Homemade Kombucha & Salt Spring Island Cheese Company.

Happy belated Labour Day weekend, folks! I assume you had a great holiday, because let’s face it, you guys are all partay animals, am I right? No? You’re the kind of person who works on Labour Day, comes home to play in your garden because it’s the last sunny day, & enjoys dinner with your significant other while re-watching an episode of “Pushing Daisies”? Of course you are; this is why we are friends and you understand my heart.Whatever your holiday consisted of, party or no party, I hope you enjoyed yourself fully.Speaking of holidays, I would like to tell you more about my past holiday (did you see that seamless segue?)! Also, I had to google how to spell “segue” cause I tried to spell it “segway.” Turns out? Not the same thing. Go figure.

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packaging goat cheese. these have basil leaves laid down in the bottom, then olive oil, then goat cheese before they are sealed. be still my heart. 
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goat cheeses topped with red chili jam, olive tapenade, truffle, lemon, herb . . . 
oh be still my heart. 
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tasting bar. basil infused was one of my favorites, & i you couldn’t tear me away from the champagne rose jelly.  I spent way too much time in front of that table. don’t judge- you would’ve be there right alongside me.  so. good. 
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chocolate & toffee goat milk ice cream. yes please. every time. every day. 
If you are making a trip up to BC anytime soon,  and have the opportunity to ferry over to Salt Spring Island, I highly suggest you look up Salt Spring Island Cheese Company. One of my favorite places on that island.I know what you’re thinking . . . “Oh, these pictures are so delightful! And now you’re going to share you’re favorite recipe using goat cheese, right?”Here is where I bring you kombucha.

Family vacation -> kombucha. No segue. Just an ADD subject change.

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Some of you may think kombucha is simply an overpriced drink in the supermarkets ($4.50 a bottle on sale-no thanks!). To others, it might be a weird drink you heard your friend telling you about, & they throw around the terms “mother” & “babies” and you’re not sure if she’s still talking about fermented tea or puppies.Fact time? Kombucha is an effervescent fermentation of sweetened tea, & is known for its health benefits, such as detoxification, joint care, aiding digestion & gut health, & boosting immune system (source). I am in need of all of those, & I had aforementioned friend that was talking about her “mother,” so she gave me a tutorial & showed me how to make my own batch. Thanks, Emily!Brewed tea, sugar, & the mother, covered with a breathable filter, and set in a warm place for 10 days. Ok, it’s mother time.

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A mother is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (also affectionately called a SCOBY).
Oh, you want a closer look at the mother? Ok.
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I know, it looks like a jellyfish. Truth be told, it feels like what I think a jellyfish would feel like. Keep plugging away, because now it’s time to bottle! Remove the mother after the 10 days, and place in a glass, sealable container. Refrigerate.There may be/ definitely will be several floaties in your kombucha, which is totally normal. You will want to strain these guys out before you bottle, and a cheap’o strainer will do the trick.
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Picture taking and carefully filling bottles don’t mix, so use your imagination. Oh, and make sure your bottles are sanitized properly with sani & hot water.
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Once bottled, set in the same warm place for 5-12, depending on the level of fizziness & sweetness you prefer. The longer it sits & ferments, the more sugar it is eating and essentially turning to a fizzier, vinegary taste (it doesn’t taste like vinegar, I promise!). I like my kombucha less sweet & super fizzy, so I left it out 12 days before putting the bottles in the fridge.
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Ok, I think you’re ready! Kombucha is so refreshing & fizzy & delightful; I hope you join me on this weird drink adventure.Kombucha
large glass jar (about 5 liters)
mesh strainer
bowl with spout or large measuring cup with spout
3 black tea bags
1 cup sugar
4 liters waterBring a liter of unfiltered water to a boil, then pour water into jar. Place the tea bags in the jar. Let brew for 7-10 minutes. Remove tea bags, & add 1 cup sugar (remember, the sugar is going to be eaten and aids fermentation, so your drink won’t actually be this sweet!). Once the sugar is dissolved, stir in 3 more liters water. Cover with a cloth/cheese cloth/coffee filter and fasten with a rubber band. Let sit in a warm place for 10 days.

Remove the mother after the 10 days, and place in a glass, sealable container. Refrigerate.
Sanitize all your bottles with antibacterial soap & hot water (be sure that all the soap rinses out!). Pour the kombucha from the jar, through the strainer, and into the bowl with the spout. When your spouted vessel is full, you can pour it into your bottles. You will want to leave a bit of room at the top of the bottles for fermentation to take place, and no one wants exploding bottles all over their floor, am I right? Once the kombucha is evenly distributed, seal the bottles and place in warm spot 5-12 days. After 12 days, store in fridge.

—>Warning! When opening kombucha, be smart. It acts like champagne, so don’t hold it over your face, or you are going to get a bottle top in the face and possibly lose your eyeball. <—

Enjoy! If you have made kombucha before, or this is your first time, leave a comment below or on facebook telling your story!

Source: dear friend Emily
Listening to: a recording of my dad playing piano

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