Saturday, February 6, 2016

Making Yogurt

In my reading about the best things to eat to help your intestinal flora, I found that yogurt was something that I would actually eat.  But I wanted to make it myself, so I could make sure of what is in it.  I bought some starter culture from a website that sells a lot of that kind of thing.  It had two packets, and I tried to make yogurt with them two separate times. It was supposed to be okay to make without a yogurt maker or heat, but it didn't work for me. I just ended up with sour milk.
   I didn't want to give up, though, so I looked it up on the internet. I went to this site and this site and cobbled together a technique that worked for me! It uses a crock pot as a source of heat.
  1/2 gallon of milk (whatever kind you want)
  2 TBSP yogurt

    Heat milk in crock pot on low for two and a half hours. This kills all bacteria and cultures so the ones you put in it will be the only ones. Unplug and allow to cool in pot for three hours.  Take a cup of the heated milk out and whisk in the yogurt. Stir the starter-yogurt mix into the rest of the milk.           Replace cover, wrap pot in wool blanket or towels and place in an UNHEATED AND OFF oven with the oven light on. This will keep the milk at the right temperature to turn it into yogurt. Let sit ten to twelve hours or overnight. Do not open the door! You'll disturb the yogurt-fairy and ruin a half gallon of milk.
    The next day, line a colander with a thin tea towel (I used an old calendar towel), and place over a large bowl or baking dish. Pour yogurt into towel to strain, two hours for regular yogurt and three to four for Greek style.  The whey, which is mostly clear, will drain off.  The pig loved drinking it.
    Store yogurt in the fridge in a covered container. I used a quart canning jar.
The whey.
    You can leave it out at room temperature for a more tart taste.  Save two tablespoons for the next batch!
     I have put honey, fruit, and my homemade granola in it. Put the granola on right before you eat it, though, or it will get soggy.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

We Said the Chickens Would Be First...

    The first farm-type animal we were planning on getting were chickens.  Then I went to the chicken swap at the local feed store.
    I came home with a five-month-old pot-belly pig boar. No, we aren't going to eat him, I just really love pigs. Also, I'm still hoping to convince the Wonderful Husband to let us breed them so we can eat the babies.  I just have to convince him that grass isn't that important in the backyard, since it bothers him that just one pig is digging it up!
He's not really orange, he's just been rooting in red clay.
    Then, I went to another chicken swap. I need to not take the girls with me to these things, since I came home this time with two rabbits; an eight-week-old Broken Castor (color) Rex (breed) doe, and a Red Eyed White Rex buck of six weeks. They are currently residing in the chicken coop until I can build a colony for them. I want to raise them for meat, but I would have to use them as breeders since Eldest Daughter and Baby Girl are waaaaaaayyy too attached to them.
    My Wonderful Husband says I am not allowed to go to the chicken swap anymore.  And someday, we will get chickens. I've got to build a bunny corral first.