Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Yogurt Making

To my daughter who is reminding me to add my posts here is December's class that I did not get to post very timely. Blogging is new to me and I am by nature not a very prolific writer. If you get me talking that is another story but here goes my attempt at trying to catch up.

Yogurt like many other things in life seems like a mystery to most of us but in reality it is not very difficult to master. I must confess that I do like yogurt but don't seem to eat very much of it and have not made any since the class. Although it is relatively simple to do I just have not added it to my to do list. Some of the information comes from www.makeyourownyogurt.com. The ingredients that you need are nonfat dry milk and water or skim, 2% or whole milk and nonfat dry milk plus plain yogurt as a starter. The yogurt must contain a live culture. After you make your first batch you will always save out enough for your next batch. The first thing is to combine your liquid and dry ingredients together and mix thoroughly. Second you heat this milk with frequent stirring to just near boiling (185 degrees) and then cool quickly by plunging the pot into a sink of ice cold water to 110 degrees. Now you add your starter culture and mix well but gently trying not to incorporate too much air. Lastly but not least you pour the milk into your clean jars and cover with a lid and incubate in a warm place, one that you don't have to move the jar around. Your warm place could be in your oven or crockpot or heating pad or even an electric fry pan with water in it and keep it at 110 degrees. Some dehydraters also can be used for yogurt incubating. You need to incubate for at least 4 hours and up to 7. The longer it incubates the thicker it sets. Once done there will be a liquid on top of the yogurt. This is whey. You can pour it off or stir it in it is up to you.

Now that you know the steps here are the amounts depending on the size of the batch you want to make. The amount of liquid you use is pretty close to how much yogurt you will make.

Liquid / Nonfat Dry Milk / Yogurt

1 gal water / 8 1/3 cup / 1 cup

1 qt water / 2 cups / 1/4 cup

1 gal skim milk / 4 cups / 1 cup

1 qt skim / 1 cups / 1/4 cup

1 gal 2% Milk / 2 3/4 cups / 1 cup

1 qt 2% / 3/4 cup / 1/4 cup

1 gal whole milk / 1 3/4 cup / 1 cup

1 qt whole / 1/2 cup / 1/4 cup

When do you know if you have Enough?

If any of you have wondered how do I know if I have enough food storage, today's post is for you. I came across a wonderful post that is called "Everything under the Sun" by Wendy DeWitt. In this wonderful pdf form she has broken down for you how many cups of wheat are in a #10 can and how many teaspoons are in a container of salt etc. The beauty of this as she explains is that you can plan your menu for food storage and add up the total of all your ingredients and then know exactly how much of each item you need to acquire to have enough for the time period you have chosen. For example if you want to plan for three months and you use 14 dinners and repeat it 6 times in three months than you know that you have to store enough of the ingredients to make those recipes each 6 times. It is just one more way to be able to judge whether you have enough to last 1 week or 6 months or a year. In her post she has some recipes that she gives you and has added up the total of the ingredients needed for a years worth of the recipe. I especially liked the information that let me figure out how much would be required to have a loaf of bread a day. Knowledge is peace of mind.

Our recipe for this month comes from Brandy of ThePrudenthomemaker.com website. It was surprising how easy and good this recipe is.

Chicken Fried Steak (minus the hen)

2 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup dried onions
1 1/2 - 2 cups water
2 eggs
2 tsp rubbed sage
2 tsp Lawry's Perfect Blend Chicken and Poultry Seasoning
3 tbsp oil for frying

2 cans cream of mushroom soup
3 cups milk (can use powdered milk)

Mix first six ingredient. It should be wet and stick together well. If it does not, add enough water until it does. Form into six patties and fry both sides until browned. Meanwhile, whisk soup and milk together to make gravy. Lower heat to simmer and pour gravy on patties. Flip them over to coat both sides with gravy. Cover and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure that they don't stick or burn.