Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kombucha Diaries Continued...

Wednesday July 25, 2012

I am discovering that a gallon of boiling hot tea takes a long time to cool.  I started my new batch of tea on Tuesday morning.  By Tuesday night it was still hotter than room temp.  So I left it overnight first thing in the morning I had my bottles ready, and my tea was cool.  I scrubbed everything with hot soapy water, and decided to rinse my bottles with vinegar just to make sure.  I opened up my jar that had been sitting on the counter for a week.  It was like Christmas!  I gently poured out some of the Kombucha through a cheese cloth into a pitcher.  Bottled that and repeated until the jar was a little less than half empty.  When bottling my friend told me, fill it all the way to the top, no air space.  She also said put the bottles in a pan and put a sock over them because sometimes they explode... wow!  
Here is the exciting part.  At about half way, I decided to get the mother out and start my next batch, as you have to add some of the liquid from the first batch.  I washed my hands one more time just to make sure, and grabbed it out.  I was told that while the Kombucha is fermenting it will grow a new mother, OK, I thought this sounds super weird, but ok...Well, it did!  There were two nice little gelatinous circles floating on the tea.  I gently separated them, and put the new one in a dish with some liquid to share.

I bottled the rest of my tea, and viola!  First batch will be ready in one week.  It has to sit on the counter in the bottles for a week, then you pop it in the refrigerator.  It smells and looks like it is supposed to so that is good.

Wednesday evening July 25, 2012

I went to check out my bottles, and noticed liquid in the bottom of the pan.  I scanned them all and found one that was low!  I picked it up and EXPLOSION!  Now I see why my friend said to put a sock on each bottle. (which I didn't do)  It was really just a little break, but I did loose one bottle, oh well....

To be continued...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kombucha.... What the heck is that?

I have been hearing about Kombucha, some kind of weird fermented tea they say, but I really know nothing about it.  Then I went with a friend to visit an acquaintance that has a store with some beautiful yarn in it among other things and as we were talking about all things healthy etc, she mentioned that she makes Kombucha.  The same week I had noticed that they sell it on tap at Whole Foods which kind of got me wondering what was the deal with this stuff?  So I asked her a bit about it, and she said she had a 'mother' which is what they call the starter bacteria fungus sort of thingy; and said I could have one to try making it if I was interested.  I thought about it for a week, and tried some on tap at whole foods and then started reading about kombucha.  It is actually very healthy for you, full of vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics.  It is one of those living foods.  It also is a detoxifier.  If you read the story on the GT Kombucha web site, it is pretty inspiring.  So I decided to try making some myself.  I am chronicling my adventure in Kombucha making, and posting it here.  So below are the first few days entries....

My first batch sitting in the corner minding its own business, and yes that is one of my un paper towels covering the top

The Kombucha diaries
Monday July 16, 2012

I received a mother fungus for making kombucha from Linda.  She wrote down her directions and sort of described how she makes her kombucha.  I had some to taste, it was very good.

I came home with my culture and looked up a web site online that Linda showed me.  It had some how to instructions and pictures.  So I went to work.  I followed the directions and boiled my water, then added a cup of sugar, let that simmer and dissolve.  Started writing my Kombucha diaries, and then added my tea.  I decided to use some Numi organic black tea, earl gray to be exact.  I used 3 bags of that, and 3 bags of white rose organic.  I think green tea is good to use, but I didn't have any that was organic, so I opted for the other.  After a few hours my tea was still pretty hot, so I put the lid on the pot and went to bed.

Tuesday July 17, 2012

First thing in the morning, I cleaned the kitchen, made a space for my kombucha to reside, and got ready to inoculate the tea.  I scrubbed the jar good, rinsed with hot water and then rinsed with white vinegar. poured in my tea and slid in my SCOBY mother and all the liquid that came with it.  I covered it with one of my organic muslin un paper towels, and rubber banded the lid.  Set it in a dark corner of my counter to ferment undisturbed for a week.

Thursday July 19, 2012

Our air conditioning went on the fritz.  It's only 105 degrees out, so no worries haha!  I am hoping this won't make my kitchen too hot for the kombucha.  I will know in a few days.  When I peek under the cloth I still see some bubbles at the top.  Not sure what it is supposed to look like as I have never done this before!

Monday July 23, 2012

Air conditioning fixed! I didn't get to brewing a new batch of tea to cool, so I will end up letting the kombcha ferment for 8 days instead of 7.  Hope it's not dead from the heat…..

Tuesday July 24, 2012

Brewed a new batch of tea.  Used English Breakfast Tea, and after reading the package I discovered that the Earl Gray has bergamot in it which may have oils on it that might adversely affect the Mother… hopefully not, this is all an experiment, so we will see what we see.  

I washed all my Grolsh bottles and have the ready to bottle the first batch of tea, I just need my new batch to cool enough so that I can start a second batch at the same time.  

To be continued....

Friday, July 13, 2012

It's Diaper Swap Time Again!

I love hosting and participating in diaper swaps for the main reason that I get to meet my customers.  I sell so many items on line and talk back and fourth with people through my shop, but I rarely get to meet and talk face to face with customers.  That is my favorite part of swaps.  What is a swap you say?  A Diaper Swap is moms coming together to sell their new or gently used fluff to other moms who need more fluff!
Here is Becky from MomBecks at our last swap....we miss you Becky!

My swaps also include awesome "mompreneurs" who make  and sell their products like I do.  This swap will be at The Refuge~ our good friends non profit youth center and coffee house in Overland Park.  If you are in the area we would love to have you come and shop, visit and hang out with us.... We have 20+ moms coming to sell and Claudia our Refuge summer intern will be there making coffee drinks and lemonade!  Shop, Visit, Bring a Friend, Have a Coffee!

Diaper Swap
July 17, 2012
11336 W 135th St
Overland Park, KS 

5:00PM to 8:00PM

We take cash, check w ID or credit/debit cards

Contact me Kelly Quinn through the facebook event page if you have any questions, need more directions, etc.  Looking forward to a fun evening of visiting and swapping.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Summer Clothsline

For many years I have wanted a clothesline.  There is something peaceful and relaxing about hanging your clothes out on the line.  In the summer lets be honest it is also muggy, buggy and hot!  Especially the summer we are having in Kansas this year.  Non the less, I wanted a clothes line...

The kind with the pulleys so you can stand there and wheel the clothes down the line and watch them spread out to dry in the hot sun.  The first thing I wanted to test drive on the line was diapers.  I hear so many mamas talk about how the sun will bleach the stains right out of those diapers, and I wanted to see it for myself.
So here they are all hung up on my new clothes line.  I tried to capture the stain spots as best I could, here are a few stain close ups....

And after just a few hours on the line, here are some after shots.  I was surprised that I did see results in just a short amount of time.

As you can see in the first example, the stains aren't completely gone, but they are significantly better. I was amazed at the power of the sun to do my bleaching for me, and so happy that my clean diapers were chemical free and fresh and crisp.  The great thing is anyone can use the sun for bleaching.  I recently re connected with an older friend and I was talking about diapers and my clothes line.  She told a story of when her married kids were living with her for a while and she had three grand babies in diapers.  They would use up what clothes line space then string lines from tree to tree, and hang a diaper on the line, then hang another diaper from that one, and another from that one!  That is a lot of diapers out hanging in the sun.  I have another friend who doesn't have outside space readily available, and suns her diapers in the window which she says works just as well.  Keep enjoying that summer sun, and give it a try putting it to work for you with a clothes line!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

I was thinking about Independence Day and how fortunate we are to live in a country where we are free to live and raise our children as we think is best, work in the job we choose, and have the right to elect the people we choose to lead our country.

In 1787 when asked by a passing lady, "what have we got-- a Republic or a Monarchy?"  Ben Franklin uttered those now famous words, "A Republic if you can keep it."  On this Independence Day I would encourage you to read the constitution, know what is says and why the founding fathers included the things they did.

 Patrick Henry once said, "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."

Please read it, and also exercise your right to vote.  Know what the politicians running for office stand for, and make sure you vote for someone who stands for what you stand for.  This is one of the best ways to keep the freedom that we are so fortunate to have.

Not sure if you are registered?  Check here
There are several places to get a free pocket copy of the constitution here.
*All quotes from Restoring the Constitution Handbook