Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fermenting Fun

I am a sucker for projects that include mixing ingredients and letting them sit for days, weeks, or months so that they can become something different.  I'm not sure why that is.  But it is.

Recently, my hubby had a friend over, and hubby was attempting to show the friend the recent improvements and remodeling that we have done, but he was entirely distracted.  "What is that?" he asked, pointing to these two jars that had faded from my notice, sitting quietly on my prize antique wash table.

Since my attempt at making my own apple cider vinegar was SO unsuccessful, i am very happy to announce success with these two, much less complicated projects.

Successful Project #1:  Natural Citrus Spray Cleaner

This one was pretty simple.  I saw it on Pinterest, and i started it a LONG time ago.  The directions say to let this mixture sit for two weeks.  But i mixed my mixture sometime before our fire on March 7, and i just put it in a spray bottle yesterday.  That's 5 and half months, if you're counting.  AND that jar ended up for more than one month, in a box, in a hot barn, in 100+ temperatures.  And i think it turned out o.k. anyway.  Well, "o.k." is relative.  One of the claims of the Pinterest post was that adding the citrus peel to the vinegar helps to lessen the offensive-to-some odor of vinegar.  Now, i don't know if my mix's extended and heated stay in the jar might have helped to add a little fermentation to the process, but the smell is still strong enough that i don't think i'll spray it when my super-nosed husband is in the house.  Of course, that goes for pretty much any spray cleaner, and at least i know exactly what is in this one.  So, i rate it a success, and i think it's groovy to have my own homemade cleaner.  :)

Successful Project #2:  Kombucha

I'm sure this is on Pinterest and a hundred other places, but i finally decided to go for it when a Facebook friend offered up a free Scoby (the thing in the jar), which a starter for making your own Kombucha.  You should google it if you don't know what Kombucha is, but in short, it's a fermented tea that is told to be very good for you and was famed by peoples from very very very very very very many years ago to provide lots of neato health benefits.  These supposed health benefits are not endorsed by the FDA or any other government funded association or administration, so do your research.

My Facebook friend who gave me the scoby, also provided lovely handwritten instructions, which i followed, and produced four bottles of an interesting, apple-y, slightly wine-y, beverage that didn't fizz up as much as expected, probably because i left too much air in the bottles.  My bad.

Nonetheless, entirely successful.

I have been writing this one blog post for over a week now, and i have had more opportunities to try my kombucha, and i think i'm sold.  I'm not announcing any undocumented miraculous health benefits.  However, when fighting the first signs of a sniffle this past week, i found that adding some kombucha to my morning routine gave me that same healthy feeling that i get when i drink orange juice.  I know.  Not exactly scientific, but i've also learned that i really like it when i add it to my regular iced tea with some stevia.  Super yummy.  So when i get my scoby and my gallon size fermenting jar back from the friend i lent it to, i think i'll do it again.  :)

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