Saturday, July 31, 2010

Water Kefir! A sort of cottage industry.

It's delicious and it makes you feel like you've just gulped down a strong dose of well-being. (If I'm remembering correctly, that's what kefir means, actually.) Unfortunately, I can't have it.

But this is not where this story ends.

A few weeks ago I got some grains from a person in Bernal Heights and started making jars of this stuff. I drank a small amount each morning for a week, and started to notice that although my digestion was FABULOUS, that I had started getting hives, itchy scalp and itchy eyes again. In short, the candida liked the kefir also, and rather too much. At least it wasn't like it was over a year ago when I started making kefir before and immediately had severe candida symptoms right after I drank it. Then, it took weeks to get rid of the infection. This time it took less than one.

I'm still not finished this story.

So I'm making it by the gallon, literally, and it has to be renewed each night in a new batch, or the grains will die. Already I've had to give away 1/4 cup of grains to a friend. Now that I can't drink it my husband puts away a large glass of it each night and my daughter loves the coconut milk version, but there's still, oh, a gallon minus one cup each night that sits in the fridge for days.

I started giving friends a small jar here and there and was promptly told by one afterwards that she'd pay for me to give her a jar each week. So here I am. It's $5 a jar, easy to produce and everyone's happy. My friend was surprised, she said, by how little I charge. I'm not greedy, and honestly, it's nearly all profit on my end at this point.

Once she started, then two other people who know both of us jumped in and said they'd each take a jar. One of my clients bought one and another said she'd try it this week.

I'm excited to be able to make something useful and healthful for folks that they can use. I also believe in the health benefits of true kefir (as in, made from grains not from starter), even though I can't tolerate it at this point, myself. It's also great to be doing something financially useful at this rather too-lean time for us.

Meanwhile, the kefir factory keeps bubbling and I look forward to spreading around the well-being.

(If anyone out there is in San Francisco, and you'd like to buy a jar, drop me a line! It's $5 for water kefir, $7 for coconut water kefir, $10 for coconut milk kefir! Each jar is about 14 oz or so - all recycled.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Amazing Mint Tea!

Yesterday I had the most amazing cup of mint tea I've ever had. Seriously. It was also unbelievably expensive, especially considering what it had in it. I picked up some herbs at the market yesterday and today made a cup that was just about a duplicate of the storebought one. Ready? Here it is.

Amazing Mint Tea

makes 1 cup or a small pot

1 small handful of crisp spearmint leaves, freshly picked off the stems
2 fresh sage leaves
1 fresh basil leaf
1 green cardamom pod

Put the herbs and the pod in a cup. Boil water and let sit for a few minutes. Pour the water over the herbs. Infuse for as long as you like. I thought it was still tasty after sitting about 5 minutes. Strain if you want. Or just dodge the leaves as you drink. :)