It's pretty clear to anyone who reads this blog that I enjoy making just about everything from scratch. Except maybe new blog posts.
Fall is always super busy for making stuff, like tomato sauce and apple cider. I made apple jelly, too.
The flavor and color are fantastic. (The consistency is a bit on the slippery side, but jelly making is not one of my strengths.)
This fall I also learned to make homemade yogurt. I've been on a yogurt-for-breakfast jag off and on for the past couple of years and it gets expensive. Then I learned that making homemade yogurt is not exactly rocket science. Here's a quick tutorial if you get the urge:
Starter (a 1/4 cup of storebought or previously homemade yogurt)
An insulated area (cooler, box covered with towels, whatever)
Buy some milk. I used a half gallon of whole, organic Vermont milk for this particular batch, and I've been buying it from a co-worker's dairy farm until last week, when the milk inspector said no more selling raw milk. Very sad day for me.
Anyway, yogurt: heat the milk up to 180.
When it reaches temperature, cool it in a water bath (in the sink) to about 110. Stir in the starter: 1/4 cup of whatever yogurt you have on hand. The cultures in it will multiply in the warm milk and make more yogurt. Genius.
Pour the cultured milk into sterilized jars and seal with lids (I now have reusable plastic covers for this).
When you let the cultured milk sit for 7-8 hours, keeping it as warm as possible, yogurt will happen. The jars have to be kept somewhere wwhere they will retain as much heat as possible.
I'm married to a contractor so I have a lot of handy stuff on hand, like sheets of Thermax insulation.
I cut the insulation into six pieces to fit into a brown paper bag.
It's hard to see, but I lined the bottom and sides with the first five pieces. Ithen put two quart jars in, and covered them with the sixth piece. I let the yogurt sit overnight. In the morning the jars are still warm to the touch.
Voila! Yogurt, a nutritious and delicious part of breakfast -- served with rolled oats (not even cooked, I like them chewy!), cinnamon, slivered almonds, maple syrup and a sliced banana.
But that's not all I've made. If you recall (how could you forget!) way back in Sept. 2012 I decided to play with some fiber. I took whatever I could find -- black, gray and white wool, black and white alpaca, white and gray rabbit angora, a bit of silk - and bunch of other leftover fibers I had lying around and blended them together.
To refresh your memory:
Run through the drum carder a couple of times (4,000 hours or so, according to my tired shoulder), I got this and a whole lot more:
And I started spinning. It took a couple of months, I think, to get a sweater's worth:
And then I forget what happened. Days ran into weeks. Months passed. Who knows.
I started knitting last winter but got bored when I got to the sleeves and put the whole project up until a few weeks ago. Now, I introduce the Layabout Sweater, a lazy weekend pullover I'm actually wearing right now:
I'm not modeling it because it's not especially flattering. But it's warm, comfy and finally done and it will come in handy, given the weather around here.
The point is:
I love sheep-to-sweater projects.
Other than that, I only knit one thing last year (!), a summery sweater for our granddaughter for Christmas.
She loved it.
This is very unfair. She is a super-smily girl most of the time.
And Mark was certainly happy to get some time with her.
I have a lot more blathering to do but I think the correct course of action is to post less, more often, so I'll stop here.
I just have to let you in on a little secret:
Goats like garlic bread.
Not a lot of people know that.
PS: I totally forgot I had teased something big in my last months-ago blog post. We went to Tunbridge for this:
Hopefully it will be generating wood heat and good meals by next winter. We need a few things first, such as a chimney.