"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Drying Kefir Grains
Some time ago, a good friend of my wife generously shared some of her kefir grains with us. These grains, also called granules, are used to make a healthy fermented milk drink, we have been enjoying this probiotic beverage in the form of morning smoothies ever since. Months ago we performed a little experiment with our grains, drying a small portion for storage. Drying the grains was as simple as straining away the fermented milk and allowing the remaining grains to sit out in a warm dry area for a few days. We then deposited the little treasures into a small muslin bag that was set aside in our cupboard for a couple months.
We recently rehydrated those same grains and after being reactivated in milk were happy to find them as healthy and alive as before. To reactivate, we placed them in a small amount of milk for 12-14 hours, strained and added fresh milk. This cycle was repeated a few times until the grains appeared soft, white, and begin to ferment and thicken the milk allowing us to combine them with our original batch. Kefir can also be frozen or stored in the refrigerator for extended periods of time but we were more interested in seeing how dried kefir would hold up if kept in a muslin bag without any type of refrigeration.
I find these remarkable "living" fermented foods to be quite fascinating. It's somewhat strange to think that only a few years prior I had never even heard of, much less consumed, fermented foods like kimchi, (real) sauerkraut, and kefir that have now become such a standard part of our everyday diet
Freshly strained kefir grains, they look just like cottage cheese
Some of the same grains a few days later drying in a dish on the kitchen counter
Weary of the world and its illogical ways my wife and I have chosen a path towards self-reliance in all aspects of our lives. Our main focus is on growing and gathering our own food. We hope to use this blog as an avenue to share with and learn from others with similar interests.
The Good Life (click↓)
"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." M. Gandhi
"Deep inside everyone of us is a call to the wild. Much of the impatience, discontent or violence around us is due to a lack of opportunity to reconnect with where we came from. For sanity and generosity of spirit, we should be able to witness nature at its unceasing, rejuvenating work." - Abdul Kareem
On Permaculture, Edible Landscaping and Garden Plants
"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." - Justice William O. Douglas
First They Came For My Seed..▼
"Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine" - Thoreau
Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling, for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted. Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.
I visited the offices where for the sake of the objective the planners planned at blank desks set in rows. I visited the loud factories where the machines were made that would drive ever forward toward the objective. I saw the forest reduced to stumps and gullies; I saw the poisoned river, the mountain cast into the valley; I came to the city that nobody recognized because it looked like every other city. I saw the passages worn by the unnumbered footfalls of those whose eyes were fixed upon the objective.
Their passing had obliterated the graves and the monuments of those who had died in pursuit of the objective and who had long ago forever been forgotten, according to the inevitable rule that those who have forgotten forget that they have forgotten. Men, women, and children now pursued the objective as if nobody ever had pursued it before.
The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective. The once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free to sell themselves to the highest bidder and to enter the best paying prisonsin pursuit of the objective, which was the destruction of all enemies, which was the destruction of all obstacles, which was the destruction of all objects, which was to clear the way to victory, which was to clear the way to promotion, to salvation, to progress, to the completed sale, to the signature on the contract, which was to clear the way to self-realization, to self-creation, from which nobody who ever wanted to go homewould ever get there now, for every remembered place had been displaced; the signposts had been bent to the ground and covered over.
Every place had been displaced, every love unloved, every vow unsworn, every word unmeant to make way for the passage of the crowd of the individuated, the autonomous, the self-actuated, the homeless with their many eyes opened toward the objective which they did not yet perceive in the far distance, having never known where they were going, having never known where they came from.