t
o
n
y
a
n
g
'
s
 
w
e
b
l
o
g


last night i put in an ebay bid for some kefir sutherland grains. the lowest price i've seen online is $5 (including free shipping) for just a single teaspoon of grains. a teaspoon is enough to make a cup of kefir, and as time goes on, the grains grow bigger (and split apart) and bigger batches can be made. however, there's one seller from reno who was selling 2 tablespoons for just $6 (including shipping). i waited until there was just an hour left in the auction before putting in my bed and going to bed.

when i woke up this morning, i discovered i lost the bid. not only that, what there was a small bidding war, and 2 additional bidders got in on the action within the last 10 minutes of the auction (they didn't push up the price too much, only by 50). i'm actually glad i lost, because i don't know if i want to commit to taking care of kefir grains. it's the sort of live culture where you get friends and family to "babysit" for you when you're away, like a real pet (but one where you can eat). that seems like a lot of hassle for a supposedly healthy beverage i knew nothing about up until a few days ago and i've never even tried before. plus, in a few more days i'll have more kombucha that i'll know what to do with. one fermentation project at a time please! however, if i still want to score a lot of grains, the same reno seller has additional auctions for the same amount that will expire later tonight.

i went to the assembly square mall in the late morning in search of glass jars to ferment my kombucha. i knew best bath & beyond carried the 1 gallon anchor hocking glass jar ($9.99) which is the perfect fermentation container, but i was hoping some of the other stores might have them in different styles or perhaps cheaper.

the christmas tree shop had some promising candidates. they had various sizes of italian-made bormioli rocco fido glass jars with locking lids, including one that looked to be around a gallon. unfortunately none of them were marked with sizes, but the large jars were selling for only $5.99 each, so they were a real bargain if they were indeed gallon-size (or 4 liters, since they use european metric measurements).

i went to best bath & beyond to look for those anchor hocking jars. what i failed to realize was the ones i thought they carried were only available online, and would require shipping cost. i visited a few other stores. tj maxx home goods had glass jars, but they were more ornamental, at best plastic cookie jars with metal lids. k-mart didn't have anything either.

that's when i decided to get at least one fido glass jar from the christmas tree shop. at that price, even if it was the wrong size, i could still use it for other things. earlier, i'd already gone to home depot where i picked up a packet of lavender seeds ($1.19) and a rosemary plant ($3.48). i also checked out prices for copper tubing: 10ft length with 1/2" diameter is around $10-13 depending on wall thickness (thicker is better for bending).

back at home, i used one of the quart-sized empty yogurt containers to fill up the fido glass jars. i knew from the first quart of water that it was at least a gallon. even when filled to a gallon, there's still enough room on top for another quart (although it'd probably be too full). so i'm assuming this is a 4-liter glass jar, which is perfect. the locking lid is also good if i want to do some anaerobic fermentation (e.g. carbonation), but just as easy to remove (the wire hinges can all be removed). i noticed a fork and wine glass symbol, which is an international mark for food safe containers.

with some rain clouds passing through in the late afternoon, i covered up the motorcycle and wheeled the bike into the basement. since it wasn't raining just yet, i decided to give my chain a thorough cleaning by removing it from the bike and soaking it in some degreasing solution. i cleaned it in the kitchen sink with an old toothbrush, and managed to get some grease splatters on my t-shirt (it was an old t-shirt anyway). i also fixed the bent wire on one of my rear baskets. i tried banging it back into place with a hammer but that didn't seem to work. finally i realized i could just bend it back with my bare hands.

i continued with the leftover pulled pork sandwiches for dinner. for the rest of the evening i was a bit flatulated. maybe the pork's gone bad. i also did some late night cleaning, with my grandmother coming to town in the late evening, she'll probably want to stop by my place the next few days and i wanted to tidy up.