Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Testing Blogger, it's been a loooong time!

 Well, well, well... I'm back!  Actually I'm testing blogger to see if it will auto post to Facebook because I'm curious if it still does that now that Facebook is/has removed their Notes feature.  And if it doesn't I wonder if there is an add-on to do it?  Anyone know?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Make Yogurt using Raw Milk

I usually make plain yogurt but, on this day, I was experimenting with flavour and culture.  I used to use store bought skim milk but now that I have a milk cow (Belle) I have tons of super delicious whole milk.  I used to use plain yogurt as starter but I don’t get to the grocery store much anymore and I find it much easier to keep on hand the little packets of powdered yogurt culture.  They work awesome and I can keep them in my fridge for ages!  A few years ago I did a blog post on making yogurt but things change so here’s my new updated version.

You will need:

One gallon of milk
Powdered culture (I use Yogourmet brand)
Skim Milk Powder
Agave Syrup
Brown Rice Syrup (or honey, sugar, more agave, xylitol, any sweetener you can add to fruit)
Frozen Fruit

I use this brand of culture.  I have tried their other kind that has casein in it and I did not like it!  My yogurt was jiggly and did not set well at all plus it’s more expensive.  Stick with this box and you can’t go wrong.


One gallon of raw whole milk (or any milk you prefer).  I skim off the cream and save it for other things, Belle gives me pretty good tasting milk so I’ll use the cream in my tea, or make butter, or even pour it over homemade cottage cheese- and the skimmed milk is still good on/in everything else.  You’ll end up with a bit of cream on the top of every yogurt jar even if you do skim, you can mix it in or just eat it as is.


Pour the milk into a pot and heat it up to 175-180F.


Hold this temp for 15-30 minutes stirring so as not to scorch the milk.  Holding the temp will make your yogurt firm up like the commercial brands.


After about 10 min add 1/2 cup of Agave Syrup if you want it sweetened.


Today I wanted to add frozen strawberry and raspberry fruit so while your milk mixture is heating get your fruit ready.  I add a bit of fruit to a pot, sorry I didn’t measure but it was maybe 2 cups of frozen strawberries and 1/2 cup of raspberries.


Add 1/2 cup of brown rice syrup (or whatever sweetener you prefer) to the fruit and stir.


Brown rice syrup added to the fruit.  Heat to boiling and then set aside to cool.


When the milk gets to temp add 1/2 cup of skim milk powder, this will help stabilize the yogurt. 


Cool the milk down to about 110F.  You can place the pot into a sink full of cold water to bring the temp down faster but I usually find something else to do while it cools, and believe me, there’s always something else to do! lol


While the milk is cooling get your jars ready.  Today I used 7 Gem jars, 1 recycled jar, and one regular pint jar.  Make sure they all have lids!


I used my Braun mixer to chunk up the fruit, I wanted it chunky and not total puree so don’t do it for long!


Add about 1/8th of a cup of fruit to each jar.


Now that the milk has cooled to below 115F take about a cup and put it into a jar.  Add your powdered yogurt culture.  The directions say to add one envelope for each quart but I add one envelope for each TWO quarts, two envelopes in total and it works just fine.


Stir well!


Add back to milk in the pot and stir again.


Keep stirring because you want the culture to spread throughout the milk.


Pour it into jars and put the lids on.


I use my dehydrator to make my yogurt but there’s lots of other ways you can do it; oven, yogurt maker, cooler, thermos… Google for more ideas.


Keep your temp between 110-115F.  Anything over and your culture will die.


I’ve marked my dehydrator where my temp stays pretty consistent but I also added the electronic thermometer as well.


At four hours my yogurt was done!  The longer you leave it in the more tart the taste, I like it mild so I turn off the dehydrator and let my jars cool for about 1/2 hour and then I put them in the fridge.  The only time I’ve seen it take much longer to set is when I did blueberry yogurt, for some reason it took about 8 hours.


This was the first time I heated the milk and held it at temperature for that length of time, it worked out well and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

20 Pie Crusts or close to it!

I'm really starting to like Pinterest!  So many ideas and so many different interests but one can't get carried away because I think you can spend more time at the sight than actually doing some of the ideas, lol.

I found this on Pinterest and went to the site:
Some webpages come and go and I don't want to lose this one so I'll post the recipe below but if you go to the page you'll get step-by-step details on what she does to create her pie crusts.

My changes in red:
I used 3- 1 lb regular Crisco.  Add them to your Bosch bowl first and mix, add salt, add flour/water alternating until mixed.
I ground up regular wheat kernels and sifted until I had about 5.5 lbs.
I weighed my dough out to 8.5 oz and ended up with 18 circles.

Pie dough

The Recipe:
3 lb can Crisco vegetable shortening (I use Butter-Flavored Crisco)
5 lb all-purpose flour (I sub. 1-2# of the a/p flour with white bread flour)
3 cups ice water
2 Tbsp. salt

Mix in a very large bowl or pan (I use my Bosch with the dough hook).
Blend flour, salt, and Crisco together (by hand if necessary).
Add ice water and mix all together just until blended.
Form into patties weighing approx. 7.6 oz. each (if you have a scale and want to get 20 out of the recipe). 

Makes about 18 to 20.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Our Milk Cow Belle

Belle came to live with us on April 11, so it's been almost a week, and the only thing I regret is not getting a milk cow 10 years ago.  I'm hoping I feel the same way when it's snowing and blowing outside!
Dallas and I drove over to Grinrod last Friday and picked her up and brought her home.  It took her a few days to settle in but she quickly adjusted.  She was raised in a dairy barn with Holsteins and the owner was getting rid of all of her Jersey cows to make room for more Holsteins, it was a pretty big operation and I'm sure Belle is missing some of her other buddies.
Jevan and Belle enjoying green grass and sunshine!
We're starting to get into a routine and on some days she gives me almost 6 gallons of milk.  Hubby and a friend modified my battery operated goat milker to work for a bit longer and it's been a blessing, no sore hands for me! 
Milk in the fridge
I ordered a cream separator and once that is in I can make lots of butter and ice cream, it's too tedious skimming cream with everything else going on.  Twice a day milking is keeping me busy but the kids are great about helping, now I just have to teach them how to milk! :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Milking the goats

Everyday the dogs and I set out to milk our goats Penny and Cupcake.  Right now we are only doing once a day milking and I try to get out there at around noon each day.

Here’s Penny in the stand with Bella patiently waiting for milk.  I use a small vacuum pump on Penny so milking her is quite fast.  She’s such a baby and she likes to hang around and get petted before going back into the run.

1Penny Bella

After washing her udder I squirt a few drops of milk into a container and give it to the dogs.  Mini, Popi, Chicky, and Bella have all learned to share, and believe me THAT was not easy for any of them!

3Goats Milk

After finishing up with Penny in comes Cupcake.  She’s quite a character.  I can’t use my little machine on her and have to handmilk her.  It seems no one knows how to handmilk but me even tho’ I’ve tried to show everyone in this house how to do it!


Between Cupcake and Penny I’m getting about 1.5 quarts per day from them both.  I use a coffee filter to strain out any impurities. 

4Goats Milk

After finishing up the milking and collecting the eggs from the chicken coop I made Gummy Treats for Jevan.  I really hope he likes them because they are sugar free!  I made them with xylitol.  Here’s a picture of them in the dehydrator.

5Gummy Treats 3(3)