There was a time, not that long ago, when every other week I would make two gallons of kombucha. It’s not hard to do at all, make enough tea for two, two liter pitchers of tea. Put a half cup of sugar each into two half-gallon mason jars. When they are at room temperature, put a bit of left over kombucha mother (SCOBY) into each jar, cover and put on top of the fridge for a week. At the end of that week, strain the new mother off the top, strain the liquid, decant into clean beer bottles put some fruit pieces in each bottle, and cap. It is quite an evolution, but only takes about an hour to do from beginning to end. I used to do this at least once every two weeks.
My wine fridge, which has been completely full of kombucha at one time is completely empty. Not that long ago it was half full of ginger ale, and half full of kombucha. Making these things was a habit–a good habit. I don’t know how I quit. I don’t know what I am doing now, instead.
I used to make almond milk twice a week. I used to make mayonnaise once a month. I used to make peanut butter once a month. Now we are running out of all of these things as I have found something else for my time. I have lost a lot of good habits when I gave up sugar eating. The only thing is, none of these things has anything to do with sugar eating. I have got to get back into the habit. It is not enough to break bad habits, but I must not allow good habits to be broken.
It is incredibly important to do as much of your food prep for yourself as you can. A book like “Make the Bread, Buy the Butter”, by Jennifer Reese, contains lots of terrific ideas on how to get out of the boxes, bags, cans and jars of foods that have been lovingly created with only one thing in mind, taking your money. Your health is no consideration at all in the food labs of this great nation. If it doesn’t kill you outright and can convince you that it’s better/easier/healthier/tastier, then it is a win. If it makes you fatter/sicker/sleepy/jittery, none of the scientists dreaming it up care. The point is money–make it cheaper, make it faster, make it last forever on the shelf, make it ‘taste good’. Healthy is not on the list, even if it is on the label. It’s really not their fault, either. If they are going to make the food in January and you are going to cook it in July, then something has got to give. It’s not their fault, it is yours.
Tear open a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Cook the noodles, pour in milk, a pat of butter and the ‘powder’ and you have dinner in a jiffy. The Powder.
Ingredients: ENRICHED MACARONI PRODUCT (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, FERROUS SULFATE [IRON], THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID); CHEESE SAUCE MIX (WHEY, MILKFAT, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SALT, SODIUM TRIPOLYPHOSPHATE, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF CITRIC ACID, LACTIC ACID, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6, CHEESE CULTURE, ENZYMES).
Here is how to do it ‘from scratch’. Boil the noodles, make a cheese sauce by melting the pat of butter, putting a tablespoon of flour in the butter and cooking it for a minute, put a cup of milk in and bring it to just a gentle boil, grate an ingredient called ‘cheese’ into the gravy you just made, strain your noodles and pour them into the cheese sauce. Mix it up and eat it.
If that takes longer than the box method I don’t know why. Tell me why in the comments. I think we would all love to know. My way has the advantage of using ingredients that you can purchase in amounts large enough that you can use them with other things at other times. You can use big blocks of cheese and put real cheese on your tacos, or on your salads, something you cannot do with ‘the powder’. You can buy macaroni noodles two or three pounds at a time and have macaroni in salads, chilis, stews–not just with cheese.
Why you would add all of those mystery components to your childrens’ bodies? The ingredients in real mac and cheese are macaroni, cheese, milk, flour and butter. It won’t last a year on the shelf, but who wants milk cheese or butter to last that long? We eat it way faster than that.