Sincerely, Kombucha – Part 4
Thank goodness I’m not the mother.
I awoke Saturday morning with one thing on my mind: I had to get the scoby into the tea.
After washing my brewing jar and pouring in the tea, I turned to open the fridge. Rather, I paused and then faced the fridge thinking, “Is there any way I can get it into the jar without touching it?”
Normally, I’m not squeamish. When I get blood drawn, I’m actually a bit fascinated when I see it. Dead things have never bothered me. (Except for zombies, but that’s another discussion altogether.) And I like spiders, just as long as they’re not too big.
I opened the fridge, picked up the jar containing massacred jellyfish-like scoby, and looked at it.
I almost felt bad for thinking it was ugly. Almost.
For a moment, I felt like I was back at Radha again, looking at the jar Andrea had handed me and wondering if I could just change my mind.
I’d gone through the bother of finding a brewing jar. I’d decided the sugar and tea I was using had to be organic and fair-trade. I bought a filter for my water jug after deciding forego the Brita and to stick with straight tap water. And I’d spent far too much money buying bottles of the Fairy’s Tonic, though I have plenty enough bottles to re-use when I did finally have kombucha to drink. I had to go ahead with it.
I opened the jar and got a whiff of the kombucha that came with the scoby. It wasn’t an altogether objectionable smell. And I got to thinking it’s interesting that the smell of some fermented things that are good for us isn’t nearly as nasty as forgotten dirty lunch containers or old food in a dark corner of the fridge way, way past it’s due date. Fermented things, like sourdough, miso, sauerkraut, and kombucha all seem to have odours that tempt my taste buds, not make me want to don hazard gear. The odour of fermenting beer, on the other hand, always makes me gag.
Without dropping the scoby or splashing tea and kombucha everywhere, I could see simply sliding the scoby out of its jar into the large brewing jar wasn’t the best idea. So I poured the kombucha into the jar and let the scoby slide into the palm of my cupped hand.
The soft, cool texture of the scoby wasn’t nearly as creepy as I thought. And I could see that the apple-sized lump that had been in the jar really was a thin pancake. A warty, ragged, multi-hued pancake, but it wasn’t as big or slimy as my overactive imagination had feared.
Feeling a little better about it all, I gently placed the scoby into the jar, covered the opening, and placed the jar in a corner of my kitchen counter.
Now comes the patient waiting. I kinda feel like a mother hen. Well, a mother hen that actually gets to brood on her eggs and be a mum the way she should be.
I reminded myself to tell the mister, once he got out of bed, not to look too closely at it lest he be in for a really unexpected surprise.
So I reminded him. And he lookielooed at the jar like someone passing by a bad car accident. I tried to block his view. I warned him again. But still he looked.
The look of horror on his face was really entertaining.
He gawked, looked closer, and made several awkward facial expressions.
“You’re going to drink that?” he asked incredulously.
“Well, not the scoby,” I replied. “I’m going to drink the tea. Some say you can eat the scoby and that it’s good for you. I don’t think I’ll be doing that.”
“I’m glad it’s your science experiment and not mine,” he said, grimacing as he scrunched his shoulders and drew away from the jar.
“So I can’t get you to drink some?” I asked.
“More for me,” I said as I smiled and considered devious plans.
Since Saturday, several times a day I stop to gaze at the wonderful jar o’ stinky to see what the scoby’s up to, especially since passing by the kitchen means catching a wee brewery-like smell. (Note that I said ‘wee’. It’s really not that smelly.)
I see small bubbles clinging here and there to the edges of the pancake. I guess that means something’s happening. Perhaps it looks slightly bigger? Maybe I’m just being hopeful. At one point I saw the scoby burp. Right as a leant over to have a look, out from under it escaped a rather large bubble. Hmmm. That thing better not sprout an eye.
Six more days to go. I am oddly excited and anxious about my science experiment working out.