Thursday, March 01, 2007

kefir & loafing in Victoria

My latest hobby is natural food fermentation. No, not for the production of alcohol, although that will come sooner or later. I've been making kefir (pronounced ke-FEER), which is a milk-based drink that's similar to yogurt, but in addition to friendly bactieria, it's partially fermented with yeast. It's made by introducing kefir granules (little blobs that look like miniature cauliflowers - a symbiotic yeast/bacteria organism) into plain milk, letting it sit on the counter for a day, then straining it. The result is a thickened, tangy drink that's like yogurt only more interesting, and slightly effervescent. It makes fabulous smoothies and I've been having a kefir smoothy for breakfast everyday. The thing about making it is that you can't stop - once you strain one batch you need a place to put your granules, and the easiest thing to do is put them back in more milk. Which creates more kefir. And the damn things grow, too, so if any of my (probably non-existant) readers want to try kefir for themselves, let me know and I'll give you some of my granules.

I'm also trying to get some good sourdough going. I've had mixed success in the past and the starter I've got going now doesn't seem to be too enthusiastic. I put a little kefir into it in the beginning and I think that was a mistake - the kefir yeasts are great for making kefir but it seems not so good for bread. Although, the sourdough pancakes I've been making for Sunday morning breakfasts are awesome.

I don't have the pancake recipe with me right now but I'll post it when I get around to it. Mmmm pancakes....


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