Health and Healing project graphics are great fun to make for all my fermented beverages. In fact, I enjoy making Health and Healing projects graphics almost as much as making fermented food and beverages themselves.
In order to keep track of what I am doing with all my projects, I create promotional and identity graphics. At left, for this project, I have created a menu of the fermented food and beverages I am making.
Do you notice something significant between the above two examples of Health & Healing graphics? The current piece, the menu happens to be computer generated while the vintage piece or flyer was completely freehand drawn by me.
At the time the flyer was created, I did not have access to a computer. Currently, all my graphics is computer generated. In reverse, my current Health and Healing projects themselves draw upon vintage, handmade formulas and recipes.
As much as I would like to create lovely handmade illustrations of my current work, the computer is easier for me. Unfortunately I do not have the skill of other artists like Susan Branch, Beatrix Potter and Mary Engelbreit to manifest handmade marvels.
CAPTURING THE ESSENCE
There is an essence to all of this. It is actually captured by the senses through the ethereal vibration of it all. There is the visual, the aroma, the taste, the feeling. Although I cannot capture some of these qualities, ultimately the products is essential.
It is my sincerest desire that you will experience something special through my Health and Healing project graphics. May that be the quality of transporting you to the products themselves. Ultimately that is where the benefits and the joy reside.
Homemade fermented beverages are my favored way to quench my thirst. Although pure water can be very refreshing, there is nothing like drinking a cool sparkling homemade fermented beverage.
Actually the variety is almost unlimited. Fortunately, most of the commercial brands ferment to have minimal (5%) or no alcohol at all for people with sensitivities.
MY FERMENTED DRINK PROJECT
KOMBUCHA My homemade fermented beverages project originated with my love of kombucha. Over the years, I’ve consequently spent a great deal of time learning about fermented drinks in general. Then I discovered on my own how to make delicious flavors.
Making Homemade Kombucha Sometimes we don’t have the luxury of fermenting of our kombucha. In that case, commercial kombucha will do nicely. But if time does allow, I think it is worth it to experience homemade fermented beverages.
As I mentioned, fermentation, either ‘1F’ and/or ‘2F’ does take considerable time. Let’s begin. The ‘1F’ process includes boiling and cooling (black or green) tea. Then place it in a glass jar without the tea. Next add the fermenting agent known as a SCOBY.
Cover the glass jar with cheesecloth or a coffee filter secured with a rubber band or string. Once the liquid ferments, remove the SCOBY from the tea. Fermentation can take from a few days to over a week even. The result is a drinkable ‘1F’ Kombucha.
Keep SCOBY Mixture Warm During Fermentation
It is crucial to keep the designated fermenting area and bottle(s) warm. To accomplish this, be sure to cover the container with a heavy material like a sock or even a heating belt specifically designed for this purpose.
Once the 1F process is fermented, it is ready is make the kombucha more flavorful. But first be sure to remove the SCOBY from the 1F liquid. Next place the SCOBY in a small amount of the original ‘1F’ liquid in its own jar. Refrigerate it and leave it to rest ready to start another ‘1F’ kombucha. To make the ‘2F’ kombucha with one or more additional flavors, add either juice or tea to the jar that contains the bulk of’1F’ liquid. That may takes days, as well.
There are so many great recipes for Kombucha available on the Internet. For example, here is one of those recipes. How to Make Kombucha at Home Using a SCOBY.
The ‘Sources & Resources’ section below has a terrific recipe. Many other recipes are on the Internet.
This thirst quenching homemade fermented beverage is probably the easiest to make. It only requires two ingredients consisting of whey and ‘Simply Lemonade or Limeade’. First make whey with a cheesecloth by straining store bought, full fat probiotic plain yogurt.
Fermenting with Whey
Add about 1/4 cup whey to a bottle of Simply Lemonade or Limeade. Since it is about as pure as squeezing my own juice, it saves me a huge step of not having to squeeze my own citrus. Combine the two ingredients, 1/4 cup whey into a full bottle of juice. Make sure the bottle cover is on tight for fermenting.
Let this two step process sit on the counter maintaining a room temperature of between a minimum of 70 degrees but best closer to 80 degrees for a few days until it gets fermented and fizzy. Then refrigerate it and enjoy. Hint: In colder weather cover bottle in a heavy sock to maintain warm temperature for proper fermenting.
Ginger ale involves another two step process similar to the ‘2F’ fermentation process used for making flavored kombucha. In this case, start by making a ginger bug.
Combine bug and Liquid Then add it to a liquid specifically prepared for making homemade ginger ale. There is a great photo subtitle link that provides an excellent recipe for both a bug and ginger ale.
To quote her from the website threestonehearth.com, ‘Beets are sliced and cultured in water with yogurt whey and Celtic sea salt to make this traditional tonic drink.’
Valuable Medicinal Qualities Sally Fallon Morell describes this drink as being “valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are just loaded with nutrients. One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments…”
GOLDEN BEET KVASS
Golden beet kvass involves a more complicated recipe, possibly with more powerful results. I have not made this kvass yet. But I will as soon as I purchase some golden beets and fermented rye bread.
DRINK UP Pure Water or Fermented Beverages Contrary to popular belief, fermented beverages were a source of pleasure even nutrition rather that a sanitary necessities in Medieval Europe going forward.
Middle Age Water Myth
Sources of Water in Cities
It is known that cities even constructed sources for pure water. In fact infrastructures were created to supply clean water to populated areas.
Rural Water Requiring Less Engineering
Where underground water existed naturally, wells provided pure drinking water.
Water in Colonial New England (3)
At the beginning of this post documentation of water history relates essentially to European geography and construction. On the other hand, footnote(3) hones in on the relationship of water and the North American city of Boston from 1650-1900. Activities started later in the colonies as well as less frequently. But the need was less urgent.
Preferred Palatable Beverages
But for pleasure, alternative drinking liquids were prefered. In fact, there were many options to choose from. Fermented beverages from distant and recent history are still popular today.
Food and Beverage Hobby As part of my interest in food and beverage history, I like to prepare and drink these beverages. They range from thousands of years old to much more recent concoctions.
Fermentation was the way liquids were converted into nutritious, tasty beverages. Due to chemical reactions with healthy bacteria, many beverages resulted. I would like to spend this blog post writing about some of them.
“The term honey wine is sometimes used as a synonym for mead, although wine is typically defined to be the product of fermented grapes or certain other fruits, and some cultures have honey wines that are distinct from mead. The honey wine of Hungary, for example, is the fermentation” of honey-sweetened pomace of grapes or other fruits.
More About Mead
“Mead was produced in ancient times throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia, and has played an important role in the mythology of some peoples. In Norse mythology, for example, the Mead of Poetry, crafted from the blood of Kvasir (a wise being born from the mingled spittle of the Aesir and Vanir deities) would turn anyone who drank it into a poet or scholar.” Quoted from Wikipedia
“Kombucha is thought to have originated in China, where the drink is traditional.
By the early 20th century it had spread to Russia, then other parts of Eastern Europe and Germany. Kombucha is now homebrewed globally, and also bottled and sold commercially. The global kombucha market was worth approximately US$1.7 billion as of 2019.
“Kombucha is produced by symbiotic fermentation of sugared tea using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) commonly called a “mother” or “mushroom”. The microbial populations in a SCOBY vary.
The yeast component generally includes Saccharomyces cerevisiae, along with other species; the bacterial component almost always includes Gluconacetobacter xylinus to oxidize yeast-produced alcohols to acetic acid (and other acids).
Although the SCOBY is commonly called “tea fungus” or “mushroom”, it is actually “a symbiotic growth of acetic acid bacteria and osmophilic yeast species in a zoogleal mat [biofilm]”. The living bacteria are said to be probiotic, one of the reasons for the popularity of the drink.”Quoted from Wikipedia
So far no one has come up with a wool soup recipe for me. Why do I need one? you may ask. Well, it involves a story. So I hope you don’t mind. Have a seat and make yourself at home.
In 2008, when the stock market crashed . . . . Let’s stop right there and go to a shorter version of my story. We are part of The Middle Class Poor. We get food stamps, go to food pantries and get assistance for living. I am not sure how much living one can call this when food stamps is $17 per month (it went up from $15!). Food pantries have no food we can eat. That is where the wool soup recipe comes into the story.
One of the food pantries we go to is in a church that has a wealthy congregation. I get clothes from Talbot, Lord & Taylor and lots of other prestigious names. It is fun to get new clothes each month. But I need food. I need real food not peanut butter and jelly or mac ‘n cheese. So therein lies my problem. I had become clothes rich and food poor. If I could only find a wool soup recipe, then I could be both food and clothes rich. No wool soup recipe has appeared or is likely to do so in the near future. It became apparent to me that I would have to find another solution to our hunger/nutrition crisis. I decided to call it The Food Project.
The first idea was something called, Donate It Local. I started my research by going around to local restaurants and supermarkets to see if they would like to donate food that was not used up by the end of the day or was about to expire. The answer was the same everywhere. ‘Sorry, but we can’t risk the liability if someone gets sick’. ‘If someone gets sick’, I thought. Hah, I’ll risk it. It’s better than going hungry. But not as far as the powers that be saw it. They could only respond in terms of their potential legal situation instead of the real food/nutrition crisis.
My next effort was part of the Global Food rEvolution. The focus was on fighting for healthier, non-gmo food. I participated in that for a while by posting about everything to do with GMOs and their danger. I also announced all the marches and activities I could for Occupy Monsanto and other such rallies. But we were still hungry and the amount of money we had available for food when our food stamps were cut from $367/month to $15/month was a shocking wake-up call that we had to do some thing more immediate and personal.
Back to Basics and Millenial Food Freedom felt more personal and hands on for us than ‘occupying’ a global corporation. I began to make my own laundry detergent and thought about other ways to save money.
When we were receiving $367/month in food stamps, I was able to food shop in our local health food supermarket and get the kind of foods we needed to stay healthy. One of my favorites had become Kombucha. It is a fermented tea that is high in probiotics, energy boosting and very healthy. But at $3.50 a bottle and $15/month in food stamps, a disparity existed-no more store bought Kombucha. So I started to make my own. I became more involved in making other fermented foods and drinks too. For fun, I named my efforts, Ali’s Kombucha Kitchen.
I now spend most of my time in Ali’s Kombucha Kitchen as A Food Fermentation Farmer doing what I call, Fermented Food Farming. I have no land. I have no garden. I do not have a single flower pot. But I have managed to learn how to cook, prepare and preserve fermented and cultured food stuffs that are nutrient rich and delicious.
One of my traditional nutrition favorites is bone broth. It is as old as the hills as are many of the other culturally indigenous foods and beverages I am learning to make. Many of these traditions have Facebook groups where I can meet other like-minded folks and discuss our experiences.
We still have a ways to go. But I already feel as warm and nourished inside like when I have a wool sweater or skirt on the outside. I may not have found my wool soup recipe. But wool has led me in the right direction. I will not rest until I have found The 100 Percent Solution for the hunger/nutrition crisis for everyone.