Archive for June, 2010

Yogurt: Easy and Rewarding

It is time to make yogurt! Let's start by heating up the milk.

 It turns out that yogurt is extremely easy to make and well worth the effort. This is how I’ve been doing it:
  1. Sterilize 2 quarts of milk (even if your milk has been pasturized) by heating it in a pot until it reaches 180-185F degrees on the candy thermometer (almost to boiling) . TIP- heat slowly and stir often to prevent scorching (preferably with a metal spoon).
  2. Remove from heat and let cool until it reaches about 110F degrees.
  3. Add your “starter”. If this is your first batch of yogurt you can buy store bought yogurt that has active cultures or your can buy freeze-dried bacteria cultures online or from a specialty store. In the future just save some of your own yogurt for a starter. I use 5 tablespoons of yogurt as a starter for this recipe and I let it sit out while I’m doing step 1 and 2.
  4. Time to incubate. Pour milk into container and cover tightly. Keep yogurt warm (between 105F and 122F) so the bacteria can do their thing. There are various methods to keep the yogurt at the right tempurature, but I recommend buying a Yogotherm because it is so darn convenient. They are made in Canada and you can order them online. Just pour the milk in, close the lid, and let it sit 5-15 hours. The longer you let it incubate, the thicker and tangier it will get.
  5. Refrigerate. Don’t forget to set aside a little yogurt starter for your next batch!

ABOUT THE MILK: We buy whole milk that comes from a dairy in Spokane, called Spokane’s Family Farm. We skim the cream off the top of the jug once it separates and use it to make butter, whipped cream, etc. This makes our yogurt a bit lower fat. Once I forgot to skim the cream off the milk and it formed a cream top on the yogurt, so that’s always an option.

To make yogurt parfaits just alternate layers of yogurt, jam, granola, and fruit. Top it with drizzled honey for added sweetness.

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Graham Cereal

This cereal is so good you won’t want to buy cereal ever again! It doesn’t actually have graham flour in it, but is reminiscent of graham crackers.

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup dry milk powder
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour or oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or substitute vinegar whey, which is leftover from some cheese making)
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract (or other flavoring of your choice)
  • 3/4 cup warmed honey
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (or 300 if using convection oven).
  2. Sift the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly.
  3. Beat the liquid ingredients together.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  5. Spread on 2 rimmed baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Stir to break up mixture and bake another 10 minutes.
  7. Put into food processor and slice to reach desired size. Cool and store in an airtight container. Makes about a quart of cereal. Enjoy!

Homemade cereal is better than store bought. Plus, you won't be paying for the fancy packaging and you'll be reducing the waste that goes to the landfill and the energy it takes to recycle those cereal boxes!

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Anna’s Sour Milk Honey Cake

Don’t throw away sour milk, eat cake! Got a lot of good feedback on this one so I guess it’s a winner. I had to experiment a bit because I’m not used to using honey instead of sugar yet but the second time around it turned out right. It’s almost more like a bread than a cake so it slices up really well and goes with anything.

3 C Flour
1 1/3 C Honey
1 1/2 C Sour milk
1 Egg
1/2 C Shortening or Butter
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp each Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice and Cloves
1 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Baking soda

Mix all ingredients. Place in 2 greased and floured round cake pans. Sprinkle chopped nuts, coconut, blueberries, chocolate chips, etc. on top if desired. Bake 35 min. at 350. Freezes well.

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Home Sweet Home

I’ve been home less than 2 weeks and I have already hunted for morels (mushrooms), helped make several cheeses, learned about brewing beer, made several batches of cereal, helped make crackers, made several batches of yoghurt, planted in the garden, weeded, and much more! We (the Roberts clan) have chosen our individual areas of focus and so we will each coordinate certain activities. One of my duties is being the kitchen coordinator, so I will be keeping an eye on our edible inventory, coming up with new locavore recipes, and ordering people around (which I like!). Below, I have posted a few pictures from the Roberts’ locavore kitchen. It is good to be home! 

Fresh greens from the garden: spinach, lettuce, baby bok choy

Morel mushrooms and chives

The final product: Morel and Spinach Quiche

A yummy local meal...mmmmm!

Grinding coriander seeds for Anna's latest home brew

Mom cutting the cheese... hehehe... no, I mean literally 🙂

Beautiful farmhouse cheddar: WOW- unbelievably delicious!!!

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