Kefir

So this is my next little project. I got my kefir in the mail the other day and of course immediately read through the instructions and set to rehydrating my kefir grains. I boiled my tap water to remove the chlorine and then pour it from my kettle into a mason jar. I added some white refined sugar and then a bit of molasses. I didn’t measure either thing, because I’m a rebel like that. Or rather because at this point I can pretty well eyeball a few tablespoons. Not that any of my cups and spoons is labeled these days… the numbers have long since worn off. Anyway… the sugar dissolved into the hot water nicely, but then the mixture not want to cool. So I stuck it in the fridge for a bit. Only when it hit room temperature did I add the grains… so as not to kill the bacteria. Which would just be an awful shame… but totally something I would do….

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They kinda look gross, right? But not as bad at a kombucha SCOBY. If you can drink what comes from that thing, this is no big deal for sure. I’m pretty excited. They have to sit in the mixture pictured below for another day or two before I renew the sugar mix and let them ferment it. I’ll try adding a little himalayan salt for minerals and the same refined sugar and molasses ratios… plus a touch of baking soda to promote growth. Did I mention that I bought this for FREE using Amazon gift cards I got from doing Swagbucks? I do practically nothing on that site… The occasional search, and the daily poll, and I earn money. How cool is that? You can of course do more… they have tons of offers, but I’m lazy and don’t want to do anything that might result in spam or require my personal information. swagbucks.com/refer/mrsmusic

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Considering the GREAT weather we’re having, my first flavor choice is going to be a nice tropical mango. Mostly because I have some torani sitting around from like more than a year ago and I’ve not found an excuse to go through it. Not as healthy as just dropping in some pure vanilla, or real fruit… but frugal.

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Just a quick peak at how the grains are doing. They’ve plumped up some. That’s my ring to the side there… I needed to put something in the picture to make my camera focus. But it also gives a pretty good size comparison. My ring is about the size of a penny.

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What’s the opposite of a green thumb?

Before I tell you an amusing anecdote, I must preface it with some information about me. First, I’ve somehow managed to kill every plant I have ever owned. To be fair, there have been few. But I’m just not great with remembering to care for them. And even the ones I try to tend to seem to just keel over. Second, when I moved into my current house, there were ants. And not just a few like “darn it is spring so there are ants”… like I brought in some food and my counters were CRAWLING. I was so pissed I almost moved the hell back out, honestly. If I had known what a problem and expense they would continue to be, I would not be here right now. We’ve got it livably under control… But once I escape this place, if I never see another ant it will be too soon. /tangent. Anyway, so I bug bombed just to give myself a running start. I left my plant inside. It’s the one plant I have. It’s still alive, obviously, but I wasn’t sure if plants can just be poisoned… And my husband teases me mercilessly. And lastly… I have had pets. I don’t kill my pets. Also, hopefully, an obvious point. Specifically, I have had pet rabbits. A wild one I found in the garden, and two New Zealand Whites. One of the NZW chewed his way free never to be seen again. But Bubbles (my nzw doe) lived a long, if quite over fed, life at my hands in a hutch in my carport.

Story time.

We’re driving to church the other night and my husband and I are talking about our lawn. It’s uneven and a bit overrun with weeds. So he’s not sure the little mower will be able to tackle it. I suggest that he invite his mother to bring up the goats and let them graze the place and then he can mow it after they’ve given us the assist. Which somehow reminds me that I saw mini jersey cows on pinterest (yes yes… I’m addicted) and I say that I think small cows are perfect for homesteads.

Husband: “No. We are not getting a cow!”

“Well, not now. But some day…”

“Ok. Some day. After I am dead. You can have a cow.”

“But I want one for milk for the family…”

“No. No livestock.”

“Except the rabbits….”

“A rabbit. One.”

“….What am I going to do with ONE rabbit?!”

“Keep it alive for 3 weeks without bug bombing it. Then you can have another one.”

I started laughing then, which sort of ruins my argument. He does understand that you can’t breed rabbits with just one. But since I’ll likely buy each rabbit from a different breeder (to make sure they’re not related) a little time between buying one and the next isn’t that big of a deal to me. Plus I can work on growing some of their food during their time. And building another hutch or rabbit tractor or whatever. Collecting things I need. He did look at me a little funny when I suggested that we might want 2 or 3 does… So I’ll probably start with just one. And then keep a doe from the first litter and let her start breeding when she is old enough. It’s a good slow start. Allows for a learning curve. My husband figures I shouldn’t name the rabbits, but I will probably nickname the breeders for my own use in record keeping. Then I can add a letter and number for their tattoos. Not that I’m entirely sure how to go about tattooing a bunny ear…

Today I’m going to work up a list of edible herbs and plants I’d like to pick up for gardening purposes. But that’s for after school. Today’s lesson is revolving around a “spring” theme. And a quick lesson on the real reason for Easter. They learn it in church but since the kids are allowed to watch TV, they see a lot of other stuff too. I don’t think they care about the Easter bunny myth… they just enjoy chocolate rabbits.

Spring Cleaning

I skipped pump day in favor of deep cleaning my house. I washed walls, and dusted, and vaccumed in corners and behind furniture… something I often neglect to do. And with the blinds open and the sun pouring in it seems brighter and warmer. And of course it actually IS brighter and warmer.  But more cheerful.

I’m trying to arrange to meet up with Lindsey of nwbackyardveggies.com to see if she’ll walk me through processing a fryer. I’ve watched a few videos so I know HOW to do it technically. I just had this fear that I’ll get all set up. Breed some rabbits. Grab my tools. And then I’ll look down at the fryers and they’ll all turn into Clover from Sophia The First and I’ll be immediately unable to take off their heads.

I’m also super excited to get my Whole30 started. I have a huge grocery list based on a bunch of recipes I’ve recently collected on Pinterest. I’m awaiting a dehydrator (a surprise gift from Mr. Music) in the mail one of these days. I’ll be making fruit snacks, fruit leather, jerky and paleo trail mixes… Can’t wait. 🙂 Still not on board with trying kale or brussel sprouts, though, so those are not on my list. I think I’ll start with a Whole30 meal tonight. Like that steak and radish recipe from Holly Would If She Could… It’s sunny, after all. A perfect day for grilling.