Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Adventures in Yogurt Making

I found this great recipe/how-to on how to make your own yogurt without a yogurt maker, So I wanted to share with everyone. This Yogurt came out so smooth and creamy and the best part is I know where it came from. I promise that you will never buy Store Yogurt again!

You will need

A cooler
Candy thermometer
Jelly jars(or any kind of jars with lids)
Dry Milk
Organic whole milk
container of Stoneyfield PLAIN yogurt
towels or old sweat shirts and sweat pants

Now you will need to boil off a pot of water and fill your cooler, this will keep the cooler well insulated with warmth when you are ready for your incubation.

You will have to sterilize your jars and your lids, by boiling them in a pot of water, completely submerged and bring to a rolling boil and allow to boil for 10 min.

Next you want to mix a gallon of your milk with a 1/3 cup of dry milk(the dry milk is a thickener, so you get that custard like consistency ) in a deep pot and heat to 165 degrees,stirring frequently so the milk does not scald. You can now add in some honey or sugar to sweeten your yogurt( I used raw Vermont Honey, A gift from my Mother In law last year)

allow to cool to 110 degrees, I took it right off the heat and let sit on the counter and periodically checked it, after it has completely cooled you add 2-3 large tablespoons of the stoneyfield Yogurt. whisk well so the yogurt mixes thoroughly in with the milk.

Fill your jars and put the lids on tight, fill a few more jars with the boiling water(these will go in the cooler to give a even temperature for the cultures to grow and the milk to turn into yogurt.

Dump the hot water out of the cooler when you are ready and wrap your yogurt and boiling water jars with your towels to better insulate, place in the cooler and DON'T PEAK! you don't want to lose heat or your yogurt won't ferment. Leave in the cooler for 8-10 hours and then refrigerate and serve cold.

Save 2-3 tablespoons of your new homemade yogurt so you can keep making more! Also, if you want a more tangy yogurt to substitute as sour cream in a number of recipes than don't sweeten, people say the unsweetened yogurt has a similar taste as sour cream.

I fed my chickens the homemade yogurt this morning and they went crazy over it!
Happy Yogurt Making!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Journey for the Perfect Journal

Until I was 20 I always wrote in a Journal, It was my therapy. But as new crafts and hobbies and just plain life took over,my journal writing took a back seat.. I recently replaced this art with blogging..but there is nothing like writing in a journal, I don't have the luxury of a laptop so I'm not mobile with my blogging My book of life that I write can go anywhere with me, I could write on the beach, in my backyard, in some magical secret garden (okay..maybe not a MAGICAL one..but you get the drift)Anyhow, I miss this, I miss keeping my own private scrapbook..a best friend who's sole purpose in life is to listen when ever you need to vent or share, no matter how long you neglect, the journal is always ready to hear about your journeys.

So...I went searching for the "perfect" journal yesterday, I went to a few different stores and couldn't find anything that was "ME" and anything I liked was going to cost me an arm and a leg. This treasure hunt for a journal was looking stale and I was feeling discouraged, in the middle of my "woe is me, i can't find a diary" pity party I decided to buy a cheap $4.00 bright, ugly metallic journal and make it "ME"

I went home and tea stained some fabric and lace, I had some old handkerchiefs i had bought at Good Will earlier on in the week and tea stained one of those and hand embroidered the title of my journal, with a few other alterations I made something perfect for me, I'm not quite done but here she is