Homemade Kefir...and a visit to my Mom's garden. Over the July 4th holiday weekend, my husband and I got the chance to visit our folks...a rather quick visit. But I did manage to take a few photos of my parent's backyard...my mom's garden and my dad's trees. This is where I grew up...in the city....yet we still had homegrown fruits and vegetables. Thanks to my mom's passion for gardening and my dad's pruning expertise....We were blessed to have homegrown produce and fruits.
Over the years, some of the trees have changed, but there's still plenty of variety. My folks are getting on in age... but it seems they still manage to take care of the garden. I quickly snapped some photos of the fruit of their labor...didn't exactly catch everything they have, but it's a glimpse.
Everytime I visit, my mom and dad will ask us what we would prefer to eat while there. Sometimes I will ask to have a special childhood meal prepared...other times, it is good old-fashioned Romanian meals. But regardless what we have, it is always prepared with love... lots of it! This time around we enjoyed some homemade Romanian meals...along with garden -fresh tomato salad with onion and cucumber, just-picked corn on the cob, strawberries, raspberries, and freshly squeezed grapefruit and orange juice. Oh, I can't forget my dad's coffee...Turkish style...every morning:).
Even though we didn't stay long, we enjoyed every minute of it! And every time I visit, my mom sends me home with whatever is in season...this time lots of tomatoes(some green so we could have them later when they ripen), cucumbers, dried herbs...and kefir grains.
I thought to share this simple recipe of making kefir at home with active kefir grains. Kefir grains multiply as you use them... so you can easily share some with others....sort of like when you have a sourdough starter. My mom sent me home with a tablespoonful worth of active kefir grains and I instantly made some kefir when I got home...my second batch is ready to be refrigerated. I simply love it...reminds me of the buttermilk I knew when I was a child. Real good. You can read up on kefir and its benefits here. I am sure there are a ton of other sites with useful information. Hope you enjoy...
A glimpse of the backyard:
|Grapes, Guava fruit, Raspberries...|
|Yellow Beans, Cabbage, Beets, Leeks, Onions, ...|
|Yellow Squash, Japanese Cucumbers,|
Bell Peppers, Corn...
|Tomatoes... of all kinds....|
heirloom varieties, cherry, orange, yellow, etc.
|Trees of all sorts...Avocado, Grapefruit, Orange,|
Meyer Lemon, Lemon, Mandarin, Cactus, etc...
And flowers...of all kinds.
And then I came home with fresh produce, dried herbs
...and kefir grains.
Homemade Kefir...using kefir grains. Tastes like the real buttermilk I knew back home...but done with kefir grains. It is slightly thick and creamy, with just the right amount of tartness. Yum!!
You will need: adapted from my Mom
1 TBS active kefir grains
3-4 cups whole milk*
* do not use ULTRA-Pastuerized milk
1. In a clean glass container, add the kefir grains...and then pour milk over kefir grains.
2. Place a tight lid on. I used a glass storage container that has a lid with a rubber seal.
3. Allow to sit on the counter for 18-24 hours...or until thick. This depends on the weather and how warm your kitchen is. Taste and verify consistency after 12 hours.
4. Strain the milk and kefir grains through a fine mesh strainer. Refrigerate and enjoy. The kefir will thicken a bit more in the fridge.