I’ve been making Kombucha.
I know, it sounds like a song that you sing around the campfire, but it’s a fermented black tea that sits around on the counter top, quietly revolutionizing itself into something totally unlike anything we consume at potlucks. Floating around on top is a SCOBY — which stands for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.
Mmm. Doesn’t that sound yummy?
Fermented foods like Kombucha (Comm-BOO-Chah) are gaining popularity these days as a means of introducing beneficial microbial activity into our body systems, something notably lacking in our culture of processed, nutrient-deficient, homogenized foods, and once I heard that the stuff is based upon black tea, I was hooked.
It vacillates between sweet and vinegary, with a bubbly tang that is oddly different, compellingly demanding, but not repulsive, sort of like me. If you want to experiment with your own batch, Food Renegade has great information, but I’ll warn you, the site doesn’t talk about the most important thing:
A stunningly attractive jar in which to create your masterpiece.
Oh, sure, you could use a gallon glass jar, the kind you beg off of restaurants, and do the whole thing for free. But I wanted something with a spout, and to get this feature, you’re going to find yourself in Exotic Imports or The Universe Beyond the Master Bathroom.
At least that’s where I dragged the Norwegian Artist when I went looking, and him being a male and my being cheap meant that we beelined it to the jars, totally ignoring artfully draped fabric resting on cushions, or thin stemmed wine glasses standing at attention next to sultry turquoise-hued platters.
You’d be amazed at the variations of empty gallon pickle jars out there — and they’re definitely not free. They are shaped like upside down mushrooms, textured with bumps and pebbles, or colored like rubies and sapphires (and similarly priced). If you want to (we didn’t), you can spend as much on a glass jar with a spigot as you do on a dinner for 8 at a remote resort in Tahiti.
But there was one thing that all of the jars had in common, regardless of whether they were the Motel 6 budget model or the Tahiti resort — all of the spigots were the same — cheap. And when you consider how important a spigot is to a jar with a spout, it’s irritating that manufacturers do not offer us the one particular feature that would be most helpful — quality.
But that’s life in our global, mass-manufactured economy — buy a lot, buy it often, don’t expect it to last. But do, do keep buying.
So what did we do, dear reader? We bought a jar, the lowest price model, which had the notable benefit of looking like the highest price model, spout and all. (Interestingly, it also cost less than models we viewed at BoxStore and CheapMart.) It works just fine, and as I set my little cup under the spout and draw off a drought, I continue my fight against greed, dishonesty, dis-ingenuousness, and financial immorality:
We bought what we needed, and use it to our advantage. We continue to learn to make things for ourselves, and our foray into Kombucha isn’t just a beverage experiment, it is a drive to eat better, think independently, and take responsibility for our own health and family welfare.
Because, in all things, “they” don’t care. Your life, your kids, your family, your health, your education, your Kombucha — you are the one to whom this matters the most. Take charge of it.