Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lessons Learned

In an effort to increase Second Daughter's fat intake, we want to feed her more yogurt. Unfortunately, the organic whole milk yogurt at the store is very expensive, even the big containers that don't have pictures of babies on them. I was recently reminded by some friends that I can make my own yogurt.

Only I learned making yogurt in my crockpot is not going to work in the wintertime. I ended up with cold milk, a little soured. It's just too cold in my kitchen. (I should have known since even in the bread machine I have to increase the amount of yeast I use in the winter.)

I tried a more traditional method (cooking the milk on the stove then placing it in the oven) but managed to end the process halfway through by letting the oven get too hot and killing the bacteria. (The chickens liked it, though.) It would be fine if I could get six hours of guaranteed interruption-free time.

So, the moral of the story is: we buy our yogurt until spring. (Kansas Dad joked we could just set our thermostat higher, but I think that would be more expensive in the long run than buying the yogurt.)

Also, in case you were wondering, shelling popcorn is not as easy as all the books and websites would have you believe. (They all just say "Shell your popcorn, store and eat!") I spent a few hours (while also overseeing snack time and paper plate turkey construction) shelling it by hand and ended up with half a quart jar of popcorn and a big blister on my thumb. We're going to try one of these, even if they say it doesn't work. There has to be a better way. (I'd be happy for any advice on the matter.)


  1. Hm...I have never grown popcorn before. However, a similar thing happened to me when trying to get sunflower seeds out of the flower. Oh, my fingers hurt! For that, I bought a metal currying brush (comb?) and they all popped right out in one piece. I wonder if it would work on corn? I don't know, but they are less than $10 and might be worth a try.

    Just so you know, Lehman's says that sheller doesn't work on POPcorn. :(

  2. I know. But two other places said it would work, including Emery, so I thought I'd risk it. In all my searching I haven't even found any other suggestion. We only planted a fourth of the popcorn we wanted and not all of it grew well and we still have a lot of cobs. I can't imagine what we'd do with the kind of field we want to grow next year.

    I'll ask Kansas Dad to check for the brush at the store where he buys chicken feed.

  3. If Emery says it, I'd believe it! Her odd little hints have never failed me yet!

    And I bet if the curry comb worked, she'd know it...

  4. Giggling to myself in a sort of jealous way about your enthusiasm for pioneer living. Um yeah, we buy the good junk-foody yogurt at Walmart and the 50 pound bag of popcorn at Sam's. :) You go girl!

  5. Jamie, Kansas Dad has a real enthusiasm for pioneer living. My tendencies are more toward frugality. They do coincide quite a bit, but you won't find me out tending the garden very often. (Though I find the idea of tending the garden appealing...)

  6. Hey, I know I'm late on this (haven't had time for blogs lately!), but I bet that thing would work. Growing up we had popcorn every year and my dad had this contraption consisting of a homemade wooden box with an attached metal circular thing with jagged metal teeth all over inside it and a handle that you would turn to move the popcorn ears through. It worked well. My parents inherited it from my grandpa.

  7. I might write a whole post on the art of getting popcorn off the cob. The corn sheller definitely is easier than just by hand, though it doesn't sound as easy as the tool H of B described. I think you can buy some like that now but they are a lot more expensive than our little corn sheller. If we end up growing vast amounts of popcorn, we'll invest in one in the future.


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