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
Spoon
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, February 28, 2011

Fresh Homemade Ricotta Cheese

2 quarts whole milk (not ultra-pasturized)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Special equipment: large sieve, fine-mesh cheesecloth

Line a large sieve with a layer of heavy-duty (fine-mesh) cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.

Slowly bring milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil in a 6 quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly until the mixture curdles (about 2 minutes).

Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain 1 hour. After discarding the liquid, chill the ricotta, covered; it will keep in the refrigerator 2 days.

Homemade Farmer's Cheese

1 gallon whole milk
1 large juiced lemon (1/4 cup) OR 1/2 white vinegar
1 tsp. salt

Pour the milk into a large pot and stir in a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom of the pot.

When the milk begins to boil (small bubbles will first appear at the edges) turn off the heat. Stir lemon juice or vinegar into the milk and the milk will curdle. You may need to wait 5 or 10 minutes.

Line a sieve or colander with a cheesecloth and pour the milk through the cloth to catch the curds. What is left in the cheesecloth is the Farmer's Cheese. The liquid is the whey. Some people keep the whey and drink it... use it in bread... cook pasta in it.... or feed it to your animals. Gather the cloth around the cheese and squeeze out as much of the whey as you can. Wrap in plastic or lace in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.


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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!