Monthly Archives: December 2011

Kombucha

Today I started my own kombucha. My roommate has had a jar of it brewing for some time. We’ve tried some here and there and I like it. It really helps with my stomach. If I have an unhappy stomach from eating poorly I’ll take a drink of kombucha and feel much better. Kombucha has many supposed health benefits but nothing tested by the FDA. I like it for the probiotics. While my roommate has been home we’ve taken to the feeding of it. I’m surprised how easy it all is. So I’ve decided to take a mother and start my own. You’ll find tons of information about kombucha online but this is a good starter.

Kombucha is a fermented tea. The mother is the thick calamari like disk that forms on top. The mother is the bacterium that ferments your sweet tea into an acidic version of your tea. You can use any kind of tea you like. I used chai tea here. Next time I think I’ll try earl grey.

You brew about a gallon of tea then add 1.5 cups of sugar. When the tea cools off you add it to a glass container and then add your mother on top. Make sure to reserve a bit of the original kombucha each time you re-brew. The acidity helps keep out unwanted bacteria.

After about 2-3 weeks the mother will have eaten all the sugar and your kombucha is good to drink. You need to make sure not to seal the kombucha while it brews because it does produce gas that needs to be released during the process. You can use a paper towel and a rubber band like my roommate did.

 

When your container is loosely covered place your kombucha in a cabinet or closet. It will smell like vinegar after awhile, so if this smell bothers you might not want it directly in the kitchen. The little brownish strings are the cultures from the mother. They are the good stuff that makes a happy belly. Don’t be afraid of them.

 

If the taste is too acidic for you try mixing it with some juice or water. I like to put a scoop of orange concentrate into my glass.

Have you ever made kombucha? How was your experience?


Southern Style Butter Beans

Southern Style Butter Beans

1 bag of butter beans

1/2 onion

3 cloves of garlic

3 strips of bacon

1 tsp oregano

1tsp black pepper

1tsp onion powder

1tsp cumin

2 hot chilies

2 cans of chicken stock (or homemade chicken stock if you have it)

~1 cup of soaking liquid

1tbsp salt

Rinse and soak the beans in warm water. I let mine soak for a few hours then rinsed them and added more hot water while I prepared the rest. You can also let them soak overnight. Just be sure to rinse them before adding to your vegetables.

Dice up the bacon and cook it on medium low for about 5 minutes to render the fat. Add the onions and cook for another 5 minutes. When onions begin to look clear add the garlic.

Cook for another 2 minutes. Add all seasoning cook for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook until beans are soft.

This is where the picture of finished beans would be. However, I brought these to school and didn’t think to take a picture of them while there. Maybe when we eat the leftovers.

 

 


Pepper Spray Pork

This is a tongue in cheek recipe. I’m not sure how much news ya’ll follow, but there seems to be a rash of pepper spray incidents lately. OUCD, Black Friday, and even local high school football games. I wanted to make a new spice mixture because I’ve grown bored with the usual Spike, Tony’s, and Slap yo Momma. This recipe has 6 different kinds of pepper, hence the name and jab at recent news. It’s spicy but full of flavor. The cinnamon is mild but adds great depth. This spice rub would work on chicken just at well. Read below for a tasty dose of crowd control.

Pepper Spray Spice Rub

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp of red pepper flakes

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp coriander

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp mace (It’s the outer casing of nutmeg and a spicier version, yes it is also the same mace used in pepper spray which is “essentially a food product“)

1tsp cayanne

1tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground mustard

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix together and rub on to meat. I had enough spice mix for 4lb pork loin and still had plenty left over for another time. I did not think ahead and my pork loin was still mostly frozen.

It cooked at 250 for about 5 hours covered. Then about 1hr after it was shredded in the juices that had cooked out. I would recommend using a fully defrosted pork, but I’m just not that prepared.

This was super full of flavor and spice. I really enjoyed it and had a ton of leftovers for the week. Let’s hope this is as close to the real pepper spray we will ever get. The tasty side.