Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mission Minded

My 6.5-year-old son is on a mission to save our neighbor's life. The other day Adam said, "I don't think Jantzen's dad is very healthy." I asked why he thought that. He said, "Because he smokes." I agreed that wasn't a very healthy thing to do.

Several days later Adam entered our house saying, very dramatically, through clenched teeth, "I'm doomed!" Then he hid out it a darkened room. I asked why he was doomed. Adam explained that he was trying to save Jantzen's dad's life. "How?" I queried. He went on, "Well, I asked Jantzen if he wanted to save his dad's life. He said, 'Yes' so I told him to tempt his dad not to smoke." I interrupted at this point to say that USUALLY we are tempted to do something that we SHOULDN'T do not something that we SHOULD do, and then Adam continued. "Well, Jantzen went to his dad and said, 'Adam doesn't want you to smoke.' So I'm DOOMED!!! Those weren't the words I wanted him to say!" When I asked Adam what he did want Jantzen to say he said he didn't know but not THOSE words. I guess Adam wanted Jantzen to talk his dad out of smoking but to leave Adam out of it! :-) Adam thought he was doomed because he figured that Jantzen's dad would be mad at him. I told him that he probably wouldn't be mad.

Today, Rebecca brought me a picture that Adam had requested that she deliver to the neighbors. She delivered it to me instead. Good call, Rebecca!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Simply Complicated!

Why is simplifying so incredibly complicated?!?! While too much stuff is truly an issue, I'm really speaking about the systems I've created or adopted. While I don't mind working hard, I'd like to feel like I'm being efficient in my hard work and that I'm accomplishing and doing well the necessary tasks. Sometimes I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and a slave to the "system". I’m so busy keeping the machine going, I don't have the time to determine if I'm using the best machine... Know what I mean?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yogurt-Making Tutorial

Here is the process I use to make my own yogurt. You might need to tweak these instructions to tailor them to your situation and taste.

Make sure all tools you use are VERY clean. Getting any bad bacteria into your yogurt will ruin it.

You will need:
-large sauce pan
-jars or plastic containers
-plain yogurt (to use as a starter)
-powdered milk and/or gelatin (optional)
-insulated cooler

I use powdered milk and gelatin in my recipe because I like the consistency better that way. It makes a firmer yogurt. It’s not a necessary ingredient but the result will be a softer yogurt.

STEP 1: Heat milk (and whisked-in powdered milk & gelatin) to 145° - 160°F.

STEP 2: Remove from heat and cool milk to about 125-130°F. If the milk is too hot you will kill the starter when you add it. If it's too cool you won't activate the cultures.

STEP 3: Inoculate with starter yogurt. (Plain, no sugar added, with LIVE cultures) Whisk starter yogurt into the milk and then pour into your containers.

STEP 4: Incubate @ about 130° for 4-6 hours. I do this by filling an insulated cooler with very hot water and letting it heat while I get the milk mixture ready. Then I pour out the water, put in my filled jars and refill with fresh, hot water up to the neck of the jars.

STEP 4 (continued): Wrap the cooler in towels or blankets to help hold in the heat and let it sit for 4-6 hours. Yogurt likes to be VERY STILL while it's culturing so be careful not to jostle it.

STEP 5: Remove jars from the cooler and refrigerate. The yogurt will firm up more after refrigeration.

Ingredients for each quart of yogurt:

4 cups milk
2 Tablespoons powdered milk
1 teaspoon gelatin
2 Tablespoon plain yogurt

Here is a link to a printable copy of my basic recipe:

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.