Booch Not Hooch

I'm new to this wild world of fermenting! It feels like I'm leaning into motherhood as I unravel the undomestic Goddess in me and settle into showing love for my family through nourishment.

What does that mean? Love my family through nourishment....well I'm not one to use words all the time and I'm not much of a gift buyer but I show and receive love through actions. If you're into the 5 love languages, this will resonate deeply and if you've never heard of them head here to discover your primary love language.

I don't believe love languages gives me an excuse to be one way or another, for me it's a bit like astrology, a helpful guide into the psychology of what makes me and those close to me tick. I like knowing so I can feel deeper into what's possible beyond my own way of Being.

I've always been a Tom boy. Full of adventure, spontaneity and courage. I've spent a large portion of my life outdoors. An avid traveler, I seldom drank from a real glass (usually plastic or tin mug I could carry) let alone own a frying pan. I cooked some while traveling but my budget wasn’t for food it was for experiences! I didn't carry recipe books or focus on improving nutrition uptake. At that stage of my life I was happy with the belief that beer had all the nutrition I needed.

Between traveling and my upbringing, I was never in an environment that supported healthy eating. I was a latchkey kid with no grandparents. My mom could give Betty Crocker a run for her money but she knew nothing of clabber, kombucha or sauerkraut. The world of ferments is completely foreign to my urbanized family.

So when I embarked on this new way of living, this homestead life, I started to try ANYTHING fermented, it’s a whole new world! For me this is using my love language of acts of kindness and courageously pushing past my own limitations and showing love for my family by mastering new skills.

I have a ton of limiting beliefs about my abilities in the kitchen from my childhood, my lifestyle, and my personality and I am working hard at changing who I was into who I want to be for love of myself and love of my family. I'm leaning into how uncomfortable I am measuring things, how afraid I am of blowing up jars and refusing to let "botulism " as a word paralyze me in fear. I'm working hard at being healthy now to model a new way of being and remove my dependence on a western medical system for "chronic" disease by choosing my health now. I am struggling to go against the social norms of a high carbohydrate, high grains, high pulse (beans and peas) diet that makes me feel ill. I am working hard to learn the skills to take us back to a more ancestral way of eating so we can feel our best selves and have energy to thrive and experience a full life. This is showing love to me.

In all my growth I'm constantly learning new skills and the more I know the more I don’t know. I am learning not just about new ways of eating but also new understanding of supply chain availability. I'm heavily focused on sustainability which to me means how much of what I cook can be from what I grow in harmony with nature and what I can buy from community members who align with my high standard of food values. I can’t grow everything I need here, that’s ok as I am not meant to be an island. I also still seek out things that help me heal the diet of my past (remember for a moment I once thought beer had all the necessary ingredients to sustain me) and so I still use foreign ingredients like tea.

“I said booch not hooch” is a near and dear phrase to my heart. I spent some epic years traveling and consuming copious amounts of alcohol. For all intensive purposes the amount of alcohol I consumed is completely socially acceptable, but in my heart I knew it wasn’t who I wanted to be. The booch, helped me move away from the hooch! I didn't realize how much I needed something to "take the edge off" until I tried to stop drinking daily with dinner. The first few weeks were easy but by the third week I was really feeling the withdrawal so I turned to komboocha and a London based company called Booch.

Booch saw me through some dark days. I turned a wine glass and a whiskey glass into glorious Booch vessels. I kept moving through the Booch flavors even pairing with meals to help me feel like I was "drinking". Ultimately I replaced an addiction with an addiction but it was the beginning of a major turning point in my life that gave me the strength to keep making better choices in alignment with who I wanted to be.

Fast forward a few years and I'm no longer living where Booch is brewed so I've finally taken the plunge into making my own. I'm definitely not a pro, but so far I haven't blown up any bottles and I've kept my S.C.O.B.Y. (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) Alive and growing!

Making Kombocha may sound like an easy peasy thing to most, but to me it's rising up from alcohol dependency, moving past limiting beliefs of who I can be in the kitchen, and showing love for my family by helping them ease sugar dependencies and metabolic stress as they heal their stomach linings. As part of my commitment to helping us all heal from sugar addiction I was elated to have the work of Michelle Visser from Souly Rested come across my plate Michelle is a maple syrup expert and as such she taught me how to convert my S.C.O.B.Y to a sugar that is in alignment with my values and is sustainable to source in my climate!

I'm a couple of months in now and experimenting with local seasonal fruit and having fun trying all kinds of flavors. It feels like a treat for my six year old and if we drink a bit too much in our excitement, I feel good knowing there is no GM0 high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors or flavors anywhere to be found. I have blown up a jar or two, but it wasn’t making Kombocha! I am growing alongside my son, in the garden, in the kitchen, and in my own personal development. Booch, got me off the Hooch, and I will forever be grateful to tea for putting me back on a path to healing from within.