Skunk butts and Culture…

Posted: December 3, 2018 in Life

Those are probably not two words that you’ve associated in your own minds let alone that you thought you would see here on my blog.

Welcome to my blog – HAHAHAHA.

Where all manner of weird things happen and I just think it’s normal.

So us folk in these hereabout parts have recently joined the culture club!

We found culture, and by golly – WE LIKE IT.

Let’s be clear though, as ‘culture’ has many meanings.

“the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.”

PASS! Remember, we live in the middle of a forest for a REASON.

“the cultivation of bacteria, tissue cells, etc., in an artificial medium containing nutrients”

Ohhh my. Now that sounds much more like it!

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Please say Hello to our newest trailer denizen!
Yes, it’s true, we’ve started brewing our own kombucha.

Wut?

“a beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria”

WUT???

Yes. See that big white raft floating in the big glass jar? That’s a ‘culture of yeast and bacteria’ lovingly referred to as a SCOBY.

WUT????

Self Contained Underwater Breathing App….No, wait. That’s SCUBA.

Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. SCOBY’s do not SCUBA. They just snorkel. In the top of my tea brewing jug.

You pour sweetened tea (oolong, for this batch) into the jar with the Scoby floating in it and ‘X’ amount of time later you have an ingestible beverage containing lots of beneficial bacteria that promote vigorous good health and well-being. I myself am feeling rather robust.

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Even better is adding fun and interesting flavor combinations. We do a lot with ginger around here. Ginger/Lemon, Ginger/Blueberry, etc. This bottle above I made with a whole apple. It was pretty good, it tasted much like apple cider. And that’s something to watch out for in homemade ‘booch. As with any fermentation process, there’s probably some alcohol content involved. Now, in store bought, commercially produced kombucha they’re required to keep the alcohol content below .05% by volume.

So kids, don’t go thinking you can buy kombucha and get drunk. (yes, there’s been some nonsense in the news about that kind of thing – i just don’t see how it’s even feasible).

((FAKE NEWS!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!))

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Here’s one of Dave’s combinations just starting its’ second fermentation in its own private bottle.

It’s been working out really well. It might not be as predictable or as flavorful as storebought but it is less money to produce. As always this is offset by more effort but honestly, what else am I going to do in winter, in a forest? One can only snowshoe so much.

But this isn’t our only excursion into the dark and seamy world of bacterial organization.

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I finally started my own sourdough bread starter! Wee! Lovingly cared for, fed and watered dutifully for 7 days – I then MADE MY OWN DAMN BREAD.

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Not too bad, there were some areas for improvement. Which, after some surreptitious questioning of my bread baking maven accomplice (“Hey how do I keep my loaf from sticking to the pan?”  Okay, maybe I wasn’t that surreptitious) I adapted my technique to include warming the bread baking dish before putting the loaf into it (GENIUS).

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And I got this little beauty!

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I think I went half whole-wheat and half All Purpose on this one.

Next was this guy –

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In which I learned – don’t forget the salt.

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A nice loaf, but a little bland. Some folks have this theory that adding the salt in too soon inhibits the bacterial culture in the sourdough. Since I would hate for my dough to be inhibited I left it out (under recipe orders) and then promptly forgot to put it in later. Nothing wrong with it, it was just a little flat in taste.

I have since recovered my good sense, gave my bacteria a cheer of encouragment and plopped the salt right into the mix on the next loaf –

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Also, a much larger pan. Much larger loaf and I included rosemary. Holy Doodles. Sign me up for more of THIS.

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I’m really enjoying making bread now. And there’s a limitless amount of recipes to try so I should be really good at this before too long. I will definitely RISE to the occasion, the PROOF is in the photos. Homemade bread puns. The best.

Here are some other random interesting photos –

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I don’t recommend this picnic table at the moment. It’s a bit encased in ice. And the ‘Damocles ice stalactites’ overhead are none too reassuring.

I took this yesterday on our way over to our first Dungeons and Dragons gaming session with some friends. I’ve no idea how this works for other people but holy cow was that ever hilarious. Given the wide variety of human beings that play such tabletop games, I’m sure there’s the ‘SUPER SERIOUS’ crowd and the ‘ROLEPLAY OR DIE’ crowd. Apparently, we’re a bunch of not-serious, laughing our asses off, eating all the snacks crowd.

Also in the games category –

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Thank you maternal grandma for teaching me Rummy. Your legacy lives on. The cat however is not too keen on it. When he noticed.

 

And finally,

It was a dark and stormy night. Well not really. It was dark out but it’s like that at 11pm sometimes. I was taking my last pee of the evening before bed, so I put on my shoes and my headlamp to go out to the outhouse.

I make this trip several times a day. Nothing strange has ever happened. All unsuspecting I stepped out from the front door and down the steps. Walked happily along the bricked walkway towards the loo. And then I heard something. The sound of leaves rustling and oddly, the patter of ….little feet. I stopped. I directed my beam of light down and to the left. I decided that now was definitely NOT the right time to go to the toilet and I should proceed IMMEDIATELY in the opposite direction back to the trailer door because there, not 4 feet from me was this –

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No, I didn’t take this picture, I borrowed it from the internet to illustrate my tale.

Just say no to skunk butts. Now, the little fellow didn’t really seem to care, its not like he was preparing to deploy primary defenses. He had concluded his investigations and was skittering off into the brush. Which was fine by me really. I didn’t feel any need to start barking and chase him which might have resulted in a different outcome.

One we’d all prefer if I avoided. No one wants skunk flavored bread.

~K~

 

 

 

 

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