Brooklyn Brine Officially My New Favorite Pickle Company

I posted previously about the FUBAR with my home pickling kit. When it arrived, I’d only received 5 (out of 6) jars and also didn’t receive the pickling spices or seasoning. I later called them, and they promised to send me the missing items, right away.

A box arrived today that seemed pretty large for just one small jar.

Brooklyn Brine has sent me 3 free bottles of pickled yumminess! I can’t wait to try them, or to start my own batch.

Time to hit the farmers’ markets!

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Kefir!

My kefir grains arrived today! According to the enclosed instructions, I will need to put them in milk and change the milk every day for about 5 days. This should reactivate them and get them to start reproducing again.

The grains I ordered were cultivated in organic milk. I’ll be using them in goat milk for now, and once I get a healthy supply, I may experiment with other kinds of milk, or even with coconut milk/water/juice.

The first batch is in 1 cup of goat milk and is currently snuggled up next to my Kombucha.

UPDATE: I just read that I should not ferment different cultures near each other, as they may cross contaminate, so I’ll probably move the kefir back to the counter across the room from the refrigerator.

Starting New Kombucha Batch (A3)

I’m starting one new batch today, using the same SCOBY team, again (not separating the Mother and Daughter).

There will be two differences in this batch:

1. Using reverse osmosis water, instead of spring water.
2. Will be utilizing a heating mat to try and stabilize the temperature of this batch.

Other than that, things are being done exactly the same way as before, with a heaping dose of love thrown in, for good measure.

UPDATE: I have plans this evening, so I didn’t want to wait for the sugar/tea to cool to room temperature. I iced the water as I added it to the jar. The tea was around 72 degrees, when I added the SCOBY and kombucha starter.

Kombucha (A2) Bottling

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that the temperature in Ventura has been on the cooler side since starting my second batch of kombucha, but I’m going to go ahead and bottle that batch today. It’s day 11, and I’m hoping the slightly longer brewing time will have made up for the cooler weather.

I’m going to try and create a separate page that will track the conditions and outcome of each batch as a reference and/or guide. That could prove to be useful.

In other news, my heating mats arrived today, so I should (*fingers crossed*) have better luck with future batches–until it gets too hot, that is.

Update: This batch produced nearly three quarts. I’m leaving one plain, flavoring one with fresh ginger (grated, instead of sliced), and the third with dried mango.

Mmmm

Surviving St. Patrick’s Day

Since I began my healing journey about 3 weeks ago, I have been able to avoid old behaviors for coping, such as drinking alcohol, overeating, splurging on sweets or other processed “junk foods,” just to name a few.

So, this weekend provided a significant test, and not just because it’s St. Patrick’s Day. Lauren and I came down to San Diego to visit her parents. These visits always manage to push all my buttons, but so far, I’ve genuinely been enjoying myself and haven’t been tempted to go off my plan.

Virgin Bloody Marys and plenty of Kombucha have been significant factors in helping me, I’m convinced. That, and a healthy determination to begin living my life more fully and more presently.

Sláinte!

Virgin style. Still fabulous.

Kombucha (A2) Update

Every time I’ve checked on the kombucha since starting this 2nd batch last Friday, the temperature of the jar has been 66-68 degrees. This does not bode well for a successful and happy fermentation.

I’ve ordered some heating mats and am disgruntled that I will have to wait to start any more batches until they arrive. I’ve got two more jars ready to go, but the near-term forecast for Ventura is 60s to low 70s. No since risking 3 SCOBYs.

Feeding My Soul

My big plans today included a trip to Santa Barbara (a 30-40 minute drive) to attend a yoga class on campus and get another hour closer to satisfying my PE requirement. I gave myself plenty of time and even remembered to bring my yoga mat and yoga blocks, just in case.

It was a pleasant drive up to campus–it usually is, and I was able to find a parking space with little trouble (a generally stressful affair). After a few minutes relaxing in the car, I got ready to go into the gym, when I realized I had not brought my student ID card. Without my ID, I would not be able to get in or participate in the yoga session.

Major bummer. There’s nothing much more annoying than a wasted trip, so I decided to transform my forgetfulness into an opportunity. The next best thing to being in a yoga class, for me, is sitting at Himalaya (my favorite Indian food restaurant), listening to the sounds of India.

So, here I sit, eating my 4 (out of 5 spicy) Chicken Tikka Masala. It feeds and nurtures my soul. I can stretch out on the yoga mat, later at home, but in the meantime, I get to have this:

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Pickling Delay

I may have to go ahead and start working on the coconut water kefir, since the pickling kit I had ordered is incomplete. The package arrived yesterday and when I opened the box, I was missing 1 jar (out of 6), the pickling spices, and the brining seasonings.

*sigh*

I just got off the phone with them. The woman I spoke with was very friendly and promised to get the missing items out to me without delay.

So… I will have to wait a little longer to try my hand at pickling. Sadly.

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