Good morning, afternoon or evening! It’s another glorious summer day here in Orange County. I shall be flying out to San Fransisco today with younger son to visit gypsy daughter before she leaves for the EU again. I will get to fly Jet Blue, which will be a first.
But I wanted to leave you with a post on a recent visit.
So while my hubby and our Aussie friend were gone to Alfa California last week, showing off the car hubby had rebuilt from the ground up and generally having a blast, my friend Julie had us over for a visit. She is a grain-soaking, kombucha-making, fruit-dehydrating, bread-baking, DIY Farmgirl at heart. I love her to death.
In this post I will share with you how she makes/grows her own kombucha, how she made awesome fried chicken and her lip-smacking peach crisp. All in one post! A three-fer.
To begin with, about her Kombucha tea. She drinks it for her health and reuses other Kombucha tea bottles for her home brew. She has been doing this for a few years now and has the system down. She ferments it until it is fizzy, then she adds some fruit juice to it to ferment some more and it is her soda substitute. It has probiotic in it which promote intestinal health and is supposed to help with forms of arthritis, depression, and I don’t know what all.
First off what is it? Kombucha tea is sugary kind of tea with a SCOBY added to it to ferment it. You can buy bottles of it in lots of stores now.The scoby is the ‘mother’ or starter like a sourdough starter for bread. Or like what they use to make vinegar. SCOBY stands for ‘Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.’ You grow it, like you do a starter. Here is a picture of her ‘mother’ starter.
For details on how to make it and where to get supplies, go to theKitchn. There you will find more information than I have time for here.
You will need a scoby to start. If I were to make it, I would just go to good ol’ Julie’s house and she would peel off some from hers. They make babies I guess. Then you would need water, sugar, bags of black tea, some kombucha from a previous batch or a store-bought bottle, some starter (scoby), and optional flavorings like juice, honey, flavored tea, herbs or spices. Since I have never made it, I suggest you go to the link and find out more. But it sounds like fun. I know Julie keeps it on her shelf always, like a pet turtle.
While the guys played video games and went swimming, she and I chatted and cooked and chatted some more. Here is the chicken she had soaking in buttermilk.
She drained it, dredged it in seasoned flour and fried each piece in coconut oil or organic shortening. I suppose you could use olive oil too, until golden brown, but not done. Then she arranged them in a baking pan and finished them off in the oven. It was wonderful, crunchy, moist and tender. They baked at 375 for about 20 minutes. These pieces were all dark meat, thighs and drumsticks. This made timing easier.I have made it with a cut up chicken and with different sizes and kinds of parts, you have to be more careful that all the pieces are done but none burnt. Hers came out perfect.
She poured the fat and juices left over into a saucepan, added milk, make a roux to thicken it and we had chicken gravy! With, of course, mashed potatoes and coleslaw.
(What is a roux? It is when you melt some butter in a pan, say 4 tablespoons, then add equal parts flour and stir until the flour is cooked, about 1 minute. This paste is a roux, and when added to a sauce, is used as a thickener. It works better than adding just flour, which has trouble mixing in, usually forming lumps and having a floury taste.)
So the chicken was great, the potatoes smooth as was the gravy, the coleslaw crunch. Whats next on this cool and groovy day?
I do smell a peach crisp in the oven…
She took fresh peaches, sliced them and tossed them with cinnamon and spice and everything nice, plus a little sugar and flour. Topped it with the crumb topping and popped into a 350 degree oven until brown and bubbly. How easy is that? She emailed me her recipe so here it is below:
Sweet, juicy, summer peaches. Very easy and quick to make.
- 5-6 large peaches peeled, sliced (about 4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or thickener
- 11 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup ap flour
- 1/2 cup oats, old fashioned
- 1/3 cup butter, soft
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Take the sliced peaches and put into a large bowl. To the peaches add the cornstarch and lemon juice. Pour this into your baking pan of choice. Any shape will do.
- In another bowl mix the rest of the ingredients except for the butter. Then add the butter and blend in with a fork. Or use cold butter and cut in with pastry cutter.
- Sprinkle the topping over the peaches and put into a warm oven to bake about 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Enjoy.