Monday, May 24, 2010

Yogurt by the Gallon ... and other good food

Now that I am back home from a wonderful, refreshing vacation and seeing PA family once again; its time to get back on track with what I need to be doing as far as frugal living is concerned. I had been so homesick I had "fallen off the frugal wagon" so to speak. But that is behind me now and I am looking forward to each new day!
I stopped in the other day to pick up good wholesome, raw cow's milk from my Amish neighbor, Sarah. I had been wanting to get back to making yogurt and cheese so I purchased 2 gallons.

First on the agenda was to make some home-made yogurt.

I poured 1 gal into my 5 qt. stainless steel pot and raised the temp to 165* for 15 sec to pasturize it. (I don't try using raw milk for yogurt, as there is too much chance of failure and I need to be frugal especially after going on a spur-of-the-moment vacation ;) Then I cooled the milk in a sink of cold water to 115* and added my 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt as culture. After stirring that in, I lit my electric oven and heated it to 120*. I had a thermometer in the yogurt and one on the oven shelf. As I timed the temp drop in the oven I decided I needed to relight the oven for a few minutes every hour to keep the temp right. This worked very well, as the large amount of yogurt took a longer time to change in temperature, than it would have if I'd have put it in smaller containers. The temp range for this recipe called for 11o-118*.

It took only 4 hrs to set but I left it another hour to solidify more. I am really pleased with the result! No bitterness or sour taste at all. I will make half of it into yo-cheese and add herbs to it for a cracker spread, and use the other half for yogurt, adding a few strawberries or other fruit.

Our strawberry patch is producing quite well. Although the berries themselves aren't gigantic they have a very good, sweet flavor.

I made this Fresh Strawberry Pie for hubby soon after I got home, in appreciation for the vacation! (he stayed home and went to WORK, including many overtime hours, took care of our little dog, Izzy, fed the chickens, AND did all the RABBIT chores - He's an amazing man.... sigh)

(He likes his pie topped with a huge helping of vanilla ice cream.....)

.... and the chickens didn't even miss me, as proven by the beautiful eggs they are still laying.

Nothing says country like wonderful fresh-made yogurt, home-picked strawberries, and fresh home-grown eggs!

I had a wonderful time with my kids and Grands, but I am glad to be home again!


Piecefulafternoon said...

It's always fun to be back home and get back into the regular swing of things. The strawberries look scrumptious.

Mountain Home Quilts said...

Wow, all of that looks fantasic! I wish our strawberries were already producing ones like that!

Linda B said...

What a delightful blog! Frugality is something I need to work at.

Rose said...

Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!!!

Dar said...

Homemade yogurt, something I have not made for at least 25 years. My, that looks refreshing. And those berries. They are always sweeter touched by the sun in your own yard. I get eggs from a neighbor and Mom and can relate to the freshness of them all. Nothing IS finer than hugging the GrandLoves and then just, getting home again.
My I think we are kindred spirits. We welcome so much of the same things.

Sharyn said...

making my own yogurt is on my bucket list...:) Great job!

Lorie said...

Oh yes, I agree. Fresh-made yogurt, home-picked strawberries, and fresh home-grown eggs are wonderful. Just found your blog and enjoying your posts. Look forward to visiting often.