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Welcome! We are a homeschooling family of 12 living a smallish home, with a Lab named Samson, a Morkie named Cookie, and square foot gardens. Loving the Lord and learning as we go!



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yogurt 101

I recently read an article in Better Homes and Gardens magazine on the different types of yogurt (Yogurt, Explained -Taking the Confusion out of the dairy aisle, Sept.2008).. I was a little miffed that they didn't share how EASY it was to just make the yogurt yourself!

I figure it's about time I just BLOGGED about it.

What you need to make vanilla yogurt:

milk- fat free, skim, 2% or whole-however much yogurt you want to make. Try a half gallon.

candy thermometer

Dannon vanilla yogurt with live active cultures as your starter. You only need this the first time you make yogurt.
Vanilla. Real vanilla is preferable. Use whatever you have though.

Sugar to sweeten.

Powdered milk-to thicken

saucepan to heat milk in

tupperware containers to store yogurt in

cookie sheet and kitchen towel to cover the bowls with

stove and electricity..or gas, or a wood burning stove. whatever.

What I do and Why.

I pour the milk into the pot and clip the thermometer to the side. I heat it on low, stirring frequently until the temperature reaches 180 degrees. You want to kill off any bad bacteria..so your new good bacteria can thrive. Once it reaches 180, I turn off the burner (important..I frequently forget to do this). Remove it from the burner and add half a package of powdered milk. It's about 1/2 cup. I whisk this in. Then I add about 1 TBS of vanilla..and about 1/2 C of sugar. Stir well.
Let the milk cool to 100 degrees exactly! Important! If it's too hot, it will kill your yogurt starter and it won't set up. Ask me how I know this.

Once your milk is cooled to 100 degrees..take about 1/2 to 1 C of the Dannon yogurt and whisk well into your cooled milk. Pour the milk into a couple tupperware containers. Place them on a cookie sheet and set in your oven. Do.Not.Turn.Your.Oven.On. Someone did this once. Not pretty. (and no it wasn't me) Cover the bowls with your towel. Let this set in your oven overnight with the oven light on. The light will give just enough warmth to help set your yogurt. By morning..you should have nice thick vanilla yogurt at a fraction of the cost.
Cover and store in your fridge..and enjoy!


*I did not use the powdered milk until just recently. I found that the powdered milk makes the yogurt nice and thick..just like store bought. I could not get my yogurt to turn out that way before. Thank you MOMYS. :)

**If you want plain yogurt, skip the sugar and vanilla step, and use Plain Dannon as your starter.

*** If you have made yogurt successfully using soy milk or rice milk, please send me the recipe. Thank you!

Sunday, November 02, 2008


It's been 71 days. I can't believe it's November already.

Take these hands...and lift them up. For I have not the strength to praise You near enough. I have nothing...I have nothing....without You.

And take my voice....and pour it out. Let it sing the songs of mercy I have found...For I have nothing...I have nothing....without You.

(Bebo Norman)

I still have tears that are ready to break thru at any given moment. Usually unexpected..and usually when I'm alone...but not always. I think about her every day..throughout the day. Every time I turn around there is something or someone there to remind me of her....I want to talk to her, and share things with her...and there is an ache in my heart that won't go away.

If you've been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you-you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. -C.S.Lewis The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

It's so easy to keep so busy that I can just ..put the crying off till later..till a "better" time. But I find when I do that..there really is no better time..and it comes upon me in the most public places.

There is no way around the pain that you naturally feel when someone you love dies. You can't go over it, under it, or around it....Going through it is what will help you heal. (Therese Rando)

“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6

What did our Lord mean when He said, “Enter into your closet to pray?” The word “closet” simply means some place where you can shut the door on the world and open the windows to heaven. As you study the life of Jesus, you’ll discover that Jesus sought times to be alone. Sometimes He would go on a mountain, sometimes into the wilderness, and sometimes into a garden. It is the secret place that is the sacred place. The mark of your prayer life is not really how well you pray in public, but in private-.LWF