Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Word to your mother

A couple of weeks ago, I started myself on a gluten-free diet to see if it would help my persistent back pain. So far the only difference I've noticed is an increase in my cravings for sourdough bread and beer, but I'm sticking it out til Thanksgiving. Now, giving up gluten doesn't mean that I have to give up all things fermented, thankfully, and it's actually inspired me to try out some otherwise neglected food and drink items. Hot mulled cider with bourbon, for instance, which I had a mug of at Mothership last night. Shrubs with sparkling water. And kombucha.

Readers, if you've been following this blog for awhile, you may recall the first time I tried to make kombucha. It was, shall we say, not the most delightful thing to imbibe, and I may or may not have promptly deposited that kombucha "mother" directly into the compost bin along with its putrid liquid accompaniment. Perhaps, I thought, I was just not cut out for making this tart and fizzy health drink. And yet, another opportunity presented itself at the Alexandria Food Swap a few weeks ago and I couldn't resist. Armed with a new "mother" -- a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), if you want to get technical about it -- I'd snagged, and some instructions from the kombucha swapper, Jen (I suppose you could call her the Mother of the mother), I decided to try my hand at this fermented beverage a second time. Lord knows it couldn't possibly taste worse than the first time.

I will concede that kombucha mothers are kind of strange, somewhat akin to what you might encounter in a mad scientist's laboratory. Kenton was totally weirded out when I showed him the gelatinous floating mass in the quart jar I had tucked into my cupboard and I've noticed he hasn't gone into that particular cabinet much the past few times he's been over. He did seem intrigued by my explanation of the unusual taste and the probiotic benefits to one's digestive tract, though, so I think he may be up for trying some when it's ready. Well, after I pre-taste this second version, made with blueberry acai tea and raw sugar.

Is it just me, or does my kombucha jar have a certain Middle Eastern flair? Maybe that's what was missing the first time around: a trendy headdress.... Lord knows this second attempt tastes better. I tried my first shot of it this morning before breakfast. Delicious. Word to my mother.

I'm brewing a batch of raspberry tea for batch #3 right now. Finally, a use for the fruity teas that I seem to acquire each holiday season!

1 comment:

  1. Woohoo! So glad to see that your kombucha worked out. I will have to branch out & try to make it with some of the fruit teas that I, too, seem to accumulate...

    We'd love for you or your readers to join us for our next Alexandria Food Swap on Sunday, December 8th! It will be at the Friendship Firehouse, just off of King Street, from 1:30-3 PM.
    Anyone who would like to attend should RSVP to There is a $5 encouraged donation to cover the cost of the space rental.
    There will be more kombucha starters! Amazing baked goods! Delicious sweet and savory condiments! (By the way, Ibti, still loving your spicy beer mustard...)
    Hope to see you in December. Happy Thanksgiving!

    - Jen of the Alexandria Food Swap


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