;;;;;;;; ;; ; ;;;;; of homemade dog treats is a fun kitchen
activity for the whole family, four-legged members included. There’s
no baking necessary, and all the
bacon grease, peanut butter, plain
yogurt, applesauce and old-fashioned rolled oats—are probably
right in your fridge and pantry.
Cook some strips of bacon
for the family and set aside a few
pieces. Add equal parts yogurt,
peanut butter and applesauce to
a large mixing bowl and pour the
slightly cooled grease on top. Stir
until smooth. Add the bacon bits
and the oats, then knead the mix-
ture into a dough. Add as much
of the oats as necessary for the
dough to reach a ;rm consistency
that can be shaped. Roll into bite-
size balls and begin rewarding
your dog with these sure-to-please
snacks. The treats can be stored
in the freezer or fridge. Other
possible add-ins for your pooch’s
picky palate include shredded
cheese, puréed vegetables and
mashed, overripe bananas. Get
creative—your pup will love you
for it.—Joanna Bu;um
;;;;;;;; ;;’; ;;;; ;;;;;;;; been touted as a superfood, kombucha
has been around for centuries, valued as a cure-all for everything from
asthma to depression to circulatory disease. Kombucha takes months
to brew at home, but like yogurt or yeasted bread, a bit of the previous
batch is all that is needed to brew subsequent batches.
The fizzy drink is made from black tea and sugar, along with distilled
vinegar and the key ingredient, a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria
and yeast, which can be purchased at health food stores or online). The
process begins with a liter of sweet tea. Once the tea has cooled, add
white vinegar and the SCOBY, which will be activated in the mixture over
the next 30 days. Finally, the fermentation begins and the SCOBY inter-
acts with the sweet tea/vinegar mixture to create a world of gut-friendly
Repeat the same process three more times for 30 days each, adding
the activated SCOBY to progressively larger batches of the mixture, until
you reach a gallon in volume. That’s your first drinkable batch. Be sure to
Always keep the activated SCOBY and each progressive batch at room
temperature. Also, it is vital to keep hands and containers sterile.
Once you have your initial potable batch, you won’t need to repeat the
arduous process. Simply start with two cups of the previous batch—and
continue creating and enjoying your homemade kombucha. The drink
can be somewhat bitter, but subsequent batches can be flavored with
fruit, fresh-squeezed juice or edible flowers.—LY
;;;;; ;;;; ;;;;; ;;; ;;;;;;; of birch twigs. Black
birch, also known as cherry or spice birch, is abundant
throughout New Jersey. To forage, look for their distinc-
tive, thin, smooth trunks, whitish bark and dark lenticels
(the horizontal lacerations on the tree’s surface). When
in doubt, break o; a branch and take a whi;. The bark
emits a minty scent.
Once you’ve foraged, rinse and chop your twigs, placing four quarts of the chopped birch into a 5-gallon pot.
Meanwhile, make simple syrup by dissolving 8 pounds of
brown sugar in a pot with 4 gallons of water. For a darker,
richer birch beer, substitute molasses for brown sugar.
Once the sugar has dissolved completely, set the
water to boil for 10 minutes. Pour the simple syrup over
the twigs, adding a halved, scraped vanilla bean for
flavor. Boil the mixture for 30 minutes, then strain it
into a new bowl. Once the strained mixture cools to 75
degrees, add a half teaspoon of ale yeast, stir gently, and
let sit for 15 minutes.
Pour your birch beer into glass bottles and cap them.
Let stand at room temperature for 36 to 48 hours,
depending on how much carbonation you prefer, then
refrigerate. Avoid a place where the bottles might be
disturbed. Your birch beer can be stored and enjoyed
for up to a month. —Lauren Yobs
Save money! Save resources! Be creative!
acts with the sweet tea/vinegar mixture to create a world of gut-friendly fruit, fresh-squeezed juice or edible flowers.—LY
Now roll up your sleeves and get to work!