Today was the day. On Saturday, I’d strained the water kefir from the water kefir grains into two pint jars. To one, I added some dried cherries and orange juice. To the other, I added some fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juices. I capped them and let them sit on the counter for two days, until this morning, when I opened them to taste them.
The lemon-lime tasted like a too tart lemonade. Not bad, needs more sweetness, and I really want them to carbonate more than they did, so I’m going to experiment more with that.
The orange-cherry, on the other hand, turned alcoholic.
I accidentally made probiotic mimosas.
Not that this is entirely unexpected. Kefir is a SCOBY – a Symbiotic Community of Bacteria and Yeast – and yeast is what turns fruit into alcohol.
I just didn’t think it would turn it into that much alcohol that fast.
I also started some cherry tomatoes fermenting and totally fucked those up.
Okay, well, not totally. They’re still edible, but they’re not fermented.
I made a super basic oops – I poured just-boiled water into the jars over the tomatoes, essentially cooking them and killing all the lactobacillus that would have done the fermenting.
I know better. It’s those beneficial bacteria we’re going for when we’re fermenting foods, and boiling water kills all of it.
Now, I could get upset, toss the tomatoes, and never ferment again. But I went into this with an attitude of experimentation.
Failures aren’t failures, they’re learning experiences.
I’ll be draining those cherry tomatoes, tossing them in a blender, and making sauce for spaghetti for tonight’s dinner. I’m going to make a loaf of French bread and use it for garlic toast while I’m at it.
And the next time I ferment anything, I’ll remember to let that boiled water cool down before pouring it over the foods to be fermented.
The sauerkraut is coming along nicely though, so at least I seem not to have fucked that up. If I did, then that will go into the compost pile, which will LOVE the active bacterial culture in there.
Living life as an experiment is a powerful way to free ourselves from expectations.
When you approach everything as a theory being tested, it allows you to detach yourself from outcomes.
Expectations are one of the pillars of my Bitchslap work, and are in fact where the Bitchslap tends to occur the most.
The pillars are Desire, Need, and Expectation. All of these intersect and inform our experiences and the ways we respond to those experiences.
One of the more popular spiritual teachings under Capitalism is the Law of Attraction, which focuses almost exclusively on the Desire part of that equation, which ignores oppression, privilege, and conditioning in favor of hope and wishes. It works for some people – mostly those already in positions of privilege whose needs are met and whose experiences have conditioned them to expect to get what they want all the time. In other words, Law of Attraction works on privilege and entitlement, not on some sort of mystical, magical Universe energy that gives you all that you desire if you just vibe high enough.
If our core needs – food, water, safety, security – aren’t being consistently met, there is no amount of high-vibing that’s going to suddenly manifest us riches.
And if we expect failure, we’re probably going to get failure. Not through magic or funky energy, but through self-sabotage and giving up.
Of course, if we expect success where success isn’t possible, the failure becomes even more acute, shifting our expectations around future success, and if continued, becoming that sort of self-sabotage and giving up just mentioned.
But if we release expectations around outcomes, creating hypothesis about what might happen but being willing to experience whatever happens, it shifts things in ways that truly are magical.
We don’t get the unexpected because we have no expectations. What we get instead is surprises and learning experiences.
Like mushy but still yummy cherry tomatoes to turn into a pasta sauce and probiotic mimosas.
I could have been disappointed in those. But what good would that do other than to make me miserable?
Fuck that noise.
I want joy.
Even if I have to play some minor head games with myself to get it.
And it turns out those minor head games really are magical.
My life is living proof.