Left water kefir, right milk kefir.
A friend of mine loaned me "A change of heart" by Kay Baxter. Having always been a meat eater and raised on a farm to harvest from the land and waste nothing, I really enjoyed the book and it's recipes. I've experimented a wee bit with milk Kefir for digestive health and was encouraged by the easy instructions in the book to convert some of my milk Kefir Grains to make kefir soda. This is essentially the process I used. The results were yummy and really encouraging. The kids even added their approval but don't like it as much as ginger beer. It tastes a tad alcoholic but so does my ginger beer at times. My online research found this good article leaving me feeling reassured that it's Ok for kids at least once in awhile and surely better than bought, sweet, fizzy drinks (which incidentally I refuse to buy, making me a freaky hippy according to some of my children). The success of the experiment led me to wonder if I could get real water Kefir Granules in New Zealand. It didn't take long for me to find this site and I received my grains with excellent instructions. I very soon had the water kefir going alongside my milk kefir. I had to move all my brews to the warming cupboard when the winter cold snap hit and now the cultures are all expanding so well that I can share some with friends and experiment with extra fruits and honey for sweetness.
The lemon tree is having trouble keeping up with lemons for the jar, but the new crop are close to being ripe. Elsewhere in the garden, young citrus are being covered to protect from frost. The ground is far to wet to cultivate for the garlic but weeds and grass of course are thriving.