Making yogurt

This morning I have a gallon of yogurt straining on top of my stove.  I’d had several unsuccessful batches or too small batches so I wanted to make new yogurt and record exactly what I did so that if it worked I’d have a process for future batches.  I did follow some instructions from a blogger but I will not share that link because it was probably the most annoying blog post I’ve ever come across.  Over 30 pictures with many of them being almost repetitious and that wasted so much time.

First, I “sterilized” my pot. Even though it was clean, many people suggest you do this to make sure there is no bacteria present that could interfere with the bacteria needed to make the yogurt.  I put in a couple of cups of water and hit “Steam”, reducing the time to 5 minutes.  While this was going on I went and took shower and got dressed.

I added a gallon of Cooper’s Hilltop Farm milk and pressed the Yogurt button.  Then did the Adjust so that the “boil” function started.  I took a look at the clock and it was 9:45.  At 10:40 the IP beeped that the boil was complete.  I checked the temperature and it as 181°.  The blog I was reading (and several others I’ve read) said that if you want extra thick yogurt you should raise the temperature to 185° and let it sit at that temperature for 5-10 minutes.  After this step, I stirred the milk and turned the pot off.

I’d left the milk in the inner pot but took the pot itself out of the Instant Pot to just sit on the stove top to cool.  It took approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes for it to cool to 110°.  I have only cooled to 115° at times, but I followed the instructions I was using explicitly.  I added 1/4 cup of Fage Total 0 (which is what I had in my fridge) and set the pot to incubate for 8 hours.  I often have “yogurt” after 5 to 6 hours,  but I left it at 8 knowing I could stop it when I decided it was ready.

At 5 hours it still appeared to be very runny and I was a bit nervous.  I checked at 6 hours and there seemed to be a bit of whey separating so I left it longer.  Actually, I forgot about it and it was at 7½ hours by the time I remembered.  At this point there a good amount of whey and taking a spoon from the yogurt I could see the good consistency that I was hoping for.  So I covered the pot and put it into the refrigerator.

This morning I had some really good yogurt.  It’s been draining now for about 4 hours and I am going to put it into jars now.  I am going to save the whey and see if I can use it as a starter next time.  And I am going to use some of the whey as liquid in a recipe I plan on making later today.


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Windy Thursday

Today would have been nice if it had not been so windy. We made the rounds. Ocean State Job Lot, Pet Smart, and lunch at Mandarin. After lunch we went to the farm for milk and eggs. I need to make yogurt. My last was not the best.

We have snow tomorrow and I have tiny bulbs popping out. I doubt they will survive.

I used a Prisma filter on this one. I am ready for warmth and flowers. No more snow!


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Wednesday in Worcester

Saw this SUV stopped at a traffic light on our way back home this afternoon.  Don had an 11 o’clock appointment with the retina specialists.  The scans of his eye showed a lot of improvement since the last visit.  In fact, most all of the fluid that the doctor was trying to reduce was gone.  So he says three more aggressive treatments and then he will extend the time between injections.  He says he needs to be sure that the reduction in the fluid is permanent and he certainly knows best.  Don says his vision has improved to some extent.  The doctor has told him it likely will never be the same as it was before the bleed in his eye but it can be prevented from getting worse.

Nothing much else is happening here.  We had lunch at Ruby Tuesday.  We were rather late after the noontime rush and the restaurant has half empty. The hostess sat us in a booth next to a couple with two young children who were shrieking and making me generally ready to run out the door.  I asked the waitress if we could move and we did move leaving a booth between us.  We could still hear the kids though and it made me wonder why that woman sat us right next to them.  Did she think older people would be better seated near young children for some odd reason?  I’m not sure but it did annoy me.

And then the waitress got our order all wrong.  I figured we would be charged incorrectly and I was right about that too.  So I complained and had the bill corrected.  All in all, it was not the most pleasant lunch-time experience.

Tomorrow our housekeepers will be here and we will go out to lunch again.  Twice in one week is a bit of a stretch.  We generally go for Chinese food every other Thursday and I’m sure we will head that way again.  I still miss Thursday sushi at my desk at work.  (But not that much!)365-78


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Terrific Tuesday

Terrific may be a stretch, but it was a pretty good day.  I made a chicken salad with green grapes and walnuts for our lunch.  We have leftovers, too!  That is always a win!

It’s been gray and rainy during the day so we’ve stayed inside.  I did get two months’ worth of bank statements balanced.  So it was a rainy day but not a total wash out.

This morning I took this picture of my little one-eyed cat.  When she’s asleep you don’t realize she’s different from any other cat.

The cats are so funny.  Sakaura comes and sleeps next to me for I don’t know how long.  She’s there when I go to sleep but by the time I wake she’s up and waiting for Don to feed her.  Georgia eats her breakfast and immediately heads for my bed to nap for most of the morning.  Some days I don’t disturb her but others I do make the bed and she’s not happy about that!  They do make life interesting!


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Anxious for Spring

A ladybug in the house must mean it’s warming up outside. At least I hope that is what it means.  I think ladybugs are also considered to bring good luck.  At any rate, I’d never smash one.  This tiny creature was crawling on the foggy bathroom mirror one day this week.

So after a long period of maintaining the exact same weight forever, I am on a mission to drop a few pounds.  So I am going to track my food using My Fitness Pal.  I am not eating a 1200 calorie a day diet. I am trying to make sure I have a proper balance of nutrients.

I enjoyed the “On This Date” pictures so much from last February where I was following a meal plan and photographing my meals.  I need to incorporate more of that in my life.  I actually do have a meal plan for this week.  And I took a couple of pictures.

This is a “taco salad” I made using some Black Bean Tofu Hast over some lettuce, with chopped avocado, shredded cheese, and salsa on top.  It was good but could have used a bit of sour cream.

Tonight I made a stir fry.  This is a picture of it just going into the pan.

I have shrimp and a bag of Trader Joe’s stir fry veggies with a bit of sesame oil.  I added some Thai Peanut Sauce from a recipe I made and topped it with some chopped peanuts.  Served it over a half cup of brown rice.

I am making some chicken salad to eat for lunch tomorrow and again on Thursday.  And I am making eggplant lasagna for dinner tomorrow night and Thursday night.  On Wednesday Don has an appointment with the retina specialist at 11 so we will eat at Ruby Tuesday after that and that will mean a light dinner.  I have some grain-free waffles in the freezer that I’ll heat up for dinner.  That takes us until Friday, and I’ll decide later what I want to do that day.  I am happy to have the rest of the week planned.


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March 1 – First day of Meteorological Spring

We had another warmer than normal day but I believe the tide turns tomorrow for a few days.  The plants are so confused, as are the birds I’m sure.

I just heard on ABC News that our weather in Worcester will drop sixty degrees.  I guess winter is not really over, is it?

I am just ready for some consistency.  I have lunch out with Helen and MaryJo tomorrow. I’ll drive to Helen’s house and she wants to drive to the restaurant.  We are going to Red Rock Grill which is about halfway to where we worked in Hopkinton.  We ate there once before and I had a most excellent Cobb salad, so I am off now to check the menu and see if that option is still available.

 


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Oscars, I could care less

Seriously I don’t even want to read on Facebook. It’s overrun with comments about the red carpet.

In other news winter is back but the snow is almost melted.

I spent time this afternoon watching A Man Called Ove on Amazon Prime Vodeo. I really enjoyed it despite have to have the captions on. I’d not realized it was a foreign language film.

So now I am watching my old standby The Food Network. And testing to see if Blogsy will still post.

 


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Binge watching

I must admit I love this show, and I am a late comer and have only watched the last two or three seasons so I am watching on Hulu Plus and I’m almost finished with Season One.  There are only 4 chefs left, and the two that I despised have both packed their knives so I am okay with whoever wins.

So that is how I spent my day. Sitting and knitting and watching tv.

I made Georgia a little house out of a box and an old t-shirt.  She loves it. So one more piece of clutter to add to the house.   Laugh


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Sixty-five degrees on February 23!

Today felt like mid-May. It was so nice and warm.   We went for a brief around the neighborhood walk.  One of the neighborhood dogs was out on his run and we were able to pet him. He’s just a puppy but he’s a big one!  His name is Toby and he’s a Great Pyrenees.

Today was a much better day for my knitting, too.  I was able to get the hat started again last night and I am about at the point where I was when I ripped it all out.  And I’ve decided that I am really glad I decided to start over. Besides the mistake that I was wanting to correct there was another row of messy stitches that I’d decided to just overlook.  But I know I’d have known they were there and never been completely happy with the project. So everything happens for a reason.

And today is Thursday but seems like Friday since it was my maid’s day.  For years we had the house cleaned every other Friday.  Now it is every other Thursday, but I still get the days confused.  So for now, we have a clean house, except there are dishes that need to be washed.  That is not my job and I am winding down deciding what I’ll watch on tv this evening.


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This was not a good day

I don’t know how I missed it earlier but today I spotted a dropped stitch (or maybe two) about four rows down in my hat I was knitting.  I knew I couldn’t just ignore it so I tried to fix it.  I frogged the stitches back until I reached the mistake but in the process, I think I dropped some other stitches along the way and I just had a big mess.  I had about an inch and a half of K2 P2 ribbing that I just ripped apart.  Then it took me several attempts to get the stitches cast on the needles again, and then I have frogged the ribbing a few times trying to get it right.  Someone said that frogging is character building, but today my character is totally lost.

So I am back to the very beginning again. I think I have three rows of the ribbing knit and I am putting it in time out for now.

I was so wrapped up in knitting that I didn’t even cook dinner.  Thank goodness for my Vitamix and a good power shake recipe.   It could be worse.  Today is National Marguerita Day!  Drink


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