Friday, May 31, 2013

Kefir Grains.....Tibetian Milk Mushroom...... Manna really or just wishful thinking?

I have had a relationship with Kefir for about 4 years now, I was introduced to Kefir by my friend Belle.  I bought my first goat from her and learned my first steps as a "Crazy Goat Lady" from her.  Belle as since gotten out of the goat husbandry scene but I am well and truly hooked, sometime much to Poppies dismay.  I do believe he is a closet "Crazy Goat Lady", hey if it is good enough for Mike Henry, of the Henry Milker fame, it is good enough for Poppie, but I digress.  Anyway, we love our goats. 

Having goats means using what they produce, meat, milk, cheese, whey, soap and Kefir.  Kefir you say what is it?  Belle gave me my first Kefir grains.  I read about them on Dom, of Kefir fame site, he is from Australia, and the internet expert on them. You know me before I jump knee deep into anything, and I always jump in at least up to my knees sometimes my neck don't you know, I read a subject to death.  Kefir was no exception.  I made up my first batch and sort of liked it, had I been an avid buttermilk drinker I would have loved it.  Did I tell you that anything, or most anything connected to goat's milk can be, or most of the time, is more pungent than cows milk.  I do know, from a trick from Belle the faster you get the milk from teat to cold in your frigerator the more mellow the milk is, or in layman's term, the more like whole cows milk it will taste.  Belle even uses ice to achieve her cold.  I just put the whole jar in my automatic ice maker in my freezer for a few minutes.  The goal is cold in less than 20 minutes, and you do get a really nice milk.  Oh, and be clean about your milking a hair in the milk or feces really does make for a bitter taste, again I digress.  My Kefir was a little funky,  I made smoothies and my Ladies liked them but they were not in love, I froze some and it makes a funky tasting frozen smooth ice cream, so to speak, they like that to but alas I couldn't sell it very long.  My little grizzlies, that is what Belle calls her Kefir grains soon starved to death, I did freeze some and was able to rehydrate them later.  I used them after rehydration to make some Kefir cheese, recipe from Dom's site.  I like it but like all products from goats it is more pungent than store products and my family didn't really like it.  I did continue to make regularly pungent goat cheeses and had fair success with them.  I did end up with a lot of parmesan, due to no cave, but I do make great feta and mozzarella. Alas my grizzlies died.  A year ago I bought more but in the end I left them to starve as well. I just didn't have the right motivation to keep them alive.  I know I could have used any milk in them, and had a milder Kefir, but I really really hate to use store milk with all the yuck in it, just one of the links that shed light on store milk  I don't know any local farm cow milk producers, for raw cows milk, and Montana law is the most restrictive in the country on buying raw milk.  The legislature was working on it but I am still not sure of the final verdict on that.  Okay, back to subject.  No surviving Kefir here.

Several weeks ago Lady Hero gave me some new grains.  I was bound and determined to treat them right this time.  My goats, Glenda and Jewels, had just come fresh and I have faithfully endeavored to do right by my Kefir, one gallon to the piglets daily, and 1/2 gallon every other day to the Kefir and every other day to the fresh drinking milk pitcher.  I have said before that my Booboo has endure pain in her stomach for a couple of years.  It had gotten really bad of late. She was using Tums and Pepto-Bismol daily, more than once.   I had decided to take her in to have her checked for Celiac sort of issues and IBD.  We have a family history of chrons and ulcerated colitis so I am really afraid for her.  I just happened to be reading up on Kefir, so I could do it right and learn more about it, when I came across and article on Tibetan Milk Mushrooms. Okay, so I am an idiot, for years people had asked me what Kefir was when I would talk about it and I would say it was millennium old grains that make milk drinkable about for people who are lactose intolerant.  It looks sort of like cauliflower and it grows in milk.  It is a lot like buttermilk or thin yogurt. It has lots of probiotics etc.....  I was to stupid to know that it is Tibetan Milk Mushrooms, and I wanting to cultivate mushrooms, was clueless.  Some say given to us from Mohammed and other claim it was Manna from God.  Okay, I know from my Bible that God did bless the Israelites with manna daily in the mornings but no where have I read that he delivered in the milk pitchers, you can eat the mushroom itself but....  I am thinking it is from God, a special healing mushroom and may be a relative of Manna but alas no milk mentioned, to make Kefir, stated in the Bible.  I do know God sends us special healing herbs, mushrooms and all manner of things and Kefir is one.  Okay, digressing again but..... for such a blessed reason. 

I read all the good stuff on the Tibetan Milk Mushrooms link is!  You will love this site so informative.  I now know the real facts about Kefir. ( Oh, and there's water Kefir!! sort of knew that but hadn't really paid attention to it, sent away for grains soon be growing here, it makes a pop like drink that is not more garbage for your body, like the store milk and soda pop, okay off the soapbox. ) I decided to ask Booboo if she would try a smoothie made from the Kefir, it is supposed to help, IBD, GRD and a whole host of other ailments.  She was in so much pain, she had missed school that day, and we were going to make an appointment, before school ended to try and find out what was wrong with her.  We had originally thought after school ended would be better, but that day she was in too much pain.  She said "okay, mom I will try it, I hurt"  I made her up a smoothie from kefir, ice and strawberry jelly didn't have any fresh fruit.  It was funky, especially the first sip, she bravely took a second sip, she said it was better the more she drank.  She had given it a try and I applaud her for her bravery, so many things set her tummy off.  One hour later she was up and  bouncing around the house, happily wanting to go outside to play with the littles.  I said "are you feeling better?"  She said "yes. all the pain is gone"  I asked her how long the pain had been going on on daily basis, she said "a long time and it was always worse after lunch at school." go figure yucky milk and white bread just to name a few culprits.  I feed her lunch and no pain.  Next morning I got up and Booboo said, "mom can you make us a smoothie, I don't want to hurt anymore"  She is ready every day now with a smile for her face awaiting her smoothie to be made; an aside it is helping my GRD too.  It has been a week now and not once has she been in pain.  I had prayed for a miracle for our Booboo and at this time it seems that Kefir is our miracle, maybe not manna but from God none the less....... tomorrow.  

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