Kefir Grains

Let’s just pause for a moment and enjoy this video. It’s 11 seconds. Savor it:

Wasn’t that just delicious? Ok, back to the grain version of kefir that doesn’t attack things.

Aspiring Traquilista delivered my kefir grains yesterday and I left them out overnight in milk as suggested. This morning I decided to have a look and a taste!

wpid-20140309_084706.jpgwell, it clearly is something.

She did leave me with directions, thankfully, although they weren’t difficult, I am not always clever.

Step one:

Strain

wpid-20140309_084920.jpgcheck.

Look at all those clumps! Those are the actual kefir grains, what a weird thing. Sorry, moving on.

Step Two:

Put grains back into a clean glass jar

wpid-20140309_085315.jpgfeed us, jerk!

Step Three:

Pour milk over them and cover. Leave at room temperature for 12-24 hours to ferment.

wpid-20140309_085536.jpgstill with the sage green yarn, at least it looks festive now.

I did not rinse the grains as some have suggested. I also used whole milk as I refuse to buy anything low or reduced fat. I once accidentally bought reduced fat peanut butter and then I wept for days. It tasted like vaseline. I only buy whole fat products because, let’s face it, we need fat in our diet and fat is not what makes you fat. I could post a thousand more links on that, but roll with me here. Bottom line, I am willing to trade 20 to 100 more calories for taste and satisfaction. Ok, so off the soap box. What do I have after straining?

wpid-20140309_085554.jpghi?

It’s actually thinner than I thought it would be.

wpid-20140309_085615.jpglike buttermilk

I am not sure how long she was fermenting, but it was definitely sour. It tasted like buttermilk kind of smells. Not exactly delicious on it’s own, but not bad. Just needs some help.

wpid-20140309_085757.jpgcinnamon and honey to the rescue!

The taste was much better after that, the more I ate it, the more I liked it. New food is like that, you usually need at least three or more tastes before you can decide whether you like it or not. Tomorrow I am going to try it in a smoothie!

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A REAL BOOK!

GUESS WHAT CAME IN THE MAIL! GUESS!

wpid-20140225_184728.jpga “real” book. does this idiot read her own blog titles?

I got the Dress Maker’s Technique Bible by Lorna Knight! And it is fabulous!

wpid-20140225_184740.jpgis this the king james version? or new international?

I basically got it for free with points from my credit cards, which can be used on Amazon.com! I am a credit-card-aholic, but not in the way some people are. I use my cards as cash (as in I pay the balance in full every month without exception) that way I get free points! I’ll even friend atm to get points! So after a while I get enough points to go on a little shopping spree. I’ve gotten, oh geeze, about $300 plus dollars worth of books this way. Hardcover. I can splurge. Anyway, back to the book!

wpid-20140225_184804.jpgADMIRE THE EASY TO FOLLOW CONTENTS!

wpid-20140225_184812.jpgTHE EXPLANATION OF DIAGRAMS!

wpid-20140225_184824.jpgTHE OVERLOAD OF PICTURES! HELPFUL PICTURES!

I love it already! I’ve paged through it cover to cover and it is SO MUCH more helpful than certain other books that I have been quarreling with. I already have the Crochet Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden, which is also AMAZING. If you crochet, I totally, totally recommend it. If you do something else, see if they have a “bible” version. They are spiral bound and just beyond useful.

wpid-20140225_184859.jpgseriously, i love this book.

wpid-20140225_184923.jpghere’s just a taste, stitch diagrams, written pattern and a key on every page.

I can’t wait to put it to good use! I’ve already seen some fantastic tips that certain other books did not bother to mention and it literally explains every single possible thing. It goes over patterns, fabrics, tools, notions, probably explains how to build a nuclear reactor. I didn’t get to that page yet. Anyway, like I said, I totally recommend both of these books!

Free Plant Pots!

Sorry I am posting so much today, but I hate waiting to go to work and I was poking around the internet and found a link about what to do with old coffee bags. And then I looked at my sad celery and romaine, still stuck in their water bowls and how much I did not feel like wasting a pot on them. BAM! Recycling!

Right now I don’t have any empty coffee bags, but I do have an old water jug that we kept…for some…I, I really don’t know. I think I was going to use it as a watering can or something but then I forgot.

wpid-20140217_145339.jpgmanna from an episode of hoarders

Well then! That will do until I manage to drink more coffee! Off to the man shop to find a tool…

wpid-20140217_145455.jpgexacto blade. i also put some holes in the bottom.

And let’s go rescue the sad celery!

wpid-20140217_145721.jpgit probably hates me

wpid-20140217_145846.jpgthe newest bunch

Okay them, drop the scraps off to the worms while I am down here and let’s plant these babies!

wpid-20140217_150154.jpgBOOM SUCKA! Right next to the sensitive plant, which germinates in the dark, hence the slop sink.

Okay, I feel clever. Probably shouldn’t, because this is a pretty obvious idea. But, who knows? Maybe the celery will take off enough that we can stop buying it!

Trading French Bread for an Ironing Board…

Did I ever tell you I love my friends? I do. Obviously, who doesn’t? But I have an amazing collection of friends. Yesterday while ironing out my fabric for my skirt on my wee little ironing board, I decided to shout out on Facebook to see if anyone had a real ironing board they would be willing to trade for. At 4 pm I sent the message. At 8 pm, my former neighbor, R, had procured me one by posting the same shout out on her page. How amazing is that? I am trading her french bread for the board and meeting her on Tuesday. I started my pre-frement today.

wpid-20140209_081538.jpgusing the mother starter

wpid-20140209_081734.jpgshaggy mess

wpid-20140209_083144.jpgnow we’re behaving!

wpid-20140209_084701.jpgit looks small, but it will grow…a lot…

wpid-20140209_084847.jpghiding it under a towel, a personally crafted bread towel I might add.

Seriously though, I am thoroughly impressed. I figured an ironing board was a long shot. But my former neighbor, not only is she a freaking riot (I can’t wait to see her, honestly) she came through for me! Her and her husband were the best neighbors you could ever ask for. Even her kid, going through teenage years, was absolutely hilarious and well behaved. He’s in the Navy now and I wish him all the best. Now, I am not trying to illustrate them as a bunch of well meaning fuddy duddies. Oh, no, they were literally a riot. Her husband looks like Caption Spaulding. Not even pretending to be kidding you. When I hang out with them I usually spent most of the time trying not to pee myself laughing. They are crass, honest and good people. My favorite kind of people. You can’t buy that.

Some Updates:

Still getting over this cold! Boo! But feeling much better!

My romaine and celery¬†continue to do not a whole lot. Maybe I will plant them in the garden when it thaws. I’ve added another romaine butt and now three celery butts. They’re…doing stuff….

wpid-20140209_122454.jpgcan’t make a salad yet

The amaryllis is really kicking it into gear, thankfully!

wpid-20140209_122535.jpgpictured: not a slacker

And someone needs to tell my christmas cactus that it is not christmas…

wpid-20140209_122422.jpgpictured: certainly has no idea what month it is