Wednesday, July 15, 2009

swine flu! and kombucha! and s'mores! there's something for everyone!

Holy CRAP, people. That was no fun. I spent a good part of yesterday in a fog that I can only assume was similar to a drug-induced stupor. That may be related to the 103* fever I had. My whole body felt bruised, including my bones and organs. Bed rest isn't fun like they said it would be, because even with the magic of Hulu and the many lovely shows it contains, eventually your sitting bones wear out. I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital for a broken coccyx, just like Napoleon Dynamite's grandma.

But thanks to John and my dad and my family generally taking extra special care of me I seem to have turned the corner. Thus ends the tedious discussion of my health. My English teacher Mr. Wight would not allow use of the word "boring" in his classroom, only "tedious."

Now! On to more exciting topics! I never told you guys about when I made kombucha. It's weird, wild stuff. I'm glad I was introduced to kefir first, because its character and process prepared me for the receipt in the mail (from the lovely Tipsy Baker, thank you) of what looks a whole lot like a sheet of human placenta.
This picture is taken after a few days of fermentation, when the new kombucha child has already started forming on the surface of the tea. After nine or ten days I took it out and separated the mother from the child and plopped them with some of the kombucha into a quart jar, thusly:
to hang out in the fridge until I was ready to do another batch (stupid me--if I'd just made another batch right then, maybe I would have had some left over and John wouldn't have had to drive to the Good Earth yesterday to buy some corporate sellout kombucha, because I wanted something fizzy, but pop gives me the hiccups and makes me nauseated--I tried the ginger and it is next on my list of make-at-home flavors).

I strained the kombucha into a pitcher, and was glad to see that it was properly fizzy--like sparkling apple juice.
Then I poured it into some pint jars to refrigerate, and derived humor from how much it looks like . . . cider, we'll say. In the words of Ned Flanders, "If it's clear and yella, you've got juice there, fella! If it's tangy and brown, you're in cider town!"
I guess it's more of a juice/cider hybrid, because it's quite clear, apart from the little flecks of kombucha mother that seem to spontaneously generate, even after it's bottled. It also gets fizzier after bottling. It tastes fizzy like pop, but doesn't make you thirsty, like pop does. It really is a lot like a less-sweet sparkling apple cider. My deprived children love it.

Recently we went up and ate dinner in the canyon with some neighbors, and I had a million-dollar s'more-making idea. We'd tried using folded sheets of foil, but it was not user-friendly. So I picked up a couple of disposable foil loaf pans, we faced them toward the fire, and proceeded making our s'mores. You put the graham cracker with the chocolate on it to melt while you toast your marshmallow--no more hunks of cold chocolate.
We made all sorts of great flavors, with peanut butter and bananas, dried berries, pecans, chocolate grahams . . . I think I consumed my weight in s'mores alone that night. A thundering success. I haven't patented the loaf pan melting oven technology, so any entrepreneur in the audience is welcome to ditch your Tahitian Noni enterprise and start making prototypes for the Portable S'more Oven multi-level marketing scam . . . uh, scheme, I probably meant.


tipsybaker said...

Yay! You are well again.
I'm horrified that you challenged me to eat balut, but I accept.

Layne said...

NO WAY! I am awash in remorse and eagerness.

Matt and Emily said...

Pahahaha- before I read what your pictures were of, I thought you'd taken a picture of you puke in a bucket. I'm glad you are feeling better today.

All8 said...

Ha ha ha, I too was hoping that it was puke an not something less, uh, appetizing.

tipsybaker said...

I wonder if this is the first time someone in Vietnam has appeared on your live feed.