Kefir – Cultured Milk similar to Yogurt

We fell in love with kefir when we were living in Panama. Some sweet soul, sorry I forgot who gave me the culture, was kind enough to share their kefir grains with us when we lived their over five years ago..

Kefir is a cultured, creamy product with amazing health benefits. Kefir is tart and has a refreshing flavor similar to a drinking-style yogurt or buttermilk. It contains beneficial yeast as well as friendly probiotic bacteria found in yogurt.

The grains are just that, they look like little grains of rice. You start with about one tablespoon of kefir grains and you add milk. It can be cows milk, goats milk, raw milk and even boxed milk works. Leave the milk mixture on your kitchen counter for 18 to 24 hours in a glass container. Do not close the lid completely or drill holes in the top to allow air to escape. Use a coffee filter with an elastic band to cover to keep little critters out. Strain using non-metal strainer into a clean storage jar. If you want a richer more tart flavored kefir – allow the kefir to sit on your counter for a few more hours after you have removed the grains. This gives you fresh kefir every day in any quantity that you need.

Kefir is a great preventative probiotic which will promote gut health, absolutely necessary while living in this climate.

IMG_2090I received this kefir from Rodger and Glennda Kauffman who are living in Bahia de Caraquez. The culture is very healthy and is reproducing grains which I will share with anyone who may be traveling through San Clemente.

You can use kefir to make smoothies using the fruit of your choice if you are not a plain yogurt eater. Plus one of my future posts will be for a dessert called Panna Cotta using kefir.  Really yummy….

This Morning on the Beach in San Clemente, EC

It was a perfect morning, cool breeze, bright sun and a high tide with great splashing waves. A thermos of coffee, Joe’s tea and our breakfast of encebollado, what more could we ask for.  God has blessed us and continues to do so.

We have had some pretty hot days the past few months, so this was a spectacular start to our day.

 

Celtic and French Folk Music in San Clemente

IMG_2097On Saturday my friend Eva called and asked if I would be interested in attending a Celtic and French Folk Music concert at Meier’s Sabor de Bamboo. It was a fun time with three young French travelers preforming for us.

It was a lovely performance, they are quite talented young people. Below is a video, remember this was taken at a bar/restaurant with many conversations going on around us.

Flower Show Everyday

Flowers have always been a part of my homes, fresh cut flowers to flower beds and pots overflowing with whatever is available. Here I am not having as much success as back in the states but I still continue to plant to find what will thrive in our area. This is what’s blooming in the garden now:San Clemente 9.25.2014 007 San Clemente 9.25.2014 008 San Clemente 9.25.2014 011 San Clemente 9.25.2014 012 San Clemente 9.25.2014 013 San Clemente 9.25.2014 014 San Clemente 9.25.2014 016 San Clemente 9.25.2014 019 San Clemente 9.25.2014 020 San Clemente 9.25.2014 021 San Clemente 9.25.2014 023San Clemente 9.25.2014 003San Clemente 9.25.2014 006

Hope you have a wonderful day!

 

 

Not a Hardware Store Here

San Clemente 9.25.2014 031I guess Pepe was tired of finding his tools and materials missing when his workers looked in his storage room. So he posted this sign telling anyone coming over to remove his materials that this storage unit was not a hardware store. I think Pepe or his worker who put up this sign have a pretty good sense of humor.

Joe and I got a good chuckle out of it.

Just Hanging Out At The Beach

San Clemente 9.25.2014 030There is a beautiful stretch of beach just south of Centro San Clemente where the fisherman have their boats. We have seen a great deal of pelicans as well as the blue-footed boobies just hanging out.

They look pretty happy and are not disturbed by people walking by or the fisherman working nearby.

 

Fruits and Peppers in the Garden

We have such an abundance from our garden.  Below are just a few of the fruits that we gather each week. I am happy to say that many of my neighbors and folks on my daily walk like guava or guayaba, everyone here uses lemons on almost a daily basis so we are happy to share what our garden produces. Some of our other trees do not yet produce enough to share a great deal. I just cannot use all that we get from our garden so giving the egg delivery guys a bag full of guayaba is a wonderful way to thank them for their service and use the extra fruits that Joe and I can not eat.

San Clemente 8.4.2014 048We are blessed to have found a home that had a garden filled with fruit trees. Each day we pick fruits for our table and share with neighbors and friends.

San Clemente 8.4.2014 036San Clemente 9.23.2014 011San Clemente 9.23.2014 029San Clemente 9.23.2014 027The above four photos are our pomegranate or granadas.  I have made Pomegranate Syrup to use on pancakes.

San Clemente 8.4.2014 043San Clemente 8.4.2014 046These are one of several lemon trees that give us fruit almost year round. The trees have just finished blossoming and we have picked all the old fruit to allow the new fruit all the nourishment the tree can give them.

San Clemente 9.23.2014 030San Clemente 9.23.2014 031San Clemente 9.23.2014 026The pepper plants in the ground are not as happy as the ones in the pot. Our soil is basically sand, I am amazed anything can grow in it.

San Clemente 9.23.2014 028San Clemente 8.4.2014 037Star fruit or fruta china is an exotic fruit, sweet, juicy. Wonderful for juice but they never make it to the juicer. With only one ripe at a time it is so easy just to wash it and eat it right out in the yard. And that is what I do most times.

San Clemente 9.23.2014 024This papaya is located outside our fence but it started from seeds that I tossed so I think of it as mine, ja ja  They are getting close, I just hope they are sweet with dark fruit, some of the lighter fruit papayas are tasteless.

San Clemente 9.23.2014 025San Clemente 8.4.2014 040Naranjilla is another exotic fruit and I do not think its natural habitat is on the coast. This is a sierra fruit but I found a tree and am babying it hopefully soon to put it in the ground.  The leaves and stems have thorns and can cause some good pinches. You can use the fruit for juice by boiling it for about 10 minutes and then blending and straining, adding water and some sugar. I like to use it in Seco de Chivo or Seco de Pollo.

San Clemente 9.25.2014 024Our guava or guyaba tree seems to be always producing. I make marmalade and paste from the fruit as well as an occasional batido. The tree is also a wonderful shade tree to keep our little yard cool during those hot sunny days.

San Clemente 9.23a.2014 002San Clemente 9.23a.2014 001Thanks for taking the tour of our garden which is only 20 x 30 feet. Small but filled with such surprises. And smiles.