Thursday, September 6, 2012

Something's Brewing!

Special delivery!
OK! I am back. I have a big, flipping bruise from the IV that covers the entire back of my right hand, but am otherwise, relatively undamaged. Hooray!

So: Kombucha.

I got a freebie SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast- yum) from Cultures For Health the other day. I have been considering making this stuff for awhile- I did like the bottled stuff I got, but that could really add up, and I am all about getting experimental in the kitchen. Making my own kombucha seemed like an intriguing thing to try.

When my SCOBY and other kombucha-making accoutrements arrived, the dehydrated SCOBY looked like- well. Nothing, really. Maybe a large, flat, potato chip? It was brownish and circular, wrapped in a cellophane bag and sealed up. Not much thicker than a piece of paper. Supposedly, it will take 30 days to do its thing and make a batch.

You can juuust see the SCOBY there, at the bottom.
So I dutifully followed the directions: brewed oolong tea, added sugar, and let it cool. (In theory, the sugar will be mostly consumed by the SCOBY during the culturing process) The sugar was extracted from the back of my cupboard- it dates back to pre-paleo days, so...three years ago? It was hard as a rock. I had to chisel at it to get enough to add.  Once cooled, I added white vinegar, and then the SCOBY.

A few days have passed, and it is looking hopeful. The SCOBY is lying peacefully on the bottom of the container, and is about 10 times thicker than it was, and kind of spongey in appearance: it resembles nothing so much as a slim pancake. It has taken up residence in the warm cupboard between the stove top and the fridge, and seems pretty happy in there so far. SG has asked about it- evidently, he thought I had forgotten about it. He seems to enjoy calling it "the chupacabra".

So now, I need to wait for it to work its magic. I was actually contacted by someone at Cultures For Health with info and troubleshooting ideas, which was really cool! We'll have to see how it turns out. I eventually want to try it with alternative sweeteners: I have honey and maple sugar lined up for this, but I was concerned about killing my only SCOBY. Once it reproduces, I should be able to try out a few new things.

I just got back from a massive Trader Joe's run, and am in cooking mode. Tomorrow's going to see some heavy kitchen use- I want to make Paleo Burger Buns (Found on FastPaleo, via Grokette's Primal Musings), to go with burgers and sweet potato fries for tomorrow's dinner. Also in the works, another batch of cheesy kale chips- I am experimenting with a new recipe, so that will be fun. I'll post it if it turns out the way I think it will. I also want to make some Sunbutter and whatever else strikes my fancy.

OMG, the kitchen is going to be thrashed! Worth it, though. ;)

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