Sunday, 22 February 2015

Everyone needs some Kefir in their life!

If you’re not sure what I’m on about, kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains, which are a bacteria-yeast symbiosis that looks a little like slimey cauliflower! It digests the sugars in milk to form a sour tasting, thin, yogurt-like drink rich in probiotics.

Milk Kefir Grains

We’ve had kefir grains for a while now and they take some looking after, much like any living thing really! We call ours Kevin! Kevin the Kefir and ‘he’ is as much a pet as we’re ever going to have while living in South Korea.

We got back to our little corner of Korea, our home for the past two years, last Thursday after almost two months at home in Ireland.  While we were gone, we stuck Kevin in the freezer.  Seems a bit harsh to pop your pet in the freezer but google said we could, so we did.  I was a bit worried about him to be honest.  We’ve come to rely on him a lot, particulartly as a crucial element in our brown bread and smoothies.

Anyway, it was almost the first thing I did when I got in the apartment door.  Straight to the freezer and out with Kevin. I put him in a mug with some fresh milk and left him to defrost.  Once defrosted, I transferred him to his usual jar and covered him with more fresh milk and left him to do his magic.   I kept checking on him to see if he was alive and well or if we’d accidentially killed him. (freezing kefir grains can damage the yeast part which would be fairly detrimental to him producing his yummy yogurt stuff!).  After about 20 hours I thought I could get a whiff of his signature sour smell but wasn’t sure.  I began to panic slightly, what if he didn’t come back to life?  How would we cope?!

Kevin chilling out in his jar, working his magic on some milk!

This morning I thought I’d pop him into a clean jar and some (more!) fresh milk.  When he was in the sieve I could see he was definitely on his game, just a little slow to wake up properly after his long snooze, and I can relate to that!  He’s on the counter at home as we speak (or as I type) and I’m fairly sure when we get back he’ll be doing his business, providing us with loads of lovely kefir.   Just in time too, I’ve made a big pot of soup and it wouldn’t really be the same without some nice brown bread to go with it!

*Update: He's alive! And a loaf of bread is in the oven this very minute, while Kevin chills out on the counter, already making more for the next loaf!

Nick adding the final touches to a loaf of yummy brown bread!

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