Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wednesday Homemaking Tip - Prepare

The scriptures don't really say what the Savior did on this day of what we now call Holy Week, but in the book of Matthew the Parables of the Ten Virgins, Talents, and Sheep and Goats come right before the Passover. It makes sense, knowing He would soon be gone from the earth, that He would spend the day teaching those parables to prepare His followers for His Second Coming.  Regardless of when he taught them, the Parables prepare us for Christ's Second Coming.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins has always been sobering to me.  Being left out of a good thing is serious business.  When I was a girl, I couldn't figure out why the wise virgins, if they were so good and wise, didn't share their oil with the others.  Or, why the girls who didn't have enough oil didn't just latch themselves on to someone who did, or at least walk right in their shadow.  Later I learned there are some things you just can't give to another.  The oil represented their commitment to the Savior and you can't give that to someone else.  You can't give your faith, nor your knowledge. You can't give your experiences or your understanding. You can't give your obedience or your Christlike attributes.  There are some things in life that you can't beg, borrow, or steal, you have to gain them for yourself. So it was with the virgins, so it is with me.

I have come to love and appreciate that message of preparation and self-reliance in this parable. It's practical and applicable in all areas of my life. Spiritually it causes me to seek, emotionally and physically it causes me to grow.  I've especially enjoyed learning to be self-reliant in making a home and caring for a family.  It's why Calvin and I grow a garden and raise chickens.  It's why we butcher our meat and bottle fruits and vegetables. And, it's why Calvin experimented making cheese a year or two ago and I learned to make yogurt a few days ago.

A few months ago I went to help Ande after Ezra was born.  She had 3 jars of homemade yogurt in the fridge. After I tasted it, and she promised it was easy, I was determined to come home and make some myself.

I'm here to say, it's not only very good, it's good for you, it's economical, and it's practical.  Since I leave early every morning for work, a cup of yogurt is an easy breakfast to eat on the way. Today,  imitating the expertsI packed four cups of yogurt.

One cup has caramel in it.  I used leftover caramel ice cream topping made from this quick and easy recipe with a little cup of cashews to stir in.

Two cups have frozen blueberries with little cups of homemade granola (also Ande's recipe) to mix in.

One cup has dried coconut added with sliced almonds and mini chocolate chips to stir in.

There's lots of plain yogurt left for smoothies, baking, making more flavors, and the start for more yogurt.

It cost about $4.00 to make the yogurt and it produced well over 3 quarts.  I estimated the savings to be at least $25.  Not bad.  Not too bad at all.

Zeph's Greek Yogurt

1 gallon whole milk
5 oz. plain Greek yogurt (with active, live cultures)

Put milk in crock pot and heat until it reaches 180 degrees.  (This takes about 2 hours.)  When milk reaches desired temperature, turn off heat and let it cool down in the crock pot to 90-115 degrees.  In a small bowl mix yogurt and 1/2 cup cooled milk until smooth.  Add mixture into crockpot and stir.  Place crock pot bowl (without lid) in oven with the light on for 8-12 hours.  Congratulations.  You just made yogurt.  To make Greek yogurt, place a flour sack towel, t-shirt, or double layer of cheese cloth over a large bowl and spoon yogurt onto towel, careful to leave enough room for yogurt to strain liquid.  Place in fridge for an hour or two while it drains.  Now you have Greek Yogurt (and a giant bowl of whey, which can be used for other things).  Store in jars.  Saves in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.  To eat, mix in honey or other sweeteners, fruits, etc.  Serve with granola if desired.

Prepare.  Self-reliance.  The Parable of the Ten Virgins.  Good advice for everyday and everyone.


Michelle said...

I don't have much to say... just want you to know I've been reading and loving your posts this week (as always). Love you.

Going bananas said...

I love homemade yogurt! Our favorite way to eat it is with raspberries. I will have to try the crockpot method. My husband usually makes ours on the stove.