Wednesday, August 3, 2016


A kombucha scoby (also known as the mother) is a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. It is a living organism that ferments sweeten tea to become kombucha tea. It has a long history and references to it have been found as far back as 414 when it was given to the Japanese emperor by a Korean healer to aid in healing the emperor's dis-ease. The kombucha made its way across Asia and into Europe where people recall their grandmothers making tea with a floating fungus on top. Reports of the tea emerged in the 1920's when scientists started showing interest in the 'magical' tea. Most interest stop at the advent of WW2, but the tea made a resurgence in the 1960's and 1970's with the health food craze. In the mid 1990's it became a big health fad because of the benefits of the live ferment. Since then there have been many reports of the amazing health benefits of kombucha and it is becoming a staple in many health conscious households. It is simple to make and delicious to drink!

Kombucha tea contains acetic and lactic acid, both which have benefits for the body. It also contains a small amount of glucuronic acid (detoxifier). Normally produced by the liver, glucuronic acid is a potent detoxifier. If your liver is overloaded and/or your body is dealing with a lot of toxins (and in today's world, who isn't?) it can be a powerful aid to help the body's cleansing process, and help boost immune system. It is a great thirst quencher and is a tasty, bubbly alternative to the soft drinks.

What you will need to make kombucha:
  • 1 gallon of water (and a glass container to hold it) (do not use flouridated or chlorinated water, no water run through a filter. i have found that my well water is perfect for kombucha)
  • 1 cup of sugar (it is best to use plain sugar not honey, not maple syrup or any other sweetener. The sugar is for the mother to eat and most will be consumed by the scoby)
  • 2-4 organic plain black or green tea bags
  • 1 kombucha scoby

  • Boil the water, add tea and let brew.
  • Add sugar and mix thoroughly.
  • When the tea is at room temperature you can add the scoby plus ½ -1 cup of kombucha tea (your mother should come with some or use some from your last batch).
  • Cover the tea with a towel (the scoby need to breath) I put a small plate on top of the towel. Let the tea sit in a warm, dark (not direct sunlight place) and let set for 5-7 days.
    • I recommend that you taste the tea each day. This is a really good way to get to know your scoby and the fermentation process. It also gives you the opportunity to get the taste that you like best
    • Temperature and time play an important role in making kombucha, since both are variable they can speed up or slow down the fermentation process.
  • When the tea has been fermented to your liking it is time for the real fun to begin! Time to flavor your kombucha, unless you like it plain then bottom's up!

At the flavoring point there is a lot of variation on combinations, even on how to do it. I am going to explain how I add flavor to our kombucha. A quick internet search will give you many other results and ways, it is fun to see how others are making and drinking their kombucha (I've even read about fermenting mountain dew with a scoby!!) 

So here goes how I add flavor:

  • After I have removed the scoby and placed her in new tea, I have a little less than a gallon of tea. I use ½ gallon mason jars to flavor and store kombucha. Many choose to do individual bottles but I found this to be too much work for me especially since we are home more often than not.
  • I add the flavor (fruit, herbs, etc) to the ½ gallon jar (enough to cover the bottom in most cases) and then top off with kombucha. I let the jars sit on the counter, lightly cap for a few hours, maybe over night. Then a cap tightly place in the fridge to cool. We drink it at our leisure after that!
  • what are our favorite flavors?, you ask. Well....
    • We love strawberry (whole strawberries covering the bottom of the ½ gallon jar)
    • Ginger root (cut up fresh ginger, about a 1 inch piece)
    • Hibiscus orange rose-hips (a couple of cuties peeled and cut in ½, a palm full   of dried hibiscus petals, 2-4 dried rose-hips smashed).
    • We like to add lemon to the ginger every once in a while.
    • Fresh fruit that is just at (or a little over) ripe make a good choice too. Cherries, blueberries, raspberries have all ended up in the kombucha jar.

Monday, July 13, 2015

pictures from the garden July 2015

here is how the garden is growing. i love this time of year.
Boomer in the garden, trying to be good since he is not usually allowed in.

it's not all been good in the garden. i have been picking these things off of my plants. darn cabbage worms!

also check out the video walk through of the garden.

Happy Gardening!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rhubarb Crisp

Grandma's Rhubarb Crisp

¾ cup sugar
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
4 cups fresh rhubarb cut cross-wise
1 cup uncooked rolled oats (quick or old fashioned)
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup butter, melted

Sift sugar, flour and salt, add rhubarb. Toss lightly to mix. Turn in un-greased 8x8 pan. Toss oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. Sprinkle over rhubarb. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Mix together:
3 egg yolks
½ cup cream
1 ½ cups sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

Fold in:
3 cups cut up rhubarb

Fill pastry lined pie pan with rhubarb-custard filling. Bake at 375 for 1 hour. Remove from oven; cover with meringue. Return to oven and bake until delicately browned.

3 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
6 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until frothy. Gradually beat in sugar, a little at a time. Continue beating until stiff and glossy. Pile meringue on pie filling , being careful to seal meringue on the edge of the crust to prevent shrinking. Bake 8-10 minutes at 400.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

the wild we are harvesting

Yay!! spring has finally sprung and things are greening up nicely. there are a handful of wilds that are ready for us to use. here are a few that i found around my house and garden.



purple dead nettle




i have also seen some yarrow in the yard and the poppies (not necessarily wild, but at the woods edge) also have their leaves out. hope you are looking for the plants of the wild. happy hunting!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

spring time cold frame

we were recently given a cold frame. i'm so excited to be able to start seeds early and the prospect of having leafy greens all winter. (the previous owner, who lives 2 miles away, said that she was able to do this!)
we have a perfect spot for it (it is rather large though)

first things first, i had to remove the rocks from the spot i wanted to place the cold frame. Josh recommended that i use the wheel barrel and not buckets and the wagon, my usual way. yes usual, i have move rocks from near this same area to use in other projects around here. so i grabbed the wheel barrel and started shoveling.

guess who overfilled the wheel barrel, yup, this girl!! i ended up having to shovel some (ok, most) into 5 gallon buckets and i used the lawn tractor to transport them.


While i was doing all the shoveling, Brutus showed us how to enjoy a sunny, warm day. lucky dog!


Boomer thought he would 'help' by snatching my gloves and running. Thanks buddy!


Here it is in it's spot! Josh helped move it into place and filled it with soil.


over the next couple days i filled it with seeds. now the wait for them to sprout. 


and just to keep it real, guess what didn't happen while i spent the day outside? 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

one savory pie crust for pot pie

Flour pie crust for pot pie

1 3/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, cut into peices
1/4 cup coconut oil, cut into pieces (i place both the coconut oil and butter in fridge so they harden)
6-10 tblsp cold water (i get a glass of ice water when i start so that i will have icy cold water when i need it.)

In medium bowl combine flour and salt. Using  pastry blender, cut butter and coconut oil in.The mixture is ready when it has coarse crumbs. Add water and mix until dough forms. Shape into a disc, wrap inplastic wrap and place in fridge at least fifteen minutes.
Roll out to nine inches and use according to recipe.