Morning Sky

When I was out with the chickens this morning, I noticed the beautiful pink in the sky and hurried in to get my camera. The sky changes so quickly! I never noticed how quickly it changes til I began trying to get pictures of some of the beautiful sunrises/sunsets.

Pink Sky

Pink Sky

I think of how many years I never ever noticed the beauty in a sunrise or sunset. There’s hardly a morning or evening that one of us doesn’t comment about the beauty in the sky. How could I have not noticed them for so many years?

Pink Sky

Pink Sky

Any day that begins with such a beautiful sky has to be a fantastic day!

Bobbly Bunch

If you’re not a knitter but want to be, or if you think sweaters are too hard for you, please keep reading!

This morning after Vince left, I knew I had not long to sit and knit. I had a few errands to run and Vince wasn’t going to be able to come home for lunch today so I was kinda hoping we could meet in town for lunch but that didn’t happen. I picked up Carabe to start knitting on it and my mind kept going back to Bobbly Bunch. Starting new projects is so much more fun than knitting on old projects. It’s especially fun with the new projects have new stitch patterns. I had read through the Bobbly Bunch pattern and knew I was going to have to do the provisional cast on. I’ve done it before but wanted to watch the recommended video just to be sure I remembered correctly. I thought to myself . . I will cast on and do a few rows and then I’ll get dressed and go run my errands.

Bobbly Bunch

Bobbly Bunch

This is such a neat pattern but I almost gave up. There’s nothing about that little bobbly that made sense at all to me. I read it and it seemed so wrong. I went to Ravelry and looked at the projects done by others. No one said the pattern was all wrong so . . the pattern must be right. Finally I said to myself . . stop trying to reason it out and just do what it says and yes, the pattern is right and it’s so cute! I couldn’t put it down! This is the back and as the piece grows, there are more little bobbly bunches lined up.

The yarn is Malabrigo Rios, which I love, and the color is Ravelry Red and it’s so gorgeous! Addie is going to be so cute with this sweater and matching hat.

Back to Carabe . . I cannot keep knitting on this til the Carabe is done.

Kombucha Update

There’s a wealth of information on the internet about Kombucha so for anyone wanting to know more, please google it. I’m not going to state what I believe to be the benefits of Kombucha because I’d only be repeating what I’ve read . . and I have no real basis for my opinion. What I will say is that I love it. At first, I wasn’t so sure about it but now, I prefer it to soda. While I’m not going to say Kombucha has any real health benefits, I think it’s safe to say that it’s better for me and less expensive, so long as I’m brewing my own, than drinking soda.

As far as where to get the SCOBY, some folks get them from ebay, some find people willing to sell them or give them away if you will reimburse them for postage. I was just a little apprehensive about accepting something like that from a stranger — too many unknowns so I got my first SCOBY from a friend locally. She had gotten hers from a friend so I was pretty comfortable with that. Then I ordered two from Kombucha Kamp. There’s a whole lot of good info on that site too. She sent my SCOBYs right out to me and I had them within two days. They were professionally packaged (you need a bit of the tea as a starter too) and everything looked clean and sanitary so I’m real comfortable with recommending Kombucha Kamp if you want a SCOBY.

As far as brewing the Kombucha, tea is brewed as usual. I’m using black tea for one batch and green tea for another batch. Any tea, except herbal type teas should work. For every gallon of tea, 1 cup of sugar is added. As the Kombucha ferments, it will “digest” some of the sugar and the tea will not be as sweet as you might think. In fact, for the second fermentation, I’m adding extra sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved into the brewed tea and the mixture has cooled down, the SCOBY and the starter tea is added, a breathable cover (napkin) is placed over the jar and it’s left to do it’s thing.

On average, it takes 7 – 10 days for the Kombucha to be ready and while tasting is the best way to know when it’s ready, the time period varies greatly depending on the temperature in the house so I’m using a pH meter to determine the exact time when the brew is ready. The batch today was at 3.27 and that tasted good to me. Depending on the pH of the water used, most black tea is going to be between 4 and 6.5.  The pH of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar is 3.075. The ideal pH of Kombucha is between 3.5 and 2.5. The closer you get to the 2.5 end, the more vinegary it is going to taste. I’ll document the pH of each batch and once we figure out at what point we like it best, I will bottle it at that pH.

Since I am supposed to be drinking lemon juice (in lemonade or tea) to keep the acidity level up in my kidneys to prevent stones, I’m hoping drinking the Kombucha will do the trick.

Kombucha

Kombucha

The SCOBY was removed , along with about 1-1/2 cups of tea, which will be the starter for my next batch.

Kombucha

Kombucha

From what I’ve read, fruit juice should be added at 1 cup juice to 4 cups tea so I poured 4 cups of tea into a pitcher and added 1 cup of juice. I ended up with two bottles to which I added tart cherry juice, two bottles to which I added grape juice and two bottles to which I added prune juice, but only a little more than 1/2 cup prune juice. That stuff scares me!  :)  There’s also one bottle that’s about half full and that’s just plain tea. Vince may actually like that better than the flavored. 

Kombucha

Kombucha

Of all the storebought flavors I’ve tried, this is my favorite “Pure Doctor” and it’s supposed to resemble my favorite soft drink! I’ve tried to separate out the flavors in my mind and I think I taste prune juice but that may be because I’ve heard Dr. Pepper has prune juice in it.

Now, the homemade brew will sit on the countertop for 2 days for added carbonation, then it will go into the fridge and be ready to drink! I will, of course, keep you posted.