No. 9 – Attack of the Scoby !

So, long story short, my wife is all into eating food that is ‘alive’ or, at the very least, has been given ‘aliveness’ at some point in the process of it coming to our table. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you probably skipped last week’s post.

For shame.

You’ll need to read it before you go any further. You can do so by clicking HERE.

All caught up? Good. So yes, my wife is all into eating living food. Thus far this transition has amounted to the following two changes:

1. We’ve begun eating a tasty, tasty blend of yogurt and kefir (which is super yogurt) each morning for breakfast. It’s lemon-flavored (real organic lemon juice) and sweetened with stevia (also probably organic).

2. After losing the first one in an unfortunate babysitting situation, we’ve finally got an all-grown up yeast culture banging out loaves of bread for us. Sourdough is an acquired taste, but then so is coffee, beer, and many of life’s other fine things.

I as the husband was feeling OK about these changes. Despite some early fears about where this whole ‘alive’ food thing was going, I felt that I could count my blessings and was happy to eat my breakfasts of super yogurt and sour toast.

But my wife had one more card to play.

One day she starts bringing home this stuff she refers to as a close (read: healthy) cousin to soda called kombucha. This was lies. Just because something has a bit of fizz to it doesn’t make it soda. It’s not carbonated, and it doesn’t produce real foam, and though it’s usually brightly colored with natural ingredients (read: red berries) it smells and tastes like vinegar.


Editor’s Note – According to my wife it actually is halfway on it’s way to becoming vinegar so I’m not exaggerating on that, it seriously tastes and smells really, really bad.

Fast forward, turns out my wife’s real motive in bringing the stuff home was to attempt to harvest a bacterial culture that lived in the kombucha. In this way kombucha is like yogurt in that it has something living in it. In another way, it’s terrifyingly different, because at least with yogurt, you can’t SEE anything in there.

After just a few failed attempts, my wife proudly holds up a glass jar in my face and points to a thin film that has gelled across the top of some brown tea-water.

“What’s that?” I ask in accordance with my husband training manual (page 3, paragraph 7).

“It’s a SCOBY!” she squeals.

“What’s a Scoby?” I ask (Follow-up question, unfamiliar noun variant – page 5, paragraph 2)

“It’s a symbiotic life-form that eats the sugar in the tea and excretes homemade Kombucha!”

(I quickly page through the manual, cursing myself for cheaping out, not getting the version that covers ‘excretion dialogue’)

After a few failed attempts at getting me to drink her home-brewed Kombucha, my wife lets me off the hook and instead focuses on developing a taste for it in the children. Apparently children will quickly learn to love any brightly colored food, no matter how much it tastes and smells like cow urine.

Yeast Baby’s little brother ‘the Scoby’ quickly outgrew that glass jar. He later migrated to a larger glass bowl, which was moved into an open nook in the cupboards.

The Yeast Baby eventually moved in as well and they became roomies.

Time goes by.

Refusing to drink of its byproducts, I had totally forgotten about the Scoby until one day my wife asked for my help in ‘feeding’ it. Apparently it had become too heavy for her to lift on her own.

“How heavy can that little film thing be?” I asked myself.


My wife had allowed the Scoby to get out of control. It was now two inches thick and nine or ten inches around. It looked like a dead jellyfish, and nearly as deadly. I went to touch it and she screamed at me not to touch it. I assumed that this was for my protection, but it turns out that I’m covered in bacteria that could ‘infect the Scoby’.

“We don’t want the Scoby getting sick…” my wife mutters to herself, as she goes about preparing for the feeding.

If only it had ended there…



Revenge of the Scoby!