The Nest

Yesterday, we were sitting in the car while Irving ran in to the post office and we saw a bird’s nest in the post office light.

At first glance, all the kids thought it was a terrible idea for a bird to build a nest in that particular location. I pointed out that it was pouring rain . . . but the nest was still dry. They decided that it might not be such a bad idea to build a nest under a roof.

From there, the ideas began to flow!

“The lightbulb might keep the babies warm at night, when the mama has to find food.”

“Well, they’ll ALWAYS find their nest at night because it has a light!”

“There are bars on the side so the eggs can’t roll out and the babies will stay in.”

“I bet lots of people drop food on the street that they can eat.”

“The big roof is good, but the light has a roof, too. The birds will NEVER get wet!”

I found it fascinating to watch the process of going from “what a terrible idea” to “that’s a great spot!”

It also made me think that we need to use this skill in our everyday lives. How often do we think of things in a negative light? I know I’m quite the pessimist (well, I consider myself a realist, but that’s a whole other blog post)!

I think I’m going to try and apply this positive twist thinking to other areas of my life.

Kefir and Growing Cultures

A friend of mine recently gave me some milk kefir grains. I’ve made water kefir before, but my BIL drank it and tossed the grains, thinking they were just junk. Oops. With the milk kefir, I’ve been making “yogurt” and using it in smoothies and ice cream. This is the way to get it into little bellies!

The boys haven’t realized yet that the kefir is what is making their yogurt, but with some fresh fruit and a little honey, it tastes pretty much like the normal yogurt, but with super amounts of probiotics. We’re hoping this will help Dorian’s intestines, but I think it will be great for the whole family.

So far, I’m still learning. My first two batches overcultured rather quickly. I suppose a tropical country isn’t ideal . .. the kefir is done in about 24 hours here! However, the thicker kefir is great for making yogurt and I want to try draining it to create “cheese” but that hasn’t happened yet, since we’ve used it all up in other dishes. The main issue with culturing the kefir for so long is that it gets a little sour. Nothing a bit of honey won’t fix, though!

On the topic of cultures, I’ve also started a sourdough culture so I can begin to offer sourdough bread in the bakery. I suspect it will be a big deal, since it’s not something you see around here. Next up? Sauerkraut! I’ve been dying for some good sauerkraut and need to find a crock or something similar to make it in, since my last attempt went bad due to using a poor container. We’ll see what happens!

Do you have a favorite culture?