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Monday, May 31, 2010

Homemade Kombucha

April just flew right by me.

One week into April, we got word that my boyfriend’s brother, James, would be moving to San Francisco for his medical residency at UCSF (!!!) so we started the arduous hunt for a new apartment to make some room for him. We found a fabulous apartment just down the street—and it has a large outdoor deck, which is c-o-v-e-t-e-d in San Francisco. We moved into new said apartment. And we ate a lot of take-out during the process because we had exploded one kitchen in order to set up another kitchen. We got some Chinese food from King of Noodles. Some Indian food from Indian Oven and Rotee. Some Thai food from Chabaa and Chilli Cha Cha. And then, just like that, April was over.

And then May swooped in and James arrived with all sorts of things in tow to add to our home. Like, for example, he tripled my already extensive tea collection and he brought a juicer! I really do love new kitchen gadget additions! And he's making kombucha at home, just like my uncle did when I was in high school. Kombucha is a combination of a live bacteria culture and fungus that uses tea and sugar to ferment and create a slightly sour natural beverage. Feeling a little squeamish and wary myself, I decided to ask ask Doctor James why he wasn't concerned about the issue of bacteria in something like this. His explanation was that the kombucha creates a colony of positive, good bacteria that acts like a barrier to push out any bad bacteria that could try to enter. And then he puffed up his arms and made a face as if to say to bad bacteria: move on, there is no room for you in here! Ok, I think I can deal with that. I wanted to share this photo with you despite the fact that it may look a little...creepy. I am a believer of knowing where your food comes from and seeing how stuff is made even if there are unsavory aspects to that process. Homemade kombucha is, if you didn't know, a weird process in of itself--it even makes "babies" which can be passed on to share the kombucha love. It's kind of like the starter for Amish friendship bread where you pass a hunk of dough on to a friend. James got his starter from the Kombucha Kollective for $10, but honestly if you tap into the kombucha network in your city I am sure you can find fellow brewers who are eager and willing to pass on a starter for free. And if you are a kombucha newbie who hasn't already shelled out for a trendy bottled version, you might want to try some on tap at Whole Foods. I think James' first batch will be a black tea kombucha infused with pineapple and mint.

May started waving its goodbye just as I was cutting up some watermelon for memorial day weekend. We spent 70% of it out on the deck talking about how grateful we were for our patio furniture and some sunshine. And now that we are approaching summer, I can start making good use of that deck by hosting many more parties, bbq’s and outdoor meals.

It’s very exciting, indeed.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Good thing kombucha tastes way better than it looks :)