Maya and Charlaine


Charlaine and Maya both from Switzerland arrived here for their last woofing experience of a year spent away. They had been to fourteen different places in France, Italy and Brazil. They had a load of stories and experiences to tell of their travels and seemed now ready to return to Switzerland with the hope of starting their own operation on the land in the future. While staying with me Charlaine started a method of Kombucha and has given details here. I hope to continue with the process and hope it will survive. She threatens to come back to Ireland for another reason and while here will be checking my nurturing skills on the Kombucha front, oh dear. Maya cooked the most amazing chocolate cake for a dinner one night for friends. It is amazing but we discovered it is best to use 75% cocoa and no stronger, having tried 85% it was too much cocoa and tended to separate the butter. It really is delicious and I would recommend as an easy but impressive cake. While here they painted the cottage and top barn windows and did loads of other things besides. Thank you for helping to put in the boat in an easterly wind and sorry you never got a chance to go fishing, definitely the next time!

Enjoying a tea break in the sun

Kombucha is a drink made from fermented tea using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts. If properly cultivated the same culture can last for centuries.
The Kombucha resembles like a pancake floating on the surface of the tea creating an anaerobic environment favorable for fermentation, because it is a complex symbiotic culture it does not suffer easy contamination by other colonies of bacteria.
Kombucha consumes the sugar and other nutrients and enzymes producing numerous acids which improves digestion making up the body alkalising.
Combat acidity instantly.
Reduces blood pressure.
Rich in complex vitamin B.
Reduces sugar level in blood.
1. Make a strong green or black tea using only CAMELIA SINENSIS.
2. Add white sugar to your own taste. The sugar will start fermentation.
3. Let the tea cool down to room temperature before pouring it in the glass jar with Kombucha.
4. Cover the jar with a clean cloth attached with a string or a rubber band.
5. Store in a cool place away from direct light , from the 3rd day of fermentation taste the drink to discover which point of fermentation you prefer. The longer it ferments the more sour and fizzy it will be.
6. Once the preferred point of fermentation is reached, pour the liquid in another jar with the lid closed and add flavouring agents for a 2nd fermentation for 1 to 3 days. (when very fizzy its ready! Be aware that the longer you leave your Kombucha fermenting it can become alcoholic.
suggestions: pieces of ginger, turmeric, lemon-grass, hibiscus, pineapple, basil and strawberries, fruit juice (half cup fruit juice half cup Kombucha).
7. Serve with ice cubes or with drops of lemon juice, or fruit juice or herbal tea.
Every time you empty the liquid from the Kombucha jar, restart the process of making Kombucha.
Each time there is a cycle of fermentation the culture multiplies creating new layers underneath. The thicker the Kombucha, the faster fermentation is. Each layer of Kombucha can originate a new culture, simply put the layer which you separate (touching it with clean hands) from the mass in another glass jar and repeat the process.

preparing the boat for the summer




250gr dark chocolate (max70%)
5 eggs
60-100gr grated coconut or flaked almonds.
80 gr flour
150 gr sugar
250 gr butter
In a saucepan melt the broken up pieces of chocolate with the butter on low heat. Stir all the time until liquid then turn off heat.
Separate the egg whites and yokes in different bowls.  Add sugar to the yolks beat together a little bit, pour on melted chocolate add sugar and sieved flour and stir then add grated coconut and stir.
beat egg whites til still and then fold into mixture with spatula allowing air to go into mixture from the folding.
prepare cake tin with butter foil and flour.
pre heat oven to 180 c and cook for about 25 minutes more or less depends on how soft you want the cake to be.
It is a pleasure to share this fantastic recipe with you, chocolate makes people happy!  For a little while at least.  Best wishes, Maya.

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