Friday, June 27, 2014

Honey Vanilla Yogurt Suitable to Serve at a Wedding. :)

Earlier this month I made 6 gallons of my honey vanilla yogurt for a dear friend, Ilona Hunsaker--actually it was for her son's wedding open house she had in her gorgeous back yard. She served make-your-own yogurt parfaits. They were a big hit and many of those attending asked her for the recipe for the yogurt. \

I'm posting it here on my blog because I thought it would be the easiest way for me to share it with them. (Also because I have posted these instructions before and I just had to go into my archives and retrieve them. I found that I have changed the recipe a bit since I first posted this, so I have updated them for this post).

It's healthy, tasty, and easy. You just need a candy thermometer, a good sauce pan, an oven that can maintain a temperature of 100 degrees, and the following ingredients:

8 cups of fresh milk
2/3 cup powdered milk
2 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (1/2 envelope)
2 scant teaspoon instant pectin

Mix together in a heavy sauce pan with a wire whisk.
Turn the burner to low-medium low and let the milk slowly rise in temperature up to 170 degrees, but DO NOT let the milk come to a boil. Stir occasionally to prevent a film sticking to the bottom of the pan.

When the milk mixture reaches 170, remove from heat and stir in:
3/4 to 1 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

When the mixture reaches a temperature between 112 and 108, add:
1/2 cup of yogurt starter. (Use plain or vanilla. You can reserve a 1/2 cup from your previous batch of yogurt).

Mix well with wire whisk. Strain and pour into containers. I like to use Pyrex bowls that come with lids, but I have found that used yogurt containers work, as long as they have snap on lids.

Put the lids on the containers and place in a pre-heated 100 degree oven for 8 to 10 hours. Turn off the heat and let remain in the oven for another 1 to 6 hours, depending on how strong you want the yogurt flavor.

Refrigerate and enjoy.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Another Year Older, But Still Kickin'

Today is my birthday. I'm as old as the year I was born. ('57). That will only happen once in my life. Though that is not a major milestone, I always choke up a little (sometimes a lot, but in this case only a little), when something will never happen again, marks the end of an era. When you look at the grand scheme of things, our mortal experience here on this earth is one of a kind--it will never happen again. And it is very short. For this reason, I want to make the most of my life because I love life.

As a person who has always set goals and strives to meet them, I have the goal to live 30 more years. I realize that this particular goal might be slightly out of my hands. But there are some things I can do to increase my odds of success.
* First I will apply one of my most favorite sayings: "work like everything depends on you and pray like everything depends on God." Yep, I'm going to pray that God will grant me a long, healthy life--can't hurt.
*Second, I'm going to do everything I can to maintain good health. I've already started--unfortunately, it took a pair of sore knees to remind me that I wasn't eating right. I've cut out refined foods, especially sugar. My knees and my energy levels are feeling better already. This leads to the ease of accomplishing another goal--take a brisk half hour walk at least 5 times a week.

Aren't birthdays great? They remind us we are getting older, which reminds us we need to take action so that all those previous birthdays don't do us in.