the joy of… kefir

It’s been a strange and rather downbeat past couple of months: unrelenting rain causing us to be surrounded with water in every direction…

… plus serious family illness, and the death of a much-loved pet. It’s not been the cheeriest of winters.

And yet, amidst the gloom, there have been rays of brightness. Signs of hope, energy, and life. Reasons to look forward.

Thanks to the ever generous @CarlLegge, I recently acquired a small pot of kefir grains. Until that day, most of what I knew about kefir stemmed from my far-off days as an historian. But I had followed Carl and others (@Zeb_Bakes) and wanted to get more familiar with this strange fermenting-type entity, to use it for myself, and to see what the culinary possibilities might be.

To be honest, I’ve only just started. I haven’t become a kefir expert overnight. But already I think I’ve found a new love, and one to nurture (quite literally since, as it’s a living organism, kefir needs feeding and looking after in order to keep it active and productive) and cherish.

So far, that love has provided drink (think buttermilk/yogurt, i.e. kefir milk), cheese (a sharp, tangy cream cheese), bread (using whey, from kefir curds), and cake (using kefir milk again).

But most of all, it’s fun. I race to check its progress every morning, to see it gently separating, multiplying, and producing the tiniest of fizz. New life, in fact. And that, right now, when everything seems a little bleak, is the most wonderful tonic.

2 Responses to the joy of… kefir

  1. That looks very watery ! I am very very impressed by everything in your kitchen, and beautiful photos! I haven’t tried a cake yet, unless scones and pancakes count. It is wonderful stuff I couldn’t agree more! x Joanna

  2. I love that kefir is spreading around the world! I just sent some dehydrated grains to fellow bloggers in New Zealand and Spain and love that it will awaken to goats milk in Andaluza and organic raw milk in NZ. I love your cheese and your gorgeous bread. I love using finished kefir in cakes as it adds a real tang as well as a light fluffy crumb. I sometimes add it to the flour overnight to let it ferment the flour which result in a really light crumb that is easy to digest. I love this post and how you are just about to send all of that scrumptious rain over to we poor rain starved antipodeans for a much needed drenching or two in the immediate future :)

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