We Made Yogurt!

1 1/2 Gallon Milk
2-3 Tbsp. plain yogurt (starter)

1 8-10 Qt. Stockpot
1 4-5 Qt. Pot with Lid
Dial Thermometer with clip
Heating Pad (optional)

Sterilize equipment.

Fill larger pot with water and begin bringing to a boil. Add milk to smaller pot and carefully place into larger pot adjusting height of water keeping milk and water the same. Clip your thermometer to the rim of the pot.

Bring milk to 185 degrees. If you have no thermometer.... this is the temperature the milk will begin to froth as in a latte.

While waiting for milk to warm you can fill your sink with water and ice to speed up cool down. When temperature reaches 185 degrees remove from heat and place pot in cold water.

Cool to 110 degrees. This is the temperature at which yogurt cultures reproduce themselves. (Be sure ice water level is the same as the milk level stirring occasionally)

Pitch your yogurt simply means to add... which comes from the brewing world. You pitch yogurt to make more yogurt!

Pour 2 - 3 Tablespoons of your starter yogurt (Dannon is a good one) if this is your first batch. You could also purchase a dried yogurt starter if you so choose. After that you will always save a portion of your yogurt as your starter for the next batch.

Stir gently, put the lid on and cover with warm towels. Set in a warm place undisturbed (heating pad works great) for 7 hours.
Set heating pad to medium and place on cutting board. You could also try on top of your refrigerator... or even in a small styrofoam ice chest.

Place in refrigerator until set and cold!

It's A Miracle!

It's A Miracle!

Homemade Yogurt topped with...

Homemade Yogurt topped with...
Homemade Granola!
Drying Calendula : Pick blossoms in the afternoon when blossoms are dried and newly opened. If you don't have a dehydrator blossoms can be dried on cookie sheet in a warm oven at 200 degrees until crisp. Remove petals from stem and place in a clean glass jar.

Calendula Infused Oil: Place one cup of blossoms in a quart jar covering with olive or jojoba oil. Place in brown bag and put on windowsill in sunshine for two weeks shaking several times a day.

Strain the blossoms reserving the oil. Refill the jar with more dried blossoms adding more oil if needed to cover. Place jar back in bag and back on windowsill for two more weeks shaking several times a day.

Strain into a dark glass jar. Stir in 800 IU Vitamen E or 2 400 capsules (poked with a pin and squeezed into mixture). This enhances it's keeping qualities.

Add essential oils to scent if desired. Store in dark cool place.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Breadmaking... the Garden Farms Chickie Way!

Five- Grain Daily Bread

2 1/2 cup bread flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 1/4 cup coarse cornmeal
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. old fashioned rolled oats 1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup cooked brown rice 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. instant active dry yeast
2 Tbsp. honey 1/2 cup warm buttermilk (100d)
Egg wash: 1 Tsp. oil 1 egg

In a large bowl or food processor combine flours, cornmeal, 1/4 cup of the oats, wheat germ, rice, sugar, yeast and salt.

In a small bowl combine honey and buttermilk and add to dry mixture. With a wooden spoon, add water 1/4 cup at a time until dough comes off the bowl and off the blade clean if using processor or bread machine.

On an oil or floured work surface knead dough until glossy and elastic or by hand 10 - 15 minutes. By processor, about 45 seconds.

Proof the dough - coat a large bowl with oil, shape dough into a ball and place in bowl. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

Form the loaf - Punch down the dough and reshape into a tight ball. Return dough to lightly floured surface, cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle baking sheet with cornmeal. Shape the dough into a 10" oval tapering the ends and place on baking sheet or pan. Cover with damp cloth and let rise until doubled - about 1 hour.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with 1 Tbsp. water brushing the loaf with the egg wash and sprinkle with remaining Tbsp oats. Using a sharp knife make diagonal slashes across the top of the loaf (about 3). Bake until the loaf is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped - 50 - 60 minutes. Cool on rack and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

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Gretchen's A to Z Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Mix together in a large mixing bowl:

3 eggs, 1⁄2 cup applesauce, 1⁄2 cup oil, 1 to 1 1⁄2 cup sugar (the original recipe calls for two cups; I have used 1 c sugar, or 1 c brown sugar, or 3⁄4 cup honey)

Add to bowl and mix in:

1⁄2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 3 tsp cinnamon, 3 tsp vanilla

Add in:

3 cups flour, 1 cup nuts (optional), and 2 cups A to Z (I have used chopped apples, mashed bananas, shredded carrots, pumpkin, mashed persimmons, and zucchini – you can use all of one or mix them)

Bake in two prepared loaf pans at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes, until done.

You can check out Gretchen's OTHER delicious Zucchinni recipes as, she so well put, life was giving her zucchini.....Chocolate Zucchini Muffins, Zucchini Pasta, Zucchini Walnut Cake, Zucchini Pickles, etc. on her blog at Pappasfam.blogspot.com

Back Yard Salad Garden

Back Yard Salad Garden

Turn A Salad Into Nutrition!

Grow fall & winter salad greens right outside your own kitchen door in containers for nutritious additions to salads when picked young.
Try.... different chards, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, collard greens, beet greens, arugula, broccolli raab or rapini, and then different types of lettuce.

Top it with calendula petals and violets and it's as pretty as it is delicious!