The last few weeks, I've been making and experimenting with Kombucha and Kefir...courtesy of my friend from the farmer's market, Dale. I made Kombucha once before, back in the 90's and then have occasionally purchased it at the store....for a LOT of not-so-pretty pennies!!! Well, since getting the "starter stuff" from her, I've been doing my obsessive researching on the internet and found out that Lindsay Lohan is blaming Kombucha for her elevated alcohol readings. As a result, in June, Kombucha teas have been temporarily taken off the market pending investigation. So, now I'm feeling a bit like a crazy old moonshiner!!! But i still have all my teeth ;)
There are two ways of making Kombucha. The first way is a one time thing and you just keep repeating the process every week. When I did it "back in the day", I had bought two large glass (can't use metal and not so desirable to use plastic) bowls. At some point between then and now and multiple moves, I broke one. The other, however, was ready to return to it's initial life calling. Then I found out about the second way called "continuous brewing". This calls for a very large jug or vat where you have a LOT of tea and then whenever you take some out, you add more in. It's supposed to have all sorts of other health benefits as a result of the prolonged fermentation process. Some sites have these vats and containers for sale and the cheapest one was over 20 bucks, not including shipping. I went to Smart and Final to get some Mason jars to store the Kombucha tea in. I was also looking for a big glass vat type thing if I happened to find one. All the storage containers they sold were plastic!!! Damn plastic!!! There was one big glass one that looked like the one on the internet but it was 21.00. Too much for me. So I kept looking around and remember that my mom had once told me about getting glass pickle jars from restaurants to do pickling and preserving at home. They throw them away anyways. I eventually find the pickle aisle and lo and behold, there are very large clear jars. But...they seem...wait...I knock on the container...and they are...PLASTIC!!! Not just regular plastic, but plastic molded to LOOK like glass jars!!! WTF? Okay, so now I find myself picking up each container and knocking on it to see what it's made of. I'm sure if anyone saw me...well, whatever. Eureka!!! I finally find a glass one!!! It's dill pickles. Everything is packed in plastic except DILL PICKLES. I keep looking around to see if there are any I haven't knocked on and then I start to scan the prices. A big container (probably plastic) of olives is 23 bucks! 16.99...11.99....back to the dill pickles and they are (drumroll, please) 3.99...on sale!!! They are usually 4.99. I get two of these big beautiful glass jars and the bonus of free pickles!!!! How cool!!!! These jars alone sell for at least 5 bucks plus shipping each. What do you do with a ton of big dill pickles? Text people and ask them "Do you like big dill pickles?", of course. Lots of people got free pickles and pickle juice that afternoon and by the next morning, I only had 4 left. I didn't even taste them. Took the jar home, cleaned it out and set up my continuous brew Kombucha tea project.