Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Keep Calm Craft On {crafting on}

The act of creating, in one form or another, preserves my sanity amongst the chaos of life. This explains why I always have more than one project going at a time as well as why my housework tends to fall behind. I enjoy seeing what others are working on and keeping calm with, too. What are you creating? What is keeping you going? Snap a picture or two and share it with the rest of us by leaving your link below.

IMG_4811 I thought I would spare you yet another rainbow dress photograph after posting three of them last week, and instead share another Christmas gift in the works - a dragon balaclava for Little L. The (free!) pattern is for a simple balaclava but I am hoping to make it look like a dragon with spikes and ears. Little L would go bonkers for something like that. I asked him what color he thinks dragons are and he said green. The yarn above looks like a good dragon green to me. What do you think?

What are you working on?! Happy creating!

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fermented

kombucha
kombucha kombucha Simpkin loves watermelon Simpkin Simpkin One of my neighbors stopped by last week and asked if I liked kombucha. I told her that I had never tried it but all my friends were drinking it back in Portland. She then told me that she made some and had way too much SCOBY (starter) left and asked if I might want it. Why not?! I had been wanting to give it a try as I have been told it has many health benefits, and I want to get more fermented foods in our diet. At the same time I wasn't so sure about it because I heard it had a high sugar and alcohol content, and well, the SCOBY rather grossed me out. What can I say? I have a weak stomach. She brought the SCOBY over along with instructions on making kombucha and a bottle of some she had already made. Go figure - her instructions and kit were from Portland, Oregon! Reading through the instructions eased my mind over the sugar and alcohol content (it ends up they really aren't issues at all.) I decided this came to be for a reason so I should just go with it. I opened up the bottle of kombucha and nearly dumped it out. It smelled, well, really fermented. I know, I know, what else should I expect? But once I got past the smell and tried some I really liked it. Since I already cook all of our (whole foods) meals from scratch, make our own yogurt, craft medicine from our garden and so on, why not add kombucha to the list.

I will be making my first batch this week once my gallon sized glass jar arrives but I wanted to first seek some wisdom from those in the know. I bet there are quite a few of you out there!

Do I have to use sugar or can I substitute with honey or maple syrup?
Can I use any kind of tea? I was thinking of just some simple green tea to start and then maybe using some of my peach green tea, but I don't know if that would change anything in the process, though.
Do I drink one cup a day?
What are your experiences with it? How has it helped you?
And finally something that I have read mixed reviews on - children. Do any of you give it to your children? Why or why not?

I thank you in advance for your much needed advice. I have quite a few new things I am trying, pretty much all at the same time, and I can't wait to share more with you. I didn't want to overwhelm you with all of it at once, though. Let's just say that I feel like I am getting more on track with our health. How about you? Is there anything new you are trying? Please do share. Maybe your changes might help inspire us all!
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