Archive for December 5th, 2010

I’m sort of having fun with this “Zeitgeist” thing.

I can’t think of a better way to show you the culture and habits of this household than to share a short photo essay on just two of the numerous things I have done in the past few days.

A couple of days ago I made yogurt.   This is an essential ingredient in many of the things we make around here, including scones, muffins, pancakes, sauce for enchiladas, curries and I don’t know what all.   It begins with me running down the road to pick up my milk at the dairy, putting it in my fridge overnight and then skimming the cream in the morning.

I make six cups of milk into yogurt at a time, and use a bit of the old yogurt as the starter culture.   I have found the yogurt makes better if you whisk the starter in, I suspect it is because acidophilus is an aerobe.   The reason I don’t have all polycarbonate cups is that we learned (to our great chagrin) that you cannot stack them together and then get them apart.

Another thing, don’t ever try to make yogurt in the summer and set the yogurt maker next to the crock pot as it is making the bean soup for dinner.   Apparently the little acidophilus bacteria don’t like to be too warm, and go all sulky and dormant when that happens.  Then your yogurt is likely to be very thin, so thin as to really be just warm milk.   Fortunately, when you move the crock pot and the culture cools back down, the little bacteria will get busy and change that milk into yogurt just like you wanted them to.

The second thing I did, just today, was observe that both my deep freezes need to be defrosted and inventoried.   This was brought to my attention because I decided that I had better put the cranberry sauce Jim made a week ago into a plastic storage bag so we could access the meat and chicken and stock that was under the jelly roll pan that was supporting the  1/2 C containers full of sauce that had been freezing frozen for the past 5 or 6 days.   So, as I was putting the plastic bag full of sauce into the other freezer, I had to move one of the hanging baskets out of the way so I could get into the fruit bin.

Take a moment to really look at this picture.

I really should go out and take that one again.   One of the most poignant labels is obscured by the baggie of sage.   It is a one gallon ziplock bag that has one lone chunk of mozzarella cheese and is labelled “PESTO 2008.”  That’s in the back of the basket.   Notice that no matter what all the home economists tell you, some things (like sesame seeds and sunflower seeds) just don’t need labels.  I figure if I can’t recognize them then I probably shouldn’t be putting them in my food.  The candied orange and lemon peels were made from organic fruit.  I started making those essential ingredients for my German holiday cookies long ago as I could not obtain them from any store I knew of.

Anyway, by far my favorite package in that picture above is the package of red kidney beans someone gave us as a present several years ago that is in the bag marked “Oregano”.   Somehow, that tickles me.

So, this is a larger view of the fruit/vegetable freezer.

We went to a sauna party last night, so I made cookies.

I always wonder why anyone would buy premade cookie dough when it takes no longer to mix up a batch of dough than it takes for the oven to pre-heat.   How are you saving time by purchasing cookie dough?   And, by the way, have you read the ingredients on the prefabricated effluent Pillsbury et al are selling you?   Jim tasted these cookies and claimed the whole batch for himself, so he got busy and made a batch of brownies for the party.   You couldn’t prove it though, as they are all gone — consumed in a coffee fueled chocolate orgy late last night as people focused on their long drives home.

Now, I have to go fold sheets.   Y’all have a nice day, heah?

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