First, on a mission to Vitamin Cottage for elderberry syrup implements, I discovered this:
As some of you are aware, I've been meaning for a while now to start making kombucha and actually attempted to grow a SCOBY at home using some store-bought kombucha, but that experiment has . . . fizzled out, shall we say. Thanks to, I suspect, a combination of ginger in the existing kombucha, using metal utensils, using non-organic sugar and/or keeping it in too cold an environment, I remain sans SCOBY after three weeks. Since this kit comes with a SCOBY, all I'll need is a gallon container to start what will hopefully be a successful batch, with potential for further brews. Plus, pear and ginger sounds awesome.
While at Vitamin Cottage, I also discovered that organic Greek yogurt is obscenely expensive, so I went a-Googling and found this recipe for bulk quantities of homemade Greek yogurt made in, of all things, a crockpot. This strikes me as the most economical way to keep Greek yogurt around, since I eat it every morning. If I'm especially crafty, I can probably even stock up on gallons of milk when it goes on sale and freeze it till I'm ready to make yogurt.
Finally, I got around to making a batch of homemade elderberry syrup -- FrugalGreenGirl's recipe, to be specific. For those who've yet to be subjected to my proselytizing on the subject, elderberry anything is excellent for boosting the immune system and treating colds and flus. I've now used the commercially available Sambucol (basically elder berry Zicam) to nip two colds in the bud, but that runs $15 for 30 tablets, or one cold. This syrup ran about $5 for a two-cup batch. Ingredients are nothing more than 1/2 cup dried elderberries, 1 tsp fresh ginger, 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 cloves, and 3 cups water, brought to a boil, simmered on low for half an hour, strained and mixed with 1/4 cup of honey. It purportedly keeps in the fridge for up to three months -- we'll see if it lasts that long, knowing my propensity to come down with stuff. I'm planning to drizzle a tablespoon or so on my morning yogurt to keep me evenly supplemented.