Tuesday, September 8, 2020

all about food, I guess

 I haven't been here for a week! I'll have to make up for lost time.

After a few years of eating Siggi's yogurt, I'm going back to making it myself. It's way cheaper and I just feel like doing it again. 

  Something I've wondered about is why the instructions so often tell you to use milk that is only pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized. If they use this method in your country, have you ever noticed how long this ultra stuff lasts? It's amazing. Anyway, there is only one brand at the store where I shop that's simply pasteurized, and I like it well enough; it isn't organic but it's from our state. Still, I finally googled the question. And came upon a New York Times article with some very enlightening comments.

When you make yogurt, you have to heat it up to around 180 or over, then cool it down to around 110. You put in the starter or some from a previous batch and let it sit for hours to ferment. One of the commenters said she uses ultra-pasteurized milk to make hers, and because it's already been cooked enough (I forget how she put it, exactly), she just heats it to 110, adds the starter and continues from there. She skips the first step entirely! I decided to try this. I used a nice organic milk from grass-fed cows but it was ultra-pasteurized. After it had fermented I checked it (what you see above) - the consistency reminded me of Junket (remember that? - I used to love the chocolate one). But after an overnight in the fridge it looked pretty good. I still strained it, as I always do, to make it thicker. 

We found out last week that Dolly is diabetic. Her numbers weren't so high that she needs insulin shots, so we're trying to change her diet - no more dry food.

She is always very anxious about having food nearby. It's going to be hard for her at times, but after a week, her numbers did go down some; meanwhile, we're trying out some higher protein and lower carb brands of the canned stuff and reading a lot of labels. The issue is not whether she'll eat it - she is not a picky eater. But we want food that has quality ingredients. 

The reason we have butternut squashes on the front windowsill is that I picked them too early - a moment of madness I can only assume - and they weren't ripe. But we found evidence online that you can let them ripen in the sun, and they are turning that beige-y color, so I guess it's working. The cats aren't bothered by them, except yesterday I caught the Orphan batting one.

Sweetie found a purpose for them -

pretty cute. It's almost two months now, and she still seems the same. I have no idea what's going on inside of her with the cancer. 

Yesterday was Labor Day - sort of the official end of summer. I made an easy hummus, which recipe I found in British Country Living: basically a small jar of artichoke, lemon juice, can of drained butter beans, garlic and basil. Very tasty with crackers. We also had hamburgers and tomato salad - so many tomatoes.

 I also made scones. To have with the ice cream.


  1. Iv'e been cooking today too. A lentil and vegetable stew (it was going to be soup, but somehow morphed into a stew); and banana, blueberry and white choc chip muffins. One can never have too many muffins :) xx

    1. I prefer scones for some reason, but would not refuse a muffin. :D They are similar: nice for snacks or breakfast, but not too sweet.

  2. I love the photos of the cats and the butternut squashes!
    How productive you have been! I have been cooking a lot (for me, anyway) recently. We had friends over for tea in the garden and I baked a fruity gingerbread and some custard tarts. Richard made some sultana biscuits.
    My sister came up to see us on Friday; we hadn't seen her since December. We brought Mum over and I made a buffet lunch of salads, chicken thighs, ham and I made a cheese and broccoli quiche and some savoury muffins. Mum brought a lemon pudding and an apple pie with her. What a feast we had!
    I hope you are keeping well xoxo

    1. Oh, that sounds like a wonderful feast!! I'm so glad you were all able to get together.

  3. I wonder if any of my comments on this post went through. I wrote three, which seemed to disappear when I hit Publish, or even before that... So this time, I will try using my Google account.

    Did your windowsill ripening technique work? Or have you tested and tasted yet? I never heard of this idea but I will likely have a need for it some late summer.

    1. Gretchen, the larger of the two turned that warm color it was supposed to be, so I put it in the basement. The smaller one is turning more slowly, but still turning! So, I assume it's working. I'm glad we googled it, because I wouldn't have thought they'd ripen inside.