Here are some of my creations:
|Shrug knit with Noro Kureyon (Japanese hand dyed yarn)|
|Lanesplitter Skirt for Gwen (Noro and Paton's Merino)|
|Art Bag (Noro)|
|Storm Toque-r for Nathaniel (Noro - can you tell I like Noro?)|
But for reasons unknown (KISMET?), I ventured to Ravelry recently - the knitter's online mecca - all things knitting all the time - and immediately noticed that I had a friend request. Weird. I proceeded to check out my fellow knitter's profile, as you can never be too cautious. The last "friend" request I had was from a Scottish non-knitter who said that he loved to see "women's legs in knitted stockings and women's bodies wrapped in soft wool".
I kid ewe not. (See that? There are two puns in that sentence!)
While I was tempted to friend the woolly wiggler for the humour factor, I did not. I was worried that I would be tempted to start sending him wool porn.
So... where was I?
Aha! - the friend request from Ravelry.
I saw that the lady was a blogger and so I read some of her entries. You can tell a lot about a person from reading her blog. Just like that, I learned about kombucha tea. I learned that it tastes like tart green apples with an underlying sweetness and fizz.
I learned that it (supposedly) promotes a healthy liver, is great for digestion and prevents cancer.
And I learned that I can brew it myself, in the privacy of my own home, using black tea.
I marched down to the Quartermaster for a bottle of Kombucha, eager to sample this magical elixir. I picked a bottle of tea that looked like it had the most sediment on the bottom (a.k.a. The Mother), as that is what is used to grow a scoby - the jelly-like, snotty layer of cellulose that keeps harmful bacteria out of the tea while it's fermenting.
Some up close and personal snaps of scobies, some more attractive than others:
***Aren't they pretty?
Quartermaster sells Kombucha starters, but at $18 a box, my inner cheapskate was not impressed. I did not purchase the Mother in a box, but I did leave with a bottle of Kombucha and a package of locally made, overpriced, gluten-free chocolate and almond treats that are so fucking delicious, that I am going to try to make them too.
The magical moment? When I cracked open the bottle of kombucha and took a swig.
So yummy, light and refreshing, tart and sweet, and a sparkly explosion in my mouth! Mmmmmmm.
I can't wait to brew my own, but first I have to make a scoby.
You can also see a mother in a bottle of apple cider vinegar - it's that brownish, smoky thing that hovers at the base of the bottle.
The scoby pictured above is tiny but it will grow rapidly once it's fed, taking 2-3 weeks to mature.
I thought that I better get started if it was going to take a minimum of two weeks.
I rummaged through the recycling bin and found a pint-sized glass jar. I washed it thoroughly and then sterilized it by boiling it for ten minutes. I like to err on the side of caution when it comes to food and drink.
I carefully removed the sterile jar from the pot of water, and dumped in the bottle of Kombucha:
|Aren't the two vessels of amber liquid pretty?|
I then mixed them together to begin the fermentation process:
|my kombucha starter, in a warm spot out of direct sunlight|
I used a paper towel and one of Gwen's rainbow loom creations to seal the jar. I could have also used cheesecloth, a coffee filter, linen or muslin but I went the paper towel route because that's what I had. You want to use something that's breathable that will keep the fruitflies out.
I like that I can see the baby scoby sort of hanging down the side, near the top of the jar.
I will post more pictures over the next couple of weeks as the scoby matures.
Grow, baby, grow!
Addendum: I am posting a picture of Day 3, so you can see how it grows... there are actually two scobies growing:
Day 5 - see that white line that covers the surface of the liquid? That's the new scoby, spreading out:
Day 7 - it's getting juicy!
More juiciness to come :-)
Musical pairing: Strange Brew by Cream.