Friday, May 19, 2006

The Dark Side Beckons

Anyone (who hasn't heard me rave about this in person yet) know what this is?

Somewhere, as Thing 1 would say if she knew the story, there is a portrait of me in Birkenstocks, carrying a milking bucket away from my solar-powered dairy toward my kichen-which-has-no-plastic-products. She stood in the kitchen today, and said, "So, we are now raising bees, chickens, you knit, you make our bread and now. . . you're making yogurt?"

Yessiree bob, I am. And despite my Happy/Crazed Homesteader streak, I'm not making this because it's harder than buying it, oh, no. Somewhat like the polenta for lasagne noodles [I just typed "needles" -- I should clearly be knitting], it's really a trick to not run out of things.

One of our horrible local papers, the kind they keep throwing on your driveway even though you don't subscribe, and use words like "parakeet cage lining" and "execrable editing" to salespeople who call, actually ran an article on homemade yogurt.

They said it was easy. Since we consume about 4 quarts of maple yogurt a week with granola, it can add up. I figured giving it a try seemed reasonable.

So, I simmered a quart of whole organic milk into which I'd stirred in a bit of powdered milk for a few minutes, let it cool to 115 farenheit, stirred in a half cup of plain yogurt with active starter cultures that I'd tempered with some of the hot milk, covered it with plastic wrap, and stuck it in my oven for about 6 hours.

Ha. Yogurt. Who'd'a thunk it? Although when I factor in the cost of the real maple syrup I indulge my children with, it's probably not any cheaper. At least I won't have a jillion plastic quart containers clogging up my kitchen.

I have almost no knitting progress to show. I can't knit on the clockwork vest when I'm tired or distracted, so that means. . . never. The brownish sweater is bopping along nicely.

Later, more garden pictures. It's truly lovely right now.

Thing 2's soccer team got squashed last week. There's always one team, right? When my spouse was cheering up his players by saying, "It's not about winning, it's about enjoying yourself and playing well!" the other team had a parent who felt moved to chime in, "Yes it is all about winning." Tomorrow, they play Suzee's team. They're all new to the game, so it should be a very different Sunday.

So there, I guess.


amy said...

oh man, parents at soccer games. Our little town was perfectly sane last year, and mostly everyone still is, but we have one guy - of course on MY son's team - who is positively toxic. It can really ruin things.

Congrats on the yogurt. Looks great to me.

Now knit.

Rain said...

Wow, you're a domestic goddess!

amanda j said...

You know, in my experience you don't remember winning or losing as a kid. You do remember being able to run around with your mates having a ball! The look of delight on your child's face as he/she plays sports is proof enough they don't care.

sewingsuzee said...

Soccer is actually all about SNACK. Duh.

Homemade yogurt...I am agog (not the perfect word, but it fit so well with 'yogurt'!) You really are incredible!

String Bean said...

I just watched an episode of Alton Brown in which he was making yogurt. I'm thinking about making some, but not until I make some Coq Au Vin. I'll post the recipe later.

Sorry to hear Thing 2's team didn't do the squashing. Dad is right though; it's not about winning, it's about having fun. Winning is just a perk, like dental insurance.

bfmomma said...

Yogurt! Isn't it cool? and really pretty easy, when compared to, like, baking bread from scratch.... My parents used to make it and when I taught Biology, I always made it with my kids :) I don't think I've done it with my KIDS, though, yet....

very cool! :)

We had some soccer let-downs this weekend, too. Hard when they'd been winning....

K said...

Ummmm - So homemade yogurt with homegrown honey stirred in? So do you have a strawberry patch, too? I am thinking of coming by for snacks! LOL

allisonmariecat said...

Wow! Homemade yogurt is pretty ambitious. I did once make homemade ricotta cheese, which was divine, but left a mildly unpleasant smell in the apartment for a couple of days. Soon you'll be growing or making everything your family eats!

amy said...

yoohoo, 7 days... you must have some awesome post in the works for us :D

aurora said...

Ooooh, yoghurt. Brilliant!

And real maple syrup isn't an indulgence, it's a necessity!

jen said...

I'd just like to once again tell you that you are my husband's hero, and he would love nothing more than to come live with you and learn the strange ways of your people.

By the way... did I read on the knittyboard that you're now a spinner, albeit a reluctant one? I'm only holding in my evil cackle through much self-restraint.