Thursday, 16 August 2012

A Homemaking Morning

This morning I felt like a homemaker.  Upon waking I put my sourdough loaves that had been proofing (rising) overnight in the oven.  After I put the bread in the oven I remembered that I had some beautiful thyme dried and ready to be worked with.  I had been gifted the herb by my friend, Mella, and wanted to put it to good use!  Thyme is such a wonderful herb for many reasons.  It aids in clearing lung issues such as asthma and bronchitis, (internally) and it's also helpful with dandruff and the troubling effects of arthritis (externally).  Furthermore, it tastes lovely in baked bread, roasted potatoes and other root veggies.  What a wide range of uses?!

 While my bread was baking, I separated the thyme leaves from their stems.  I went into a meditation of sorts that created a peaceful calm feeling within.  Furthermore, I was being productive - now that is what I call a win-win situation.  I then remembered my kombucha tea concoction that had been sitting for five days now - about five more to go to get it to my liking.  As an aside, I put a hold on making kefir (fermented can read all about it in a previous post).  I think I consumed too much one afternoon and I will simply say my body's reaction was less than pleasant.  It could have been due to another cause, though by association I decided to take a break from kefir.
from left to right: sourdough bread, kombucha, nettle tea, and dried thyme

This post may seem random, though there is a theme.  All of the products I have referred to here, except for the thyme, are fermented foods.  They are all partially digested foods, making them wonderful for anyone with any kind of digestive issues.  My advice is to introduce them slowly into your diet.

Here is a quick run-down for making kombucha tea.  I would say it is the easiest to make of all the fermented preparations.

Kombucha tea (pronounced "com-boo-chah)

12 cups of tea (black, green, or white)
3/4 cups of sugar (not honey)
filtered water
**kombucha mushroom "SCOBY" (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast)

Easy peasy: boil a pot of water and add the tea.  let it cool.  then add the sugar and fill the remainder of the jar (glass preferably) with filtered water.  ensure the tea mixture is room temperature as the scoby is sensitive.  add the scoby and cover with a cloth.  i use a tea towel with an elastic band around the top of the jar.  leave the brew in a warm dark place for 7-10 days.  don't worry if the scoby floats to the top of the jar.  when it tastes right for you, a bit sour and a bit fizzy, take the mushroom out and store it in the fridge in a covered glass container with some of the tea to cover.  when it grows a second spongy pancake, you can split that off and give it to a friend or start other batches. 

**You need to find someone who has a scoby.  Ask around and you will surely find someone who has one.  Alternatively do some research to see who is growing mushrooms in your area.  They often have some for gift or sale. 

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