Monday, March 13, 2017

Kombucha

My co-worker Becca is basically the coolest person ever. She's a yoga instructor who does things like bake bread when she has spare time that's not spent working out. I really enjoy her, even though she has RBF and I have to make certain she's not judging me (j/k Becca you're gorgeous). Anyhow I was of course super jealous of her when she let me taste her home made kombucha and it was delicious. I immediately wanted to copy her and make my own at home. She was kind enough to bring me a SCOBY and guide me through the process. If you aren't familiar with Kombucha it's a fermented tea that is a probiotic elixir of health. It's sweet and sour and carbonated and I'm doing a terrible job of explaining it so you can read more here: http://whatiskombucha.com/
 
The SCOBY is akin to a sourdough starter. It is the magic that makes the kombucha happen. It also looks like a body part in formaldehyde. Thirsty yet? I like kombucha because I really like the flavor. It's similar to a ginger ale and I find it to be refreshing. I also the think the benefits of the probiotics (in digestion, fighting off viruses and overall cleansing of the body) are essential. I currently take a daily probiotic supplement and have noticed a huge different physically since starting it. I feel less bloated and my stomach can take on foods that used to make me feel sick (certain dairy and meat products) without the pain. When I drink kombucha I'm able to skip taking my pill that day. It's cheap to make at home and makes me feel incredibly industrious.
 
Okay so I decided to make my first batch a small batch just to see how it goes. I bought a gallon jar at the co-op. After a simple rinse with white vinegar and water I made a sweet tea of only black tea and organic sugar.
 
Here are the EXACT products I used.
Then I dumped in the SCOBY and some of Becca's kombucha as a starter. I covered it with a coffee filter and a rubber band and let it sit on my counter.
Just chillin.
After 2 weeks I put a straw in and started tasting every couple of days. At first it was way too sweet and I didn't taste any of the vinegar bite I like so much. Ultimately it took about 3 weeks to get to the taste that I like. I was surprised at how perfect it tasted. I've paid way too much to buy this in a bottle at the co-op and here I'd cheaply and with little effort made it just as well in my own kitchen. Besides being entirely impressed with myself I was happy at the control I had over the balance of sweet and sour.
I had enough to put in 3 bottles. My husband (who was supportive but seemed skeptical) loves it too. Since my first test batch turned out so great it was a no-brainer to have another go with a full gallon. I did everything exactly the same and am anxiously awaiting this finished product. If all goes well I plan to start brewing two at a time as soon as my SCOBY is big enough. I'm going to try experimenting with different tea flavors and if that goes well I'll experiment with adding some fruit juice. The future holds many kombucha adventures.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Podcast Obsession

My 33rd birthday is a couple of months away and for some reason I've had it in my head for a few years now that my 33rd year would be my best year ever. I don't really know why I thought I had to wait until I'm 33 to be my best but that's just how my brain works. So now that it is creeping up I'm getting a head start- which is totally a thing that I would do. I've been making some slow and steady life changes since the new year to spend my time more wisely. I found that I was getting pretty phone addicted and spending a lot of mindless time that could be better spent on things I love doing. The first thing I did was delete my Facebook and commit to spending that time in different ways.  Increasing the frequency of blog posting is something I've been wanting to make a priority, for instance, and I hope to post about more of these changes to my life in the near future. This post is dedicated to one of my new habits, which is devouring podcasts. I found I was getting angry at the radio for playing the same stupid songs over and over and I was also angry at talk radio for being too political, too depressing, too celebrity gossip. For all the time I spend in my car I figured I could listen to something that taught me about new things or at the very least didn't make me mad. I'm a podcast addict now. I wanted to share the ones that I can't get enough of. If you know of any great podcasts please share them with me, too! I don't know how many more my phone can hold but I'll give it my best shot.  
 
 
My friends Kelsey and Erik make this podcast with their friend Ryan. It's about Ryan's mom Suzanne who is a psychic and energy healer. Each episode explores these gifts from a different angle. It's creepy and fascinating and really well done and I'm so proud of my friends for making this. Bowie is also featured in an episode...

If you've read the books this is the podcast version. People talk about embarrassing moments from growing up and read old diaries and love letters and stuff. It's hilarious and totally relatable.

This is a local team who also do Darkness Radio. It's totally hit or miss but it's definitely all things paranormal. I'm a junkie.

This is my favorite way to hear new music. Josh has the philosophy that you have to listen to every song they play and not skip them because if you've got time to listen to a podcast you've got the time to hear it all the way through. This is a good way to think about it because I'm quick to make judgments but listening to stuff I would normally ignore has been enlightening. Everything that makes it on this show is good, too. Right now I'm a couple episodes behind and trying to catch up fast because they just announced the Tiny Desk Concert winner and I'm dying to hear them.

This is basically a dude telling creepy stories but the catch is that he super researches them and they're all historically accurate.

Best interviewer ever. I tried listening to The Nerdist and I felt like Chris Hardwick talked way too much. Marc Maron asks great questions and has great guests. I like his voice a lot, too. If you listen to one podcast in your whole life you MUST listen to the WTF with Barack Obama and then cry your eyes out because he's such an awesome dude.

People telling really, really, really great stories.

This is my FAVORITE podcast of all time and the one that got me interested in podcasts. It's Starlee Kine who is, in my opinion, the star of This American Life and wins the award for most interesting voice. In this show she solves quirky mysteries. There is only one season. The greatest mystery of Mystery Show is why Gimlit cancelled it before season 2 could be released and whether or not there will be a season 2 (fingers crossed so tight).

This show is about internet things but not totally. I don't know how to explain it. Just check it out.

This is by a local gal who has a book and a blog already about miscarrying, losing her father and her husband all within the span of 6 weeks. She talks to guests about super sad and difficult life circumstances that are otherwise really difficult to talk about. It's sad but also really empowering and really, really well done.

All about things you cannot see like courage, sound and norms. It's sciencey and creative and the ladies who make this show are downright cute.