Sunday, February 28, 2010

Olympic knitting

I cast on the stockings when the flame was lit and my goal was to have them complete before the flame was extinguished.  I finished the cotton stockings on Thursday, so I'm a bit early for the torch.

I used the 2 weeks of the olympics to keep me on track and get them done.  Once I see the recipient I can hand them over.  I think they look quite nice, but I will have to wait to see how well they fit.

Monday, February 22, 2010


When we moved in last Fall I jokingly asked my parents if they were going to get us a house warming gift.  They asked me what we would want, I said "a dishwasher or a freezer".  The desire for each was pretty neck and neck until I finally had enough of hand washing and found a dishwasher that was a reasonable price at Sears.  Sunday a friend of ours came over to help install it.

We determined that the dishwasher it replaced was original to the house, and boy did it show.  We ended up running new water supply lines and waste lines, which made the whole thing take a lot longer.  We only ended up taking 2 trips to Menards so we did pretty good.  I think it looks great in it's new home and the color is a good match to the cabinets. 

I'm running the first load now and I just LOVE it! 

Yogurt Sucess!

My first home made yogurt!  It has a different texture than the store bought, but it tastes great and I know what is in it!

I used this site to make this batch, but my first attempt was a giant FAIL.  I ended up with milk that faintly smelled like yogurt and not what the recipe promised.  In reading through other sites I discovered that if the author of the first site had simply added a couple of key items, first time yogurt makers would have an easier time.

The first key item is that the milk is being heated to 185 degrees F.  Considering the fact that many crock pots are different and create different temps, including the initial temp is a good idea.  After you reach 185 degrees F you want to unplug your crock pot and let it sit, covered, until you reach a temp of 110 degrees F, you will add your culture at this temp.  Once your culture is added you whisk the contents thoroughly and bundle up the whole thing to let it sit for 8 hours, or overnight. The initial instructions tell you to let your crock pot sit for 3 hours unplugged, assuming that all crock pots will cool at the same rate.  I think mine cooled far quicker and my milk was too cold when I added the culture so nothing happened. 

To not waste my first attempt I placed my initial batch back in my crock pot, placed my meat themometer in it, attached the themometer to my timer to beep when it reached 110 degrees, placed the lid back on and set it to heat up.  Once it reached 110 degress I unplugged it, whisked the milk vigorously (since the culture was already in it), took the insert out of the base, wrapped it in 2 blankets and stuffed the contents in the microwave to sit overnight.  That worked great!  I had lovely yogurt the next morning and I now know what I should be doing so the next time will go a lot better.  I did drain a lot of the whey out using a colander and some paper towels and Timmy and I had fresh yogurt with fruit for breakfast.  Yum!

I used whole milk at I bought at Target, pasturized and homogenized is fine but not ultra-pasturized.  I should get Chris' contact for her raw milk cause that would make lovely yogurt.  I think when I am ready to make this recipe again I will pick up a half gallon of milk from the Co-op and I can just use the yogurt that I made to create more yogurt, just like one would with sour dough.  No idea if I am saving any money yet, but it sure is a fun project.