Friday, September 30, 2011

Kefir grains

I am looking for kefir grains so that I can start marking kefir yogurt again.  For a couple of years I had an active kefir culture going and I enjoyed the resulting product.  I even made some cheese from it.

The process is easy enough, you take the grains. put them into a canning jar with milk filled to the 3/4 mark and leave it out but not in the light.   After 24 hours you have your kefir yogurt.   You then strain out the grains and save them for your next batch.   The stuff you just made you store in the fridge and it will keep for a few days.  

The resulting product is a runny yogurt that has a strong tang to it.    It works really well in any sort of drink you want to make with it or on top of things like granola.   The stuff is also supposed to be wicked good for you, but that does not interest me as much as I like to eat it and work with it in my cooking.

The grains are small rubbery nodules, they are also a living bacterial culture.  When you make kefir yogurt the amount of kefir grains you have increases over time, this means you have grains you can share with others.   You can also kill your grains if you do not look after them properly.   This is what I did and that was the end of my kefir days.  

So, this is my request, if anyone out there knows of a source of kefir grains here in Victoria, please let me know so that I can go back to making kefir.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Apple Festival on Saltspring

This year's Saltspring Island Organic Apple Festival is this coming Sunday  and you should start at the Fulford Harbour Hall.  Last year they had 296 varieties at the hall.

There are orchards opening their gates elsewhere on the island, details at the Fulford Harbour Hall.

Panel talk on Food Security

This should be an interesting talk, the people involved are certainly broadminded and open to thoughts and ideas.   I do find that some parts of the Food Security Movement are close minded and see this is the latest campaign to attack the "System"

A Transition Victoria Food Group Networking Event / Panel Discussion:

This will be an opportunity to network with others in Food Security, to learn about and get involved with Transition Food Group Projects, Upcoming Events and Happening .

The panel discussion theme is: "What steps can we take to be food secure?"

  • What are the actions to increase food security short, medium and long run that we can take?
  • How can we connect the groups and organizations actively promoting food security and connect to them?
  • What public policies do we need to support greater food security?


  • Carolyn Herriot, The Garden Path
  • Philippe Lucas, City of Victoria Councillor, and Victoria Downtown Public Market Society (VDPMS)
  • Gabe Epstein, Gorge Tillicum Urban Farmers (GTUF)
  • Linda Geggie, Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiative Roundtable (CR-Fair)

Moderator: Anthony Sanna, VIVA-Raw and Ambrosia Conference and Events Centre.

Admission by donation. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Panel discussion starts at 7:15 p.m. Come early to network. Refreshments will be provided. Limited seating.

To volunteer or offer your assistance in the planning of this event, please contact Food Group Coordinator Linda Chan at 250 380 6383 or

Please feel free to offer suggestions on the types of activities and topics etc that you would like the Food Group to do in the future.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Delicious - a local Victoria TV show on Shaw

Since I do not get cable, I never see local cable TV, ever.   This is particularly odd for me as I am often one of the people asking questions on Voice of BC.

It was only the other day that I heard about the show from the host Aaron Hall.    I know Aaron from his interest in local governance issues.

The show is called Delicious and is short episodes focusing on the food scene in this city.

Here are some of the episodes

Gluten Free Bagels

Delicious presents Gluten-free Bagels from John Quick on Vimeo.

Fernwood Bites

Delicious presents Fernwood Bites 2011 from John Quick on Vimeo.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Zucchini Madness

So finally the freaking zucchini plants are taking off!  Now comes the age old question, what do I do with them all?

We have eaten in stews, we have grilled them, we have made them into noodles, we have eaten them raw (well Stephen has, not me).   Where to now?

I could go out and give them away anonymously - drop on your drop step in the middle of the night.   Sort of a drive by zucchining.

To the more serious take on all this, how can I store or preserve them for the winter?   For a few years now I have been trying to come up with ways to preserve the excess zucchini but I am not having much luck in that.  

I have shredded and frozen them with the intent of using the zucchini in the winter in zucchini bread, but ultimately it just sits there at the bottom of the freezer aging long enough that I end up throwing it out.  I have tried drying them, but the resulting chip is bland dry and does not seem to re-hydrate well.

I have tried looking online but very little has come out of that other than what I have already done.   Pickles do come up, but I am not a pickle person and zucchini pickles really do not appeal to me.