mean); she's made babies for THREE of my friends already!! Hollis, Kristin, and Dorothy, all are proud new parents of boocha bubblers!! i'm so psyched to share the love! who will join the refreshing-cleansing bandwagon next? ?

admiring the boocha: the brain-oid top layer ~ from above, and an illuminated (cuz we're that wacky!!) side-view,
the first glass: Sealion and i waive our rights, and sip with delight!
the boocha nursery: shhh! boochas sleeping!

Friday, July 21, 2006

high vibrating smoothie

remember the supergreen that i started drinking some time ago?
still drinking it. we're using a brand called Green Vibrance that i like a lot. such good stuff in there. and thanks to my recent nutrition training, i understand a lot more of the label! probiotics ~ the microbeasties that enliven your gut ~ chock full of those, sea veggies, land veggies, fiber, selenium, vitamin E, antioxidants, and stuff that helps you deal with stressors, enzymes and minerals.
what i'm drinking now is:
about a pint glass and a quarter of filtered water, with:
a bloop of homemade (organic raw whole milk) kefir,
a couple handfuls of frozen berries and frozen bananas,
a good drizzle of raw unfiltered honey,
flax and chia seeds freshly ground,
a knob of fresh ginger, grated,
about a quarter avocado,
half a capful of fish oil (no more than that!!),
a dash of stevia powder,
lime or lemon juice,
and a large rounded scoop of Green Vibrance.

it's not totally frozen; more of a thick cool liquid.
the fish oil is a bit obnoxious ~ i'll give you that.. i'm wondering if the lemon variety would be less offensive. but i think a half-capful is not bad ~ i wouldn't try to feed it to someone else (tried that!! only once.. ), but it's palatable for me, cuz i know how good it is for me!!
high-vibratin'! so nourishing! my body says, thank you!

update: january 2007 ~ welcome Vitamineral Green
i stopped using Green Vibrance. as i studied more about it, i found that it was composed in large part of non-organic soy. in our country these days, most soy is genetically engineered. i am interested in having as little soy in my diet as possible, except for fermented soy sauce and miso (Goddess knows i ate more than my share during my vegetarian years!!). i have been led to believe that soy in its unfermented form is highly undigestible, and chemically wreaks havoc on our systems. in cultures that have traditionally eaten soy, it is taken in much smaller quantities, and is usually fermented, as with soy sauces (shoyu and tamari), miso, and tempeh. and considering this product didn't even label their soy as organic, i certainly didn't want to have anything to do with it, or support their company any longer. we now use Vitamineral Green. this is made by a company which seems sincerely dedicated to super-health and sustainable practices. it's very blue-green and vibrating.
i'm also using Nordic Naturals orange-flavored fish oil, which to my taste, is very nice, and no fishy taste at all. i use about a teaspoon.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


i baked my first batch of my very own sourdough today!
first, i created the starter:
in a clean glass jar, i made a soupy mixture of whole wheat flour and filtered water, whisking it energetically to aereate. i walked around outside, midday, as i did this~~to invite floating yeast-beasties that were passing by.
then: i tossed in a couple of fresh organic grapes *unwashed* to add a little sugar and boost the yeast production process. (i learned this from Sandor Ellix Katz's _wild_fermentation_. i rubber-banded a square of linen cloth over the top for breathability, and left the jar of dough out in the sacramento summer sun to warm up.
by AFTERNOON the frothing bubbling dough had overtaken its linen covering. i removed the grapes and stirred down my starter. for the next two days i added a little more flour and water, whisking and aereating, and set it outside again.
the stuff sure smells sour, alright!

i used this starter to make Bernard Clayton's California Whole Wheat Sourdough. the recipe called for adding molasses to the starter, but i didn't have any, so i substituted an equal amount agave nectar with sucanat mixed in. i think honey would have worked well, too. i used a combination of organic whole wheat and whole spelt flours, a few tablespoons of organic butter (in place of vegetable shortening) and added a cup of wheat berries that i soaked overnight. (do i need to specify that i use all organic products, or can it be assumed?)
i kneaded it vigorously for ten minutes.
i set it out to proof, covered, in the sun for several hours. molded into rounds and placed in a greased loaf pan (mine was a stoneware baking dish), and let proof for another couple hours.
i baked it until it was brown and crusty on the outside, and it made a nice hollow-sounding "thump" when i knocked my finger on it.
the never-used (but thrift store-bought!) stoneware baking dish soaked up the oil i smeared on it, so that the bread stuck, and fell apart before i could get it out of the dish. it was a cosmetically-imperfect loaf that came out well in other regards, especially for a first try.
it produced a brown, moist, hearty loaf with a crust, crunchy berries, and a touch of brown-sweetness. although it was hearty, it was not too dense. the sour aspect especially came through in the aftertaste. of the many samplings i tasted (and tasted and tasted!), i thought it was best accompanied by the hard, robust sheep cheese we had in the fridge, and a touch of salt.

photos: the sourdough starter.
finished loaf.