Kracking Kefir

I said in my first blog that I would talk about Kefir. Until last summer I had never heard of it. A friend of mine, we will call him ‘Martin’ because that’s his name! was telling me about it and offered to give me some. This is one of the main rules of keeping Kefir – you always ‘give’ it to someone, no money can change hands, so anybody selling it is in breach of the Kefir Code! (I’m not sure there is a ‘Kefir Code’ but there should be!).He arrived into work with a plastic box half full of milk and some Alien like jelly stuff. I thanked him as I didn’t want to seem ungrateful but I looked at it and thought I’m never going to use this stuff but I’m sure the chickens will eat it! Thankfully Martin, who swears by this gloop also gave me a bit of paper with the ‘do’s and dont’s’ of Kefir. Basically it is a jellylike living culture that looks a bit like cauliflower florets which you add fresh milk to and it turns it into ‘buttermilk’. It has incredible probiotics and enzymes which are brilliant for gut health. There are a few theories as to where it originally came from but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that this stuff is amazing! As I am lucky to live in the country I asked a local farmer who was having a pint in my local pub if you he could get me some ‘raw’ milk. The next day he arrived with a 2ltr 7up bottle with still warm milk and after drinking a glass (which tasted like milk used to before Stratroy and its buddies wreaked it) I fed my new livestock. The next day the Kefir grains had separated the milk into curds and whey. I was amazed how quickly it had worked. Another rule of Kefir is that you must use a nylon sieve as metal will kill the cultures so once I had drained it, washed it and fed it more milk I poured a glass and had a taste. Now I’ll not lie to you it has a sharp bitter taste but with a little honey it has an amazing taste of this is ‘good for you’. I now drink it neat, make bread, cream cheese,smoothies and best of all Russian pancakes!. This recipe from the brilliant ‘Forgotten Skills of Cooking’ will be another blog. As this is a living culture it grows and soon you have too much so I have divided it several times and ‘given'(Kefir Code Rule 1) it away to good homes and I know that they have passed it on to others. So there are lots of people benefiting from this real ‘Super’ food producer. I advise everybody to research it and try to get your hands on some but don’t pay for it or else…….

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