Yay! Flu Season!...no not really "Yay". From what I've heard it has been a rough one. We fought off a virus in December that very well could have been the flu...not sure. It wasn't long lived here, about 24 hours per person. But I must say that we are fermented junkies. Fermented foods and beverages are a must during this time of year, well and every time of the year. I hope they aren't something you are scared of, or don't think are worth your time. They really are more simple than you think and very, very tasty! Maybe it's your Real Food resolution or you are trying to keep your immune system strong so you don't catch whatever funk is going around this week. But either way, here are a couple of things I am doing to keep my little bacterial friends growing strong and mighty in these chilly winter months.
This is my Kombucha cabinet. I seriously have one, and most of my foodie friends do too. I may have to keep my pantry items in the laundry room, but the Kombucha...it gets it's own cabinet! I am experimenting with a continuous brew batch. That's why the jar in the front is only half full. I will just add more sweetened tea to it and have more Kombucha in 3-4 days. With the cold weather, I was pushing 8 or more days on a gallon brew. Here's how I help my booch along, I keep my stew stewing right under the cabinet. Tonight we are having Corn and Sweet Potato Curry, and thanks to the warmth from the slow cooker we will have some super-fizzy Kombucha to wash it down!
Here's some Simple Kraut I have going next to the stove. I had bubbles in about 2 days, but let it go the full 3 to make sure it was ready to work it's immunity magic!
And my Water Kefir too. My grains have been a little moody since the weather turned cold. But being near the stove is helping some. My milk kefir is just a little further away from the stove, but not too far to not gain the warmth as well.
You could also keep something like a space heater near your ferments and I read somewhere they make heated strips for fermenting. I found this one at Kombucha Kamp, which is a great blog for all things Booch! 50 Bucks is out of my price range for Booch, so I'll keep running my Crock Pot and using the warmth of my oven for now. Either way, the fermenting will continue!
Love and Butter,