The Whirly Girl

Archive for the ‘make your own everything’ Category

I finally learned how to knit with three needles last month and here is the, admittedly blurry, result:

I used this pattern from this website that I recently stumbled across (and really, really like!) and self striping Big Mexiko wool yarn.  My aunt Myra gave me this yarn about six years ago, when I first discovered knitting, and it sat patiently in my knitting basket until last month.  I am so pleased with the result.  There a few holes and rough patches, especially in the first one I made, but now I feel like I know what I’m doing with three needles.  I started another pair in grey last weekend and will attempt the version with a thumb this time around.  I have to say the pictures of the first pattern drew me to it: I have that same sweater, in grey, and drink that brand of kombucha.  When she saw the pattern and pictures, one friend said, “It’s you!”

I wasn’t sure how warm wrist warmers would actually be since your fingers aren’t covered but I’ve discovered they really are useful, especially when you’re typing or doing anything else that requires your fingers.  I’m predicting I’ll wear them at work a lot as I travel between my six classrooms of varying temperatures.

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So.  I successfully (I think) brewed by first batch of kombucha.  First, I grew the “mother”.

 

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Then, I transferred it into ceramic pitcher of sweetened tea and store-bought kombucha (I need to get a big glass crock) and let it sit.  I think it looks like a jellyfish.

 

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I used apricot ginger black tea, because it was the only organic black tea I could get my hands on when I needed it.  When it was ready to be bottled, I poured about an inch of apple juice into bottles first, before transferring the kombucha.  Then I sealed them tightly and put them in a dark pantry for two days, after which I put them in the fridge and have been drinking kombucha every day since!

My kombucha is much sweeter, and with a significantly less strong taste, than store-bought.  It was fizzy, though not as much as I would have liked.  I did notice that the serving bottled in an old kombucha bottle was the most fizzy, presumably because it had the tightest fitting lid.

All in all I’m pleased with the results.  I’m hoping a daily dose will help ward off the flu and any other illnesses we have been passing around at school.  My next batch, currently bottled and sitting in the pantry, was made with plain organic black tea and a 1/4 cup less sugar and flavored with grape juice.

While my explanations were vague here, I followed these instructions and with very good results.

 

Today, instead of knitting, I spent my early morning time researching how to make kombucha.  Like many snazzy things, I first learned about kombucha from my mom.  Initially, I was looking for places that sell kombucha mushrooms, or mothers, that serve as starters and got discouraged because they were a bit pricey!  This site, however, saved the day and I now have my very own kombucha mother growing in a mason jar on my kitchen counter.  I think it will be ready after the long weekend.  Scott brews beer, as I’ve mentioned before, and this experiment may very well be the closest to solidarity we every come in that particular endeavor.

Like most new food experiments, I am hopeful that this will, of course, cure all of our ailments and lengthen our life span.  Truly, I am always so tired during the school it’s sometimes a challenge to keep up with everything else after I’ve used up all my energy at my job; I am hoping this will maybe help a bit with that, as well as help me not get sick every quarter of the school year due to germs my students so lovingly and willingly share.

Has anyone had any experiences with kombucha?  I think I’m going to use this recipe for the first go ’round.

This morning I turned the cut-off legs of a pair of ratty pants-turned-shorts into cloths for my Swiffer Sweeper.  I feel very much like a Suzy Homemake right now.  I’ve been feeling like it’s a little ridiculous to buy boxes of cloths simply because of the brand name (as much as I love the Swiffer concept!) and convenience.  Then, yesterday we had a conversation about how we needed to clean the dust from the hard-to-reach spots in our house–under the china hutch that weights a ton and I’m not strong enough to help move, for example.  Thus was born the motivation to take the leftovers from a pair of Scott’s pants-turned-shorts and cut them down to fit on the end of my Swiffer.  No, I am not that clever for using old clothing for cleaning purposes; I realize this is something that has been done since the dawn of time.  But I’m a tad proud anyway.

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P.S. I cleaned under the china hutch right away.

At my school every Friday is “Falcon [school mascot] Friday,” which means students can wear jeans and their school tshirt, as opposed to their uniforms.  Teachers have taken that to mean we can wear anything we want, provided it isn’t more casual than jeans, and there is something so liberating about rolling out of bed Friday mornings and throwing on jeans and whatever shirt is convenient.  Recently I came to the bottom of the shirts-that-are-technically-tshirts-but-fitted-enough-to-wear-to-work pile and found the one that says “make your own everything.”

Feeling inspired, and since nachos are on our menu for the week, I thought I’d try my hand at making my own tortilla chips.  I remember my mom making them with leftover corn tortillas and I found this recipe to guide me.  I was pretty pleased with the end result.  They’re thicker than store bought chips and sturdy enough to hold nacho topping goodness.  Ironically enough, I ran out of steam before getting around to actually making dinner and we went out instead.  I put them chips to bed in a ziplock and used them the next day. 


stream of consciousness…aka twitter

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