The NC Blogger Network’s 2016 NC Holiday Gift Guide is out!! Make sure to check it out as The Southern Belle’s Garden from yours truly is listed! You’ll find some great gift ideas that come straight from North Carolina! Check here to view the guide.
It’s funny sometimes how things tend to cycle back around in life. For instance, in November of 2014, I posted about my Baby Bug, aka the ginger bug I had just started. That was my first foray into fermentation and it was unsuccessful. I killed my little bug before it ever had the chance the flourish.
Here we are, two years later, and I have started a new little baby bug. I’m a bit more confident this time around. I have a greater understanding of the fermentation process after experimenting a bit in the kitchen and I am REALLY craving some ginger soda. I’m determined to try this time until I succeed.
This post follows my Ginger Bug’s first week in hopes that you may find this helpful in starting your own Baby Bug. Yours may begin to bubble quicker than mine did, especially if your house is warmer.
Day One (November 7): In a quart jar, I combined 2 cups water, ½ cup white sugar, and about 1 tbsp minced ginger. I covered it with cheesecloth and put it on my kitchen counter. I used tap water that I brought to a boil and cooked down. Since I did not have organic ginger, I peeled it before mincing it. I stirred it all with a wooden skewer.
Day Two (November 8): Fed 1 tbsp minced ginger + 1 tbsp white sugar. Moved to bedroom (where warmer). Temperature in house was 55 degrees overnight.
Day Three (November 9): Fed 1 tbsp minced ginger +1 tbsp white sugar.
Day Four (November 10): Fed 1 tbsp minced ginger + 1 tbsp white sugar. Noticed a few bubbles on the surface.
Day Five (November 11): Fed 1 tbsp minced ginger + 1 tbsp white sugar. Household temperature is 58 degrees.
Day Six (November 12): Did not feed – not home.
Day Seven (November 13): Fed 1 tbsp minced ginger + 1 tbsp white sugar. Ginger bug is really bubbling now! It is time to make some soda!
So for my first soda made with my ginger bug, I decided to go with a ginger soda. It seemed rather fitting and I could use my fresh ginger root that I received the weekend.
To start with, I boiled 4 cups of water and added it to about a 4 inch root of ginger, grated. I let every sit until it had cooled and infused. Then I added the juice from one whole lemon, ½ cup white sugar, 1 tbsp. real maple syrup, and ¼ cup of strained ginger bug liquid.
I mixed it all with a wooden spoon and then bottled. I used glass bottles but will “burp” it daily for the next 2-3 days or until it is nicely carbonated. Then I’ll pop the bottles in the fridge to enjoy.
To my ginger bug, I added ¼ cup filtered water, 1 tbsp minced ginger root, 1 tbsp white sugar to give it a bit of a boost. I’m going to drop down now to only give it 1 tsp. ginger and 1 tsp. white sugar daily/every other day.
Fingers crossed that my little experiment turns out better this time than last time!
I went to the Edenton Farmer’s Market last week and managed to stay under my goal for $40 finally. I spent $19 on produce, $5.50 on bread, and $9.83 on meat for a grand total of… $34.33 – yay me!
What I got for my money:
I don’t quite have a plan yet for anything, other than pickling the beets (yum). The Bekana (Bukana?) is a new one for me. Doing a little research shows that it is sort of an Asian green? I decided that is how I will use it. I found a mixture of recipes showing it cooked and raw so I have a bit of variety.
The beef kidney is something that I’ve never purchased before but I thought that it would be a nice little treat to mix in with the dog food. Ideally, I would like to make all of my dog food from scratch. Not today but maybe one day.
If you’re paying close attention to the picture, you may have noticed that there is a bit of ginger that I haven’t mentioned. One of my friends harvested a small batch of ginger and gave me one of the roots. I used that last night to make my fresh ginger soda. Check back tomorrow for more information and a step by step for my ginger bug.
Ever have one of those weeks where it seems like you are being pulled in a hundred different directions? That is how last/this week has been. I’ve been busy at work this week, busy making product for The Southern Belle’s Garden (with shows scheduled last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), not to mention family obligations/emergencies (3 relatives in the hospital). Not that I am complaining. Things do tend to fall by the wayside during busy weeks. I don’t get to spend as much time with my boyfriend, my dog, my chickens, or with just myself and I do enjoy my alone time. With the holiday season starting to ramp up full-swing, I know that my precious free time will dissipate, so I need to use it wisely.
I’m blessed in that stress doesn’t affect me all that much. I’ve been called “zen” on more than one occasion and don’t let my feathers get too ruffled. But here are some of my favorite ways to relax when I start to find myself feeling a little too run down.
What are your favorite ways to relax and destress?
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Saturday morning, a few weeks ago, I found myself as a vendor beside Ollie of Somerset Farms at the Edenton Farmer’s Market. Now, I’ve known Ollie for years (I even dined at her house a few weeks ago – pictures forthcoming, along with pictures from my Alaska trip, really), along with the rest of her family. They are great people and you really can’t beat their delicious certified organic produce.
Being next to Ollie was a delight and my downfall. I spent all of my money at her table. See, when I go to the Farmer’s Market, I usually like to limit myself to $40. If I spend anymore than $40, I tend to purchase more than what I need and end up wasting produce. I only went $5 over budget this time however and am rationalizing by the fact that the mushrooms I purchased took up almost half of my budget.
So here is what I got from the Edenton Farmer’s Market for $45.
The good thing is that I had a plan on utilizing everything! I dehydrated most of the mushrooms on Saturday night for use throughout the Winter. The lamb and garlic, along with a few mushrooms I saved out and some of the kale, went towards a more traditional Shepherd’s Pie. Last week, I roasted the beets, peppers, and radishes, serving them with halibut flown home from Alaska.
On another note, please check out The Southern Belle’s Garden – I’m in the process of revamping it so that I can utilize it more as a business page and a place where you can buy my products online. I have my salves currently up and will be uploading a delicious Elderberry Syrup for sale shortly. My goal is to have almost all of my current inventory listed there by the end of the week, which means that I need to get on the ball taking some stock photos!