Hi all! I hope that my U.S. readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was characterized by marathon cooking, baking, eating, family hugs, and full belly pats. The ensuing days have been a lazy mixture of: left-overs; a haircut for G.; double feature night Chez English on Friday (“Funny People”-thank you Judd Apatow, again, and “Angels & Demons”-meh); delivery pizza that was promised in 30 minutes and came 90 minutes later (the price of living way back in the country, I guess); Indian buffet for lunch on Saturday; completing the first chapter of the fourth book in the “Homemade Living” series, “Keeping Bees”; snuggling with my pups Dexter and Fly; having my master audio electrician older brother, Jimmy, and his wife Emily stop by to show me that one simple button on our remote had caused us to lose sound in our living room speakers for the past four months (me and G. are rather technologically inept); and lots of sleep today, for a number of reasons. In short, perfection!
The life of a full-time stay-at-home writer living in a forest 15 miles from town can get a bit lonely at times. I have my sweet husband, whom I adore, and a host of pets to keep me company. Sometimes, though, I miss the random, unexpected, spontaneous interactions and connections with strangers that characterized my previous career as a medical assistant, or when I managed a B&B, or worked retail at a natural foods store. I miss the homemade hummus someone would bring into the office to share, or the quirky Brit who was lodging with her 82 year-old brother, or spotting Weird Al Yankovic and Downtown Julie Brown at my place of employment. I know, right? Who wouldn’t miss THAT?
Like I said in my last post, I’m a creature of habit. The last thing I do every night before rubbing a bit of calming herbal salve on my temples (a heavenly gift made by my dear buddy Wendy that smells like every sweet thing you’ve ever smelled) is make sure Dexter (my wild 1 1/2 year-old Black Lab mix) is on the bed with me, gift him a good belly rub, and a kiss on the head, and then turn out the light. Each and every night, this is what goes down before I shut down.
I like the comfort of routine. As soon as I wake each morning, without fail, I stumble into the bathroom and brush my teeth. I let the chickens out, feed the cats, give the dogs a little breakfast, and pour myself a glass of homemade kombucha with cranberry juice and mineral water. When I am home, this is what occurs each and every morning. The routine grounds me, establishes my bearings, and sets my course for the day.
3 qts of filtered water
1 c. organic white sugar
1 kombucha culture (can be purchased or sourced from a nearby friend who brews kombucha themselves; the latter is how i scored mine-thank you Beth!!!)*
*If you are fortunate enough to source a S.C.O.B.Y. from a nearby friend, you’ll need a sterilized glass jar with a lid for transporting it home. Don’t use plastic, as food debris or flavors trapped inside the plastic can compromise your culture and starter liquid.
2) Remove from heat, add tea bags and steep for 15 mintues.
3) Remove tea bags and allow the tea to cool to room temperature.
4) Pour the tea into a large, sterilized glass container (I use a square glass canister found at a home goods store).
7) Transfer the container to a dark, room temperature area (I use my pantry). Allow to culture for 2-3 weeks, depending on how intense of a flavor you desire (longer culturing time results in a more sour, carbonated kombucha, my preference!).