Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Blob, part 2

I hate it when I bite my tongue. Hard to limit it's use, with one mouth and all. Kept re-biting it, I talked funny, it stung.

That was the state of my tongue after I had started my Kombucha culture from the Blob that day...and my eyes rested on the light colored fluid left in the glass container that didn't fit in the starting pitcher.

Well, in a moment of derring-do and recklessness that serves me well to get me on the road on 23mm wide wheels dressed in lycra, rolling next to tons of metal and steel on the road, I poured it over a glass of ice, and took a sip.

Fizzy, tangy, refreshing, it was delicious! A bit stronger than the bottled KT, but I liked it. No, I LOVED it.

And moments later, I realized my tongue didn't hurt.

Rather than a 'miracle' I figured it was the ph of the KT that agreed with my mouth. Curiously, I ate one of those evil Cadbury chocolate eggs that have been a nemesis to the extra rolls around my waist...and immediately, the stinging came back with a vengeance.

Are tongues like my inner intestines? Can my body signal good/bad so easily?

At any rate, I'm hooked.

(I'm careful, of course. Any sign of mold or an unhealthy scoby, it will feed my earthworms. But I think of it in line with canning, preserving, more traditional wines and beers, sauerkraut, chutney and kim-chi.)

For my frugal self, instead of paying $3-4 a bottle, I can have a gallon for pennies.

For my healthy self, it beats any kind of soda or iced coffee, and I already know it 'agrees' with my body.

For my inner mad scientist, it's loads of fun! Will the Blob climb out of it's jar and take over the Republic of Davis? Instead of test tubes, I play with nifty tea brewing gadgets than drain from the bottom, and mysterious herbs with names like 'Snow Leopard,' 'White Monkey,' or 'Temple of Heaven.'

Blob Jr. says 'Hi'

Bottoms up!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Blob, part 1

During Spring Break, I got to do what I love best. Find new things to spend money on. I mean, find ways to make my life healthier, and save money in the long run. Yes, that's it.

That's when Kombucha flitted across my screen, caught my attention, and reignited my interest...

I had done kombucha years ago. I found an offer on Freecycle, and raised my virtual hand, and soon picked up a lovely little round rubbery disc to adopt, feed, and drink the resultant liquid. I enjoyed the taste, but in my youth, experienced no miraculous relief of assorted ailments...and then I got tired of feeding, brewing, and so on, and let it sit on top of my fridge, growing steadily, and averted my eyes when I noticed it. 

(For those that aren't familiar with kombucha, it is a fermented drink created from tea, sugar, and water in which the SCOBY ( Sybiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) resides and converts the tea brew into something that's reminiscent of vinager. You can find bottles of it in most health food stores, with words like 'enzymes' and 'probiotics' and 'antioxidants' on it. Along with the $4 sticker price.)

Anyway, my former neat little scoby grew into an alarmingly large mass of bacteria/yeast, and with a great deal of guilt, I eventually laid it to rest in my compost pile, not knowing what else to do with it.

And here I was, maybe a decade later, a decade older, and thinking of adopting another. 

50's is tough. Joints ache, getting up from sitting is sometimes painful. My sound sleep is a thing of the past. My digestion is shakier. Small, superficial skin injuries don't heal and disappear anymore. Winter weight no longer melts away when my cycling increases in the warmer weather...

So even if most of the folklore surrounding the healing properties of Kombucha weren't true, it would be a nice drink I could brew myself and save a lot of dollars for those times when I crave the flavor of Kombucha~

SO I did what many would turn to in this time and age. I asked on Facebook. And that's how the Blob came into my life.

M replied to my request. And I could come over right away and pick it up! I rode my bike over, and M met me outside, and I went in. Everyone else in the household was asleep, and she starts telling me about 'ET'. Not a neat little off-white disc here, ET looked huge, and floating slightly folded over in the mason jar, and a few shades of brown. 

She was  mine now. I carefully rode her home.

Reservations? Sure! I had no idea how long ET has been in the jar, how ET was kept, or where ET has been. But I followed through and washed my pitcher with soap and hot water, brewed a few miscellaneous teas I found in the cupboard, and threw in a cup of white sugar. Letting it cool to around room temperature, I slid in the Blob ET, and poured in most of the liquid. I placed it on top of my fridge, and tried to convince myself I would drink the result.

Does this look appetizing to you?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Let's talk baggies

Being the frugal gal that I am, I bring my lunch to work every day. Over this last couple of months, I noticed myself tossing 1 or 2 plastic baggies from my lunch bag everyday. My frugal alarms went off, harmonized with  knowledge about the disturbing Great Pacific Garbage Patch that has moved into one of the unmarked cubbies of my brain ever since I heard about it.

Then I saw this. Reusable wraps that double as placemats! Cute! Not too expensive! WANT!

But wait. It's basically a hexagon of fabric, thread, velcro, and plastic. Did someone say fabric?


A Google later, I found fabulous directions from To Be Charmed .

Changes I made is that instead of using purchased generic plastic that may not be food safe, I cut up a Foodsaver bag. They're PBA free, microwavable, 5 layers of plastic and nylon for strength, and I had them on my shelf. ;)

Ta da!

The sushi wrap is for my sandwich, the chicken one has a slightly different velcro placement for my snacks.

Oddly enough, it's making me look forward to going back to work after Spring Break so I can try them out...