Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Kombucha, 7 Tree Style*

Alright. I have a confession to make.

I've never actually made kombucha. I know, shocking. I'm sure I'll be getting grief from several kombucha-mad friends very soon.

I've had several Scobys, or 'mothers', or 'that horrifying alien thing in the jar', or whatever you want to call them. I have been taught by die hard kombucha addicts how to make the stuff. I once even babysat a kombucha mother while a friend was on vacation, going to her house to feed it, tuck it into its cozy warming blanket, and giving it snuggles. Well, the snuggles were actually for my friend's cats, but I'm sure the Scoby was okay with it.

I've gotten started several times over the years, but never seen it through. I'm scared to try new things,  you see, and I frequently set myself up to fail. Once, the concoction molded; one time I forgot about it, and it went to vinegar. There was the unfortunate time when one of my children, a recent graduate of the school's reproduction unit, mistook the Scoby lurking in a dark corner for a placenta. I let things stop me from seeing the process through. In the ensuing years, I've not had one around to try again.

I don't know about you, but I get scared to try new things. I'm always worried I'm going to botch it all up, waste stuff, look stupid, do poorly, make someone ill, or just plain fail. I get stuck in my fear, paralyzed, and I fail before I even start. Hence all my poor previous Scobys that never got to fulfill their potential.

It occurred to me, though, that I'm failing my own potential as well.

Back when I first started knitting, I was sitting on my couch, staring down a very lovely skein of the softest, most expensive yarn I'd ever bought, and I was terrified to start knitting with it. I knew I was going to botch it all up. I was so afraid of making a hash of it, I didn't even want to try. I sat there frozen, unable to put it down, unwilling to move forward. Thankfully, though, I have my own worst critic. My inner teenager sneered, and said, "What is the big deal?! So you mess it up! Then you can just start over, and try again! Duh!" 

Any minute now, it may begin oozing over the lip of the jar,
ready to entrap any unsuspecting victims within it's
viscous jelly of doom.
Ridiculously simple.

Just start.

If I mess up, just start over.


I can do that. And I did.

So I have recently been gifted a new chance at fulfilling my potential, as well as avenging all those Scobys of days past.

It sat in its transport jar for a couple of days, this descendent of an enormous Scoby named Scooby. I was afraid of trying again, so I let it sit. Deciding by not deciding

Until I realized I didn't want to fail at trying.

Colleen is currently bobbing gently in a large crock on my kitchen counter, and I find myself frequently eyeing it out of the corner of my eye, waiting for it to make a sudden lurch in my direction. Likely, I've watched too many old black and white horror films in my youth.

To be honest, I'm still vaguely terrified of this thing. I have scoured the internet for instructions. I have followed the directions To. The. Letter. I'm really anxious about not poisoning my family again like I did during the Milk Incident of 2011 or the Yogurt Apocalypse of 2003. I have some fancy new bottles standing by, all ready for whatever comes out of the crock, be it friend or foe. I've got various flavorings planned for infusing. I've re-read all the posts, blogs, and Instructables I could find.

I'm ready to rock this.

I'm praying no one dies, smothered in a gelatinous blob.

* 7 Tree Style: with much drama, failings, and/or hilarity

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